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Dr Si Poole

While some artists and writers have struggled, others have used the situation as an opportunity to pause, reflect and create.

The University has teamed with Storyhouse to offer a platform for the variety of writing that is happening. The free-to-enter competition has opened its digital doors to accept submissions from all four categories of the past four years: poetry; short story; children’s literature and scriptwriting. A panel of judges chaired by Dr Simon Poole, Faculty of Education and Children’s Services and Senior Lead in Cultural Education and Research at Storyhouse, will choose one winner from each category. The entry must be for an original and previously unpublished piece of work in one of four categories themed around all aspects of the pandemic including “lockdown” and what has become for us all the “new normal”. It can be:

  • A short story up to 1,500 words.
  • A poem up to 100 lines.
  • A piece of work aimed at children aged seven to 14 either a short story up to 1,500 words or a poem up to 100 lines.
  • A playscript suitable for radio, theatre or television, no more than 15 minutes in length.

There will be a prize of £500 for the winner of each category and entrants may submit one entry in a maximum of two categories and must state clearly which category(s) they are entering. Entries can only be sent electronically and postal entries cannot be accepted this year.

The writer must have been born, live or have lived, study or have studied, work or have worked, in Cheshire. For the purposes of the Prize, Cheshire is deemed to include the Wirral, as well as Warrington and Halton. Entrants can be any age, but those under 18 years of age on January 31, 2021, will require written consent from a parent or guardian when submitting.

Entries will be judged anonymously. The decision of the judging panel will be final. No correspondence can be entered into concerning individual entries and by entering this competition the writer consents to their work being published.

The Cheshire Prize for Literature was founded in 2003 by the then High Sheriff, John Richards OBE DL and Dr Bill Hughes from the University of Chester. It is open to people with a connection to the historic Cheshire boundary (including Wirral). It is one of the few free-to-enter literary competitions and offers not only a significant cash prize for the winner but also the rare opportunity for the best entries from the previous year to be published professionally by the University of Chester Press in an anthology edited by a senior member of academic staff.

Dr Si Poole said: “2020 has been a year like no other and in spite of all the challenges we are sure there are some amazing pieces of work waiting to be created and discovered. We look forward to reading them and celebrating the best.”

For more information, visit: , email or call 01244 511344.


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