Free Writing Competition Winner

This free to enter writing competition required writers to create a story based on the photo and to then submit a summary of the overall story with a maximum of 300 words.

1st Prize goes to Christine Genovese

Christine wins a Creative Inspiration for Writers course.


Aunt Sylvia.

Becoming an aunt at the age of twelve is the proudest moment of Sylvia’s life.  Her niece, Alex, grows up idolising her aunt.  She’s like a fairy godmother waving a magic wand for her favourite princess – straight out of the fairy tales they both love.

Three events teach Alex the difference between their dream world and reality.

Aged six:  She opens the forbidden door.

Alex’s parents go away for a weekend, leaving Sylvia to babysit.  Alex is delighted when Sylvia’s boyfriend joins in the fun. Sunday morning Alex wakes up too early, eager for breakfast.  Eventually she goes upstairs and hearing groans from the spare room, she thinks Sylvia is in danger…

Lies, sweets and cajoling patch up the damage – more or less.

Aged thirteen:  She learns that sworn secrets aren’t sacred.

Sylvia goes to drama school and Alex to grammar school.  When Alex starts going to parties, her parents put up barriers.  She becomes defiant and sulky.  She writes long, impassioned letters to Sylvia, laying bare her teenage angst.

Discovering one of these letters in her mother’s drawer causes Alex more pain than any of her other youthful troubles.  She decides to avoid Sylvia’s company.

Aged eighteen:  She suffers a furious outbreak of jealousy from her 30-year-old aunt.

During the summer holidays Sylvia invites Alex to join her at a stately home where a film company is making a film in which Sylvia stars.  Alex accepts.  She loves the atmosphere, the sumptuous buildings, the groomed park with the idyllic lake… where her light-hearted fun with the film crew is cut short when Sylvia suddenly orders her to leave.

Seven years later:  An unexpected invitation to Sylvia’s wedding is accompanied by an emotional letter.

Alex is now old enough to understand how precious the bond between them is.



Open Poetry Competition Winners

Open Poetry Competition Winners


1st Prize: £500.00 Mark Ford
2nd Prize: £250.00 S. Long
3rd Prize: £100.00 Richard Carter
4th Prize: £75.00 Lynne Graham
5th Prize: £50.00 Stephanie Potter
6th Prize: Personal e-Coaching Sesssion – Joe Massingham
7th Prize: 3 Months Premier 1 Membership – Kris Abildgaard


by Mark Ford


The tear that falls is bittersweet,

a tale of betrayal, of bitter loss

Who knew that life could take this twisted turn,

your misery unfolds and the

trail edged of frost.


Once, joy reigned, and emerged

sparkling shimmer, as a sunbeam

sweeping through your life.

Why did your life turn to dust

the remnants of love, a distant touch?


Did you blink and miss the light that turned cold?

Did the smile of complacency wear thin?

A frozen mask as the sky turned in and the air grew cold cold?

Did love become frail, wither and die and seep

through the cracks, filtering away?


So the answer to love lost, was to do nothing bar weep,

tears of anguish and pain did seep

Alone, as your spring and autumn mingled to one and your

winter beckoned, overwhelmed and won.

View from a Bridge Competition Winner

1st Prize: £100.00 Jean Thompson

2nd Prize:£75.00 Richard Grant

3rd Prize: £50.00 Jenny Carter

View from a Bridge

by Jean Thompson

Time stands still, a hushed sense of age old lore with well-trodden footpaths leading out to the dense greenery around me. Trees arch up to the skylight where slivers of summer sunlight spread a golden hue through the dense vegetation. The forest floor from my tranquil viewpoint is cool and shady and borders the gentle stream that laps against boulders and houses darting minnows. All around, bird song with glimpses of wings in flight, defending territories.  A solitary swan, regal-like, glides into pockets of deeper water, preening, with haughty looks as my presence intrudes.

This glade, this pocket of enchanted wood and my view is as near to perfection as can be, my view from a bridge, unhindered by modern hand.