A story contest based on the beautiful heritage map specially commissioned by Totnes produced a plethora of stories as creative and engaging as the map itself, the judges say.
Aspiring writers were invited to let their creativity run free by drawing inspiration from the enormous map on display in St Mary’s Church.
Created by local artist Anna Ventura, in addition to being a snapshot of Totnes, the map also features local stories and characters, including local butcher Christopher McCabe coming out of his freezer with a black pudding and Totnes seal swimming. around the Dartmouth ferry. ; while illustrator Claudia Schmid’s Border showcases her unique and beautiful creatures as if they were on a journey to the ancient city.
The Totnes Heritage Trust has teamed up with the East Gate Bookstore to launch the adult and children’s short story contest, based on the characters and features on the map.
Totnes Poet Laureate Matt Harvey, who wrote a poem to accompany the card, led the team of judges made up of City Councilors and Heritage Trust members Georgina Allen and Emily Price.
Eleven awardees and their families were warmly welcomed to St Mary’s by the Mayor of Totnes, Cllr Ben Piper, who praised the success of the participants and the hard work of the Heritage Trust.
The awards were presented by Matt, a nationally recognized performance comedian and poet who is also the host of Radio 4’s Wondermentalist poetry cabaret.
The twelfth winner, Aviva Fleisher, lives in the US but was able to join the event via a Zoom link to be congratulated by Matt and see his grandmother accept her award on his behalf.
Matt said: âThe entries were of a very high standard which made judging difficult.
âThe overall winning story, How the Bridgetown Safari Came to be by Kip Pratt, is a colorful and mythical tale that skillfully combines elements of the topography and history of Totnes while being simply one great story.â
Kip’s story won the 18+ group. The finalists were A Different Thought of Train by Valerie Belsey and The Tourist by Henry Knight Lozano for third place. Our Town by Fearn Kenyon, Where the Art Is by Judy McVey and Sunburst by Rolf Norfolk came highly recommended.
The top three entries in the 12 to 17 age group were Kallum Howard’s The Dark Room; Just another annoying screaming seagull from Jessie Taylor; and Death on the Dart by Freddie Martin Wrigley.
In the Under-11 group, the winning works were The Raven and the Plan by Aviva Fleisher, The Map of Alberton by Lily May Hilton and The Goblin by April Knight Lozano.
An anthology of winning stories is being compiled.
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