Annual North Notts Short Story Competition
The Annual North Notts Short Story competition has been judged and the winning entry, Bonnets to Breeches, by Elizabeth Carney-Marsh, wins a £500 first prize. The competition is organised by Bassetlaw District Council with the North Notts Envoys and the presentation to the winner was made at the North Notts Literary Lunch at Ye Olde Bell on Thursday 10th August where Sandeep Mahal, Director of Nottingham, Unesco City of Literature was guest speaker. In second place was Lesley Middleton’ story Guilt of the Innocent, Lesley received a cheque for £100 and Pamela Mann’s Death of Robin Hood earned her £50 and third place.
Talking about the inspiration for Bonnets to Breeches, Elizabeth said writing it has been a truly fulfilling experience. “It is my first attempt at writing and was born from a desire to tell the stories that have otherwise been lost throughout the years. Having retired from teaching music due to my health, it has been a real joy exploring another creative outlet such as writing and I must say I have fallen in love! The idea for Bonnets to Breeches came from my time volunteering in The Walled Kitchen Garden at Clumber Park and starting to hear the wonderful stories almost lost to time. Through conversations and research about not only the estate but the Women’s Land Army, I was able to form a historically accurate backdrop in which to place my fictional story.
“I owe a great debt to the team of staff and volunteers whose knowledge and love of Clumber ignited a spark in me, and the belief of my partner, family and friends for their unwavering support and endless proof reads. The stories of the Women’s Land Army are in real danger of being lost forever. These women were trail blazers and explorers of their time. This story is dedicated to them. The Women's Land Army, formed 100 years ago in 1917.”
Judges for the competition were Angela Mead of Bookworm in Retford; Rick Brand, Chair of Bassetlaw Christian Heritage and Jonathan Brassington, Communications Manager at Bassetlaw District Council.
Jonathan said “The standard of entries this year was extremely high and we have selected nine of the stories to be published in a compendium which will be available through Bookworm later in the year. We also plan to dramatize the winning story in partnership with Elizabeth and as the story is set in Clumber Park, we would like to stage it there if possible”.
Guests at the event also included Chairman of the Council, Cllr Madelaine Richardson, North Notts Place Board Chair, George Buchanan, International bestselling author of the Cooper & Fry Series, Stephen Booth and Sue Allan, historian and author of the New World Trilogy.
Cllr Madelaine Richardson, Chairman of Bassetlaw District Council said:
“It is fantastic to hear about how Clumber Park has inspired Elizabeth to delve into the past and tell such a beautifully crafted story. We have many talented people across the District and it was a real pleasure to read such a diverse range of stories. I’d like to congratulate Elizabeth and I am really looking forward to seeing the dramatization of the story.”