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The 2022 Cheshire Prize for Literature is now closed. The awards evening will take place on June 8 with guest speaker Ruth Estevez.

Ruth began her career in theatre and television around the UK, working in props, acting and stage management, before becoming a fiction writer. Theatres and TV companies include Opera North, Harrogate Theatre-in-Education Company, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, and ITV’s Emmerdale.

Ruth has taught scriptwriting at Manchester Metropolitan University and was previously a scriptwriter on the Children’s TV series, Bob the Builder.

Ruth now writes for adults and young people and her published novels include historical fiction: Jiddy Vardy, Jiddy Vardy – High Tide and Meeting Coty, contemporary, Erosion, and YA, The Monster Belt. Place and identity feature strongly in all Ruth’s work.

Currently, Ruth is also Project Coordinator of the Portico Sadie Massey Awards for young readers and writers, an annual short story and book review competition based at the historic Portico Library, Manchester.

Ruth studied English and Drama (BA Degree) at Chester University 1980-1983

All entrants will be contacted about the Awards Evening. Winners will also be published on the website on June 9.

This year there was no theme and entrants could write about anything that inspired them.

There are three age groups:

  • Primary (4-11) for short stories or poetry
  • Secondary (11-18) for short stories or poetry
  • Over 18 for short stories, children's literature, poetry or scriptwriting

Any queries about the competition should be emailed to or phone 01244 511344.

History of the Prize

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 cash prize for the winner (or vouchers for under 18s) 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.

Traditionally operating on a triennial cycle of short stories, poetry and children’s literature, in 2019 a new category for scriptwriting was introduced. The University was delighted to form a partnership with Storyhouse, which forms such an important part of the cultural offering in Cheshire.