2018 Literary competition

Elmbridge 14th Literary Competition attracted some frightfully good entries

For this year’s competition, we were looking for scary short stories or poems about 'things that go bump in the night' and that could send 'a shiver down the spine'. There was a record number of participants with over 300 frightfully entertaining stories received just in time for Halloween.

The winning entries were read as part of the Elmbridge Literary Festival held at the Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre in Walton-on-Thames on Saturday 24 November.

Many local schools topped the results chart. This reflected the creativity of the works submitted. The number of winning and highly commended school entries was as follows:

  • Cardinal Newman School, Hersham – 11

  • Rowan Preparatory School, Claygate – 7

  • St Charles Borromeo School, Weybridge – 7

  • ACS Cobham International School – 7

  • Heathside School, Weybridge – 5

  • St Lawrence School, East Molesey – 1

  • Newlands Girls School (Maidenhead) – 1

Every submission was discussed in great depth by the panel of judges and it took a whole day to agree on winning entries as the quality of the writing was so high. The winners were as follows:

5 - 7 Age group - Poems:

1st Place: Olivia De Villiers: "Something Spooky" (Rowan Preparatory School)
2nd Place: Tallulah Narboni: “The Spooky Cave” (St Charles Borromeo)
3rd Place: Arina D’Souza: “Spooky Skeletons” (St Charles Borromeo)

5 - 7 Age group – Stories:

1st Place: Amélie De Villiers: "Things that go bump in the night" (Rowan Preparatory School)
2nd Place: Natasha Truesdale: “The Ghost Robber” (Rowan Preparatory School)
3rd Place: Giselle Grieger: “The Sewer Monster” (St Charles Borromeo)

8-11 Age group - Poems:

1st Place: Anya Digby: "The Goulish Gang" (independent)
2nd Place: Nina Truesdale: “The Debutante” (Rowan Preparatory School)
3rd Place: Florence Datta: “Shadows in the Night” (Rowan Preparatory School)

8-11 Age group - Stories:

1st Place: Callum Kent: "The Old Green Car" (St Charles Borromeo)
2nd Place: Ellen Clarke: “Things that go bump in the night” (Rowan Preparatory School)
3rd Place: Camilla Cox-Wilson: “The Lady in the Frame” (Cardinal Newman School)

11-13 Age group - Poems:

1st Place: Marion Harper: "The Silence Always Comes" (ACS Cobham International School)
2nd Place: Jack Walker: “Dark” (ACS Cobham International School)

11-13 Age group - Stories:

1st Place: Allegra Fleming: "Night Owl" (ACS Cobham International School)
2nd Place: Emerson Reid: “The Last Year of My Life” (ACS Cobham International School)
3rd Place: William Trehearn: “Locked In” (Reeds School)

14-18 Age group - Poems:

1st Place: Louis Viner: "Darkness" (Reeds School)
2nd Place: Harry Zubeidi: “A Shiver Down The Spine” (Heathside School)

14-18 Age group - Stories:

1st Place: Olivia Jefferies: "The Trees of Graymore" (Heathside School)
2nd Joint: Luke Pearson: “A Shiver Down the Spine” (Reeds School)
2nd Joint: Tamsyn Christie: “The Gardener” (independent)
3rd Joint: Abigail Maynard: “A Shiver Down The Spine” (Heathside School)
3rd Joint: James Hone: “A Shiver Down The Spine” (Heathside School)

Adult 19+ - Poems:

1st Place: Ella Zubeidi: "After The Watershed"
2nd Place: Sue Wrinch: “The Fetch”
3rd Joint: Sara-Mae Tuson: “Chilling and Killing”
3rd Joint: Patsy Collins: “Burn Baby Burn”

Adult 19+ - Stories:

1st Place: Linda Shanson: "Frankenstein in India"
2nd Place: Connie McChesney: “Dog”
3rd Place: Ellen Zaks: “Doppelganger”

The 2018 competition was run by R C Sherriff Trust in partnership with Elmbridge Borough Council and Sampson Low publishers. All 1st prize winners in the adult category have had their work printed as chapbooks by Sampson Low. Small and affordable forms of literature, chapbooks historically were sold on the streets, and covered a wide range of subjects.

The full list of winners, including highly commended and commended entries, is now available on the R C Sherriff Trust website and the entries will be available to view on 1 December.

Councillor Malcolm Howard, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said, “This year’s increased participation in the Literary Competition is a clear indication of the growing interest in the written word; starting from a very young age to adulthood. It is heart-lifting to see so much talent and creativity in the borough. Well done to all participants who have taken the time to craft such fantastic pieces of work. I hope the competition has encouraged you to carry on writing and sharing your story-telling skills with many future audiences”. 

Pete Allen, Director of the R C Sherriff Trust, said, “We are delighted with the number of entries we have received this year. The quality of the works was impressive across all age groups. Congratulations to everyone who took part. I hope this is the beginning of a life-long love of writing for you.” 

For further information, please visit rcsherrifftrust.org.uk or elmbridge.gov.uk/culture. Photos taken at the award-winning readings at the Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre are available on the R C Sherriff Trust website. Should you wish to purchase the adults’ winning entries as a book, they are available at sampsonlow.co/chapbooks 

Date published: 27 November 2018

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