Local writer wins award in prestigious writing competition

Isabella with flash fiction judge Kirsty Logan. Photo credit – Rachel Brown

Isabella Mead from Wendover has won one of only three highly commended awards in this year’s prestigious Bridport Prize flash fiction competition for her story ‘Genocide Memorial Week, Rwanda 2019.’

The winning story was selected from nearly 1,400 entries by flash fiction judge Kirsty Logan who said, “ ‘Genocide Memorial Week, Rwanda 2019’ pulls off a wonderful feat of ambiguous intent, using a small but significant event to convey a profound and affecting story.”

Isabella Mead is Head of Learning at The Story Museum in Oxford, through which she leads the teaching of the art of storytelling and creative writing. She previously worked as Learning Manager the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre and as a secondary school English teacher in London. From 2010 to 2012 she spent 2 years in a rural Rwandan village, training teachers through VSO. Her poems have been long-listed for the National Poetry Competition (2017), Highly Commended in the Bridport Prize (2016), the Cafe Writers Prize (2018) and the Mslexia Pamphlet Competition (2017). This is her first piece of fiction.

The Bridport Prize is one of the most prestigious open writing competitions in the English language with categories in poetry, short stories, flash fiction and the Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a first novel, named in honour of the Prize’s founder.

Established in 1973 and with over £18,000 in prize money to be won annually, the competition attracts entries from across the world. This year over 10,000 writers from 83 countries competed for one of the 34 winner and highly commended awards.

The Bridport Prize is the flagship project of Bridport Arts Centre in Dorset and the competition raises vital funds for the Arts Centre’s work each year. The Prize is known as a tremendous literary stepping-stone – the first step in the careers of writers such as Kate Atkinson, Gail Honeyman, Kit de Waal and Helen Dunmore.

The competition is open to anyone as long as the submitted work is previously unpublished. An anthology of this year’s winning entries, including Isabella’s flash fiction story, is available from the Bridport Prize website at https://www.bridportprize.org.uk/

The competition for 2020 will be launched on 6 January with a closing date of 31 May 2020. Entries can be made by post or online with full information on how to apply available on the website.