Oxfordshire eBook Short Story Competition 2022 winners announced

An unconventional sci-fi story, a magical tree and a much loved grandad are the subjects of the well-scripted tales that have been selected as winners of Oxfordshire County Council Library Service’s eBook Short Story Competition for 2022.

The winner in the adult section was Gabrielle Mullarkey who wrote: “The Beyond”. Set in a future not too distant from our own, the central character Heather volunteers to spend time with the sharp-witted Mrs McArdle - but the experience doesn’t go quite as she expected. With elements of dystopian sci-fi, the story of this unconventional duo will make you think, make you laugh and leave you with a warm glow.

Gabrielle, from Bicester, said: “I was delighted to win the competition and hope people will enjoy reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I love taking characters in new directions and seasoning dark themes with a spark of humour and humanity.”

The winner in the young adult section was Izzy Borg with her story “The Secret Tree” about a magical tree which grows from a seed that has the power to change everything and helps people lighten the burdens that they carry with them. It creates a wonderful feeling of people coming together to work as a community.

Izzy, aged 15 and from Abingdon, said: “As someone who aspires to be an author, I was so excited to discover that my story won the competition! I was inspired to write "The Secret Tree" after an interesting dream I had. Seeing it published will be a surreal experience for me. I just hope that everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.”

Meanwhile the winner in the children’s section was Lacie-Mae Mitchell with “Getting Grandad Better”.

In the story Mae and her grandad are best friends and have had some amazing adventures together. So what will Mae do when she hears that he is ill and in hospital? This is the story of how Mae, with her brilliant backpack full of gadgets, sets out on her super scooter to find her grandad to help him get better. Mae’s strength, determination and compassion shines through as she embarks on her mission. And in the end she might just need a touch of magic to save the day.

Lacie-Mae, aged 9 and from Oxford, said: “I am really excited to win the story competition, my story means a lot to me because I wrote it when my grandad was poorly and he’s my best friend. It’s great that I can share it with other people. I am really happy.”

Councillor Jenny Hannaby, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and Safety, said: “The judging panel enjoyed reading and discussing the entries from many talented writers. The standard of this year’s stories was especially high. The winners should be extremely proud of their achievements.”

Further information:

To find out why these stories are outstanding, borrow them from: https://oxfordshire.overdrive.com/

For all free eBook, eAudio and digital resources go to: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/libraries

Contact: librarydigitalservices@oxfordshire.gov.uk