Creative writing student wins national short story competition

24 October 2017

David Simmonds
Image of David Simmonds

Creative writing student wins national short story competition

David Simmonds has won the 2017 Artists’ and Writers’ Short Story Competition, which attracted over 2,000 entries.

David enrolled on the Novel Writing Workshop course taught by Lynne Barratt-Lee after taking early retirement from BBC Wales where he worked as a journalist.  After a career dealing with reporting facts he decided to give writing fiction a try.

‘It was by far the best thing I could have done’, says David. ‘When it comes to writing for publication, Lynne’s been there, done it and got the T-shirt.  Her advice was based on years of experience, her criticism of our work was always gentle and constructive, and the exercises she gave us to do were intriguing and stimulating

Being in a group of like-minded people was also very helpful. After getting over the initial embarrassment of reading our work aloud to others – and let’s face it, getting your writing out there for others to judge is an essential part of the process – getting feedback in a supportive environment from others who shared your goal was a very positive experience.

Since finishing the course, I’ve been lucky enough to have sold a couple of short stories to a national magazine, and I’ve just won The Artists’ and Writers’ Short Story Competition, which was the most amazingly exciting thing that’s happened to me for a long time.

‘So if you’ve ever harboured the ambition to see your work in print, or if you just feel there’s a book inside you somewhere struggling to get out, I’d definitely recommend Lynne’s course. At the very, very least, you’ll have a great deal of fun and meet some very interesting people!’

Lynne Barratt-Lee commented:

“It is always a joy for me when my former students achieve success with their writing, so I couldn’t have been more thrilled to hear that Dave winning first place in such a prestigious competition.  Though I am not surprised; Dave is a writer of enormous skill and talent and it’s wonderful to see it recognised in this way.”

(David’s winning short story, ‘Evie’, can be read here.

Lynne’s next Novel Writing Workshop begins on 17 January 2018.