2015 Cheshire Prize for Literature winner is announced.

Posted on 20th November 2015

A moving story about child abuse, as seen through the eyes of a young girl, has been awarded first prize in the 2015 Cheshire Prize for Literature.

Pictured, left to right, are Dr Ian Seed; Dr Michael Arditti; Cathy Bryant; Lynne Parry-Griffiths; Pauline Brown; High Sheriff of Cheshire, Mr Bill Holroyd; and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, Professor Tim Wheeler.
Pictured, left to right, are Dr Ian Seed; Dr Michael Arditti; Cathy Bryant; Lynne Parry-Griffiths; Pauline Brown; High Sheriff of Cheshire, Mr Bill Holroyd; and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, Professor Tim Wheeler.

The winner was announced at the 12th High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature evening hosted by the University of Chester, where the novelist, literary critic and broadcaster, Dr Michael Arditti, was the guest speaker.

Dr Arditti has written nine novels The Celibate (1993), Pagan and her Parents (1997); Easter (2000); Unity (2005); A Sea Change (2006); The Enemy of the Good (2009); Jubilate (2011); The Breath of Night (2013) and Widows and Orphans (2015), as well as a collection of short stories Good Clean Fun and several radio and stage plays. His novel Easter won the Waterstone’s Mardi Gras award. Much of his work explores issues of spirituality and sexuality.

A literary critic and broadcaster too, he has strong links with the University and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2013.

During the evening, Dr Michael Arditti provided an insight into his career and took questions from the audience before joining the current High Sheriff of Cheshire Mr Bill Holroyd in handing awards to the winner and runners up.

This year’s competition was for a short story and attracted scores of entries from writers across the country, who all have a connection with the county. 

The first prize of £2,000 was presented to Pauline Brown for her short story Tick Tock, which was read out by Dr Arditti.

Pauline Brown said: “It’s an absolutely amazing feeling to win, I’m completely stunned. I’ve won a couple of flash fiction competitions, but nothing as big as this. It was also extremely special to hear Dr Arditti’s wonderful reading of my story. Many thanks to all, and my congratulations to the runners-up too.”

The highly commended runners-up, who received £250 for their wor on the night were:

  • Cathy Bryant: For Yourself Alone.
  • Lynne Parry-Griffiths: My Will Ne’er Be Done.

As well as cash prizes, the winning entries and a selection of other submissions will be included in an anthology produced by the University of Chester Press next year.

Competition judge Dr Ian Seed, Lecturer in Creative Writing and Programme Leader, BA Creative Writing, at the University of Chester, said: “I’d like to thank all those who took part – we had 226 entries from all over the world and so many good stories. The judging panel was looking for stories that satisfied various criteria – character, storyline, plot, and use of imagination. More than anything, we were looking for stories that ‘got beneath the skin’ and left a lasting impression, and our winner and our highly commended runners-up definitely did that. Our congratulations go to them, and to our winner, Pauline Brown, in particular. We wish her a very successful writing career.”