A few weeks ago, I received a letter from North Tyneside Council advising me that my short story ‘The Piano’ was one of the winners in this year’s ‘Story Tyne’ competition, an annual competition run by the council. The letter explained that, in order to find out which position the story had been ranked, there was an awards evening at Wallsend Library on November 29th.
Myself, The Boy Wonder as well as my parents, my brother and my brother’s girlfriend attended the informal ceremony, where awards were presented to children and then over 16’s. Authors Mari Hannah and Russ Litten presented the awards, with Mari giving a brief synopsis of each story. From what I heard on Thursday evening, there are going to be some major literary stars coming out of North Tyneside in the next couple of decades.
I was convinced, sitting on the back row, that my story would be placed third. And I was happy with that because – out of the hundreds of entries read, mine was in the top three. But the synopsis given by Mari for third place wasn’t my book. And I was astounded to hear that my story’s synopsis was not mentioned for second place. My short story had won this year’s competition!
It was really interesting to hear Mari’s comments regarding the stories, which were anonymously judged by her, and specifically the comments she made about ‘The Piano’. It was so utterly joy-inducing to hear a professional writer praise my work so highly – it made me realise that I must be doing something right!