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Our 2018 competition is now closed, but we'll be back in 2019 looking for brand new entries.

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Short story and poetry judge Qaisra Shahraz


We had some incredibly strong entries and it was a real pleasure to see how different writers had interpreted and used the theme of “My education helped me….”. There were so many strong submissions that it was really hard to narrow them all down to just one winner and two runners up.

There was lots of variety in the entries we received: short stories, personal essays and poems. Some were written from the writer’s own perspective, some were written from the perspective of a famous person and we even had a cat entry! It was an absolute joy to be a judge.

I want say to all those people who sadly didn’t rank in the top – please keep writing. It was so encouraging to judge a competition in which there could have easily been 50 winners. Thank you for taking the time to enter – it truly was a privilege to have read so many insightful and inspiring pieces.

And to the winner and runners up – congratulations. You had a tough job fending off so many strong entries, so you should be very pleased with the title!

- Qaisra Shahraz, (Biography)