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First place prize for former creative writing student

15 March 2022

Emma Carr-Ferguson
Emma Carr-Ferguson

Emma Carr-Ferguson has scooped the prestigious first prize of $20,000 in an online writing competition run by Vocal.

Emma’s mournful and insightful entry Until the Rain Stops is a chilling yet poignant timeline of a disaster in a Welsh coalpit.  Head Judge, author and former Booker Prize judge Erica Wagner, commented:

“Ferguson, time-stamps her story, Until the Rain Stops, to give it a sense of immediacy, arresting us with the image of blood turning to glass in a young woman’s veins. Who are those ‘wild and bony’ children? The reader feels the same alarm as the people in the story do when the steam whistle blasts.”

Emma decided to enter this prestigious writing competition after completing the Young Adult Fiction course provided by Continuing and Professional Education (CPE).  Emma commented:

“The course was very engaging, I loved every session. I received valuable advice from industry professionals in how to pursue opportunities as a writer. It’s made a world of difference to my outlook on pursuing my hobby as a potential career.

I gained a deeper understanding of what defines the genre, how to plot a novel, how to approach the publishing industry and find opportunities as a writer.

I’ve been developing my writing skills for a long time but taking this course was a big step in learning to apply them in a practical way. It was the stepping stone I didn’t know I needed into taking myself a bit more seriously as an aspiring author, and made the publishing industry as a whole seem more accessible.

Emma Carr-Ferguson
Emma Carr-Ferguson

I gained a lot of confidence from the course, which has led to me taking more chances which has led to my achievement. I can’t thank Gemma Scammell enough for her support.”

Coordinator of the Humanities programme at CPE Dr Michelle Deininger commented:

“Emma should be congratulated for such a well-wrought story, closely bound to the legacy of Wales’ industrial past, which is underpinned by an appreciation for the raw power of nature.

Wales has such a rich heritage within the short story tradition so it is wonderful to see a new author embracing this genre.

Creative writing courses such as Young Adult Fiction provide a supportive space for adults to try out new ideas and to find their own voice – Emma has clearly found hers.”

Read Emma’s award-winning story here

More details of our creative writing courses can be found here.

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