'The Mystery Lady of Gladstone's Library' Writing Competition Winners

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Gladstone's Library are delighted to announce the results of our very first creative writing prize, launched to celebrate short and flash fiction. Writers from all over the world entered original pieces inspired by 'The Mystery Lady of Gladstone's Library' - a portrait that hangs in the Library's front corridor.

Mystery LadyFlash Fiction Category (360 words and under):

Winner: 'Naranjito's Daughter' by Nuala Ní Chonchúir

Runner-Up: 'If Only...' by Barbara Oldham

Short Fiction Category (3,600 words and under):

Winner: 'Looking the Other Way' by Fiona Knowles-Holland

Runner-Up: 'The Lemon Tree' by Alice Curham

Highly Commended: 'The Eyes of Reason' by Bella Reid

The winners of each category will receive a seven-night stay at Gladstone's Library as well as publication in either The Word Factory or Flash: The International Journal of Short-Short Fiction. The runners-up will receive a three-night stay at the Library and their story will be published on Volume, the Gladstone's Library blog. The judges of the short fiction category asked that a special 'Highly Commended' category be created, to recognise the particularly strong field in the short fiction category.

The Library was delighted to welcome two excellent judging panels. The short fiction category was judged by Cathy Galvin, creator of The Word Factory as well as founder and director of The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Fiction Award and editor of Red: The Waterstones Anthology; Francesca Haig, poet and author of Bodies of Water whose writing has appeared in journals and anthologies in both Australia and the UK, including Motherlode: Australian Women's Poetry 1986-2008; and Richard Beard, author of Lazarus is Dead and Director of the National Academy of Writing. The flash fiction category, meanwhile, was judged by by Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler, editors of Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine and Vanessa Gebbie, writer of flash fiction, editor of Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story and author of The Coward’s Tale (a Financial Times novel of the year).

Thanks to all who took part, and be sure to enter again next year!