Our short story writing competition is back after the success of last year’s which produced some very high quality entries, despite lockdown and everything being ‘virtual’.  This is the 13th year of the competition; originally started by our patrons, RC Bridgestock, international crime writing authors.

Chris Cane, competition organiser, said, ‘This is an exciting opportunity for budding Island writers to become published authors and win some great prizes by very talented people.  We are delighted to announce this year’s celebrity readers who have kindly agreed to donate their time to read the winning stories.’

Richard Cadell is a British illusionist, puppeteer and screenwriter, best known for being the in-vision presenter and the hand of puppet Sooty since succeeding Matthew Corbett in 1998.  He is a Gold Star Member of the Inner Magic Circle and Past President of the British section of International Brotherhood of Magicians.  This is Richard’s second year reading a story.

Dominic Minghella is a British television producer and screenwriter. His most successful project has been the creation of the ITV network comedy-drama series Doc Martin, starring Martin Clunes, which began in 2004. The main character’s surname, Ellingham, is an anagram of the Minghella family name.  Dominic is the brother of Edana Minghella who sadly died earlier this year.  Edana was a supporter of our competition and read winning stories for five years.

Mark Simmons is a stand up comedian, constantly on the rise and since being in the finals of several noteworthy competitions, such as Leicester Mercury Comedian of The Year, So You Think You’re Funny and the NATY Award, he has been in high demand for the top UK comedy clubs, such as Glee, Manford’s Comedy Club, Comedy Central and Just The Tonic, headlining the majority of them. Also, he has supported Seann Walsh, Rob Beckett and Rob Brydon on their national tours, as well as one off shows supporting Michael McIntyre and Jack Dee.  He is currently on tour with his own show, ‘Quip Off The Mark’.

Bethannie Hare is throwing herself into music after quitting Hollyoaks.  The Cher McQueen actress said goodbye to the soap this year after a drama-filled two years and has aspirations of making it as a singer.  She often shares home videos of her cover versions, from Kings of Leon’s, Sex on Fire, to Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles tracks.  Last year she returned to the stage for the first time in 18 months and fell in love with live performance all over again.

This year’s theme for the competition is, ‘the sea’.  This doesn’t have to be the title of your story but it should be incorporated into your entry.

The closing date for the competition is Friday 11th November. The winners will be announced at a special award ceremony on Monday 5th December and also invited to join the team at Vectis Radio to be interviewed on air as well as a podcast of their story.

The Under 12’s category will have their story printed in the County Press; the other categories will have their stories published online and receive a certificate.

Entry forms are available from:

Waterstones, High Street, Newport

Sight for Wight, Millbrooke House, 137 Carisbrooke Road, Newport  PO30 1DD (SAT NAV via Castle Road PO30 1DT)

Dress for Less, 114 St James Street, Newport  PO30 5HB (opposite Man In The Moon)

You can download an entry form HERE: