Over twenty keen local authors entered the 2016 Prescot Festival Short Story Competition, but there could only be one winner.
Maureen McEvoy of Haydock scooped a £100 cheque for her tale ‘The Solution Is in the Pickle.’ As per this year’s theme, she took her inspiration from the phrase ‘in a pickle,’ a saying first recorded in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.
In her darkly humorous story, the hapless but sympathetic Henry Mortimer resorts to desperate measures to escape the drudgery of life.
The judges – former Cowley High School librarian Dyane Basinger, St Cuthbert’s English teacher Eleanor Bishop and Prescot Online editor David Kernick (Rattigan) – also felt that the entry ‘Doreen’s Dilemma,’ by Nick Peterson, deserved an ‘honourable mention.’
“It’s never easy picking a single winner, but ultimately we thought Maureen had done a magnificent job of drawing a sympathetic main character and treading on dark territory with such a deftly amusing touch,” said David.
“The more we read over the story and discussed it, the more layers appeared to the character and his story.”
Unbeknown to the judges, who don’t know the identity of the authors until they’ve chosen a winner, Maureen had won the very first short story contest, in 2012, with ‘Last Train from Lime Street.’
‘The Solution Is in the Pickle’ will be published online at www.prescotfestival.co.uk and in the Prescot Parish Magazine.
Photo: Alan Humphreys