Last week, New College Lecturer and Writer in Residence, Stephen Tuffin, hosted his event ‘The Squat Pen Rests Short Story Writing Competition’ at the Wyvern Theatre.
The event was a great success and brought in a large audience and over fifty entries for the competition. A judging panel, made up of 10 creative writing professionals, read and analysed all entries and then whittled it down to six finalists.
The final six stories were then performed to a live audience at the Wyvern Theatre, who voted for their favourite. Mike Martin, a novelist from Somerset, was awarded with the £50 cash prize for his entry. Local musician George Wilding also performed some of his latest material onstage on the evening.
Stephen explained the idea behind the competition, he said as Swindon doesn’t have regular small events promoting reading, he thought it’d be a perfect place to start. His hope was that it may introduce more people to the world of short story reading, writing and telling, in an environment that is inviting to all. People now face barriers such as time, but short stories can be completed in one sitting and can be read digitally on a mobile phone, or on a bus journey.
Stephen said: “I received fantastic feedback from the event, those who attended seemed to have really enjoyed it and said they’d come again, which is great news. I hope that it’ll inspire people to read and write more. ”
Another similar event may be in the pipeline for Stephen, with ideas for a playwriting competition. Entrants will be asked to write a script for a short play, around fifteen minutes long and will be judged by a panel and a live audience.