A writing group based in Chapel-en-le-Frith in the High Peak is celebrating a double win as two of its authors scooped first and second prizes in a national short story competition.
The contest, which attracted well over 100 submissions, was held by Fantastic Books Publishing and invited entrants to write a short fantasy horror story inspired by a specific picture of a spooky castle in the snow. The entries were judged by Matt Adcock, author of the Complete Darkness series, with the winners announced via a live YouTube video on All Hallows Eve. Glossop resident Mark Henderson, who leads Chapel Arts Creative Writers, won first prize with his ingenious mystery tale The Loop, while group member Caroline Hardwick took second prize with her chilling saga, A Study in White.
The pair won cash prizes of £75 and £25 respectively and their stories will be included in an anthology to be published in the summer of 2021. The 25 long-listed entries to the competition will also be eligible for the anthology including The Extraction, a dark tale set in a dentist’s surgery penned by another Chapel Arts Creative Writers member, Buxton-based Stephanie Billen.
Mark Henderson commented of the group’s success: “To say I’m delighted by this achievement would be an understatement. In particular, the judge’s comments about Caroline’s story, which won the second prize, gave me more pleasure than anything he said about my effort!”
Caroline Hardwick added: “It was truly an unexpected pleasure to be one of the top prize-winners in Fantastic Books Publishing’s competition. I would never have thought to attempt a horror story but with Mark’s encouragement and inspiration Chapel Arts Creative Writers often find ourselves straying out of our comfort zones with surprising results. It is great to be part of such a supportive and diverse group.”
Further information on Mark Henderson’s novels, folktale collections and other publications can be found on Amazon. Caroline Hardwick’s debut novel Unreliable Source is published under the pen-name Carrie Saul and is available on the Amazon kindle store.
Chapel Arts was formed to encourage the development of a broad range of arts in the Chapel-en-le-Frith area. Details are available on Chapel Arts website.
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