Happy ending to short story competition

Norfolk's reputation as a hotbed of literary talent has been confirmed by the success of the EDP's Norfolk Short Story competition.

Norfolk's reputation as a hotbed of literary talent has been confirmed by the success of the EDP's Norfolk Short Story competition.

About 170 people submitted their 2000-word stories on the theme of 'Norfolk, Norwich, Home', with entries arriving from all over East Anglia and as far afield as Liverpool and Hampshire.

And last night at a ceremony at Jarrold's book department in Norwich, the winners and runners-up were presented with their prizes by city councillor Brenda Ferris.

Jo Stevenson, from Norwich, won the adult category with her story Going Home, which looks at the relationship between a mother and her drug-addicted son.

Daniel Cornwell won the junior competition with a story called Stones of Memory, which is about a man who hears voices from the past, allowing him to experience Norwich's gory history.

They each received £100 in Jarrold's book tokens.

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Runners-up Marlene Jervis, from Bungay, and 12-year-old Isabella St John Cooper, from New Buckenham, won £25 in tokens.

Mrs Stevenson, who formerly worked as a mentor at Blyth-Jex School, said that winning the competition had given her the confidence to try becoming a full-time writer.

She said: "Recently I have wanted very much to start making a living as a writer but I didn't know whether I was good enough. This really couldn't have come at a better time."

Daniel, who is 16 and has just begun studying A-levels at Notre Dame High School, said: "I like to write in my spare time at evenings and weekends. I wanted to write a story that I could put something of the history of Norwich into, and I'm delighted that the judges liked it."

The competition was made possible by the support of the New Writing Partnership (NWP), a Norwich-based organisation that works to promote up-and-coming writers, and Jarrold the Store, which kindly supplied the winners' prizes.

NWP chief executive Chris Gribble said: "The winners and runners-up have produced engaging and fascinating stories that capture real and important parts of Norfolk life - and they're all great reads as well.

"I was genuinely surprised by the range and quality of the stories presented. From inventive stories told from the perspective of a suitcase to coastal legends, haunted churches, family days out, wartime memoirs and romps through the medieval history of the city, I found something of real interest in every single entry.

"A love for the region was apparent in all of the stories, and the quality of the entries proves again that Norfolk is home to a wealth of writing talent. The people here seem to be natural storytellers."

The two winning stories will appear in the EDP later this month.