Winners revealed in Oxfordshire libraries’ e-book short story competition

A darkly comedic satire on the themes of greed and ego and an atmospheric, cinematic horror story have been chosen as the winners of Oxfordshire County Council’s library service’s short story competition 2021.

For the first time, the contest featured winners in three age ranges and included a new junior short story category, open to ages 5 - 11.

Lesli Good, Oxfordshire County Council’s Interim Assistant Director for Cultural Services, said: “The judging panel enjoyed reading and debating the entries from many talented writers and there was particularly stiff competition this year. The winners should be doubly proud of their achievements.”

Winner of the adult short story category was Hannah Blanton for her story ‘The Gingerbread Man’, a darkly comedic satire on the themes of greed and ego, with a macabre sensibility. The Oxfordshire libraries judges were almost unanimous in their decision selecting Hannah as the adult category winner.

Hannah said: “It was such a surprise when I learned that my story had been chosen as the winner! It feels great to know that the judges enjoyed reading my story, and I hope others enjoy reading it too. I’ve always enjoyed creative writing and winning the competition has inspired me to keep writing more.”

The young adult category winner ‘Nightmares’ by Meredith Corley was chosen for its confident style and powerful impact. Meredith’s atmospheric horror story was praised for its vivid and cinematic style, subtly building up the tension to its deadly, grotesque conclusion. 

The junior short story winner was Erin Ellis with a lockdown-inspired dog story called ‘Marvellous Max and the Choccy Whoccy Woof Bar,’ which blends comedy, surrealism and a magically inclined dog to take the judges on a laugh out loud adventure.

The competition, now in its seventh year, is all part of Oxfordshire County Council’s commitment to thriving communities – helping people live safe, healthy lives and play an active part in their communities.

Download the winning stories

To see what made Hannah, Erin and Meredith this year’s outstanding authors and ensure them pride of place alongside national bestsellers, visit the Oxfordshire Library eBook webpage or the Overdrive app today.