A picture of the Needles, on the Isle of Wight

Our annual short story writing competition is back!  This year’s theme is ‘the sound of Christmas’.

Our celebrity readers are Melvyn Hayes, Michael Maloney, Edana Minghella and Kate Weston.  Michael is a film, television and voice over actor and we are delighted to have him on board.  You can read more about our celebrity readers below.

Entry forms are available at Waterstones, Newport, Dress for Less, Newport or downloadable HERE

Our Award Ceremony will be at The Riverside Centre on Monday 9th December 2019; doors open from 6:30pm where we will have entertainment from Medina Community Choir, Huxley Magician, Hannah Pereira with more to be confirmed.  Even if you haven’t entered our competition, it will be a fun packed and festive evening and we hope you will come along and support us. 

Melvyn Hayes is an actor who played the role of Gunner Beaumont in the 1970s BBC sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. He also worked as a voice actor in children’s cartoons such as SuperTed and The Dreamstone and was a regular on the children’s television show of the 70s, Double Deckers.  Melvyn also starred in the classic films with Cliff Richard, Summer Holiday and The Young Ones and more recently was one of the contestants in Celebrity Pointless. 

Michael Maloney is an English actor who has appeared in many films and television including Paranoid, The Five, The White Queen, Hamlet and Truly Madly Deeply to name but a few. He has also been a regular on the small screen for over 20 years, appearing in everything from Hamlet to Dalziel And Pascoe. In 2003 he made his mark in the critically acclaimed The Forsyte Saga: To Let, before winning a prominent role in the equally well-received adaptation of PD James’ The Murder Room.

Edana Minghella was born into the most wonderful Anglo-Italian family where music, food and wine — and ice-cream! – were the basic stuff of life, Edana has been singing forever. In the last five years she has established herself as a successful jazz performer, regularly playing to full houses in England and Italy. Festival performances include the Isle of Wight Jazz Festival and Jazz on the Meadow, in support of Courtney Pine. 

Edana recently performed a selection of jazz songs at the Freshwater Memorial Hall.

Kate Weston was born and brought up in the West Country, Kate developed a passion for singing and performing from a very young age, so it was perhaps inevitable this would become her career. On leaving school, she gave herself ten years to ‘see how thing’s worked out’ and set off round the globe singing in bands and as a solo artist. She never looked back!

Before long, Kate was asked to join the team at GMTV presenting the Saturday morning children’s show ‘Rise & Shine’. This led to work for Sky Sports, Channel 5, ITV, Wedding TV and eventually Wave 105, where she has spent many happy years laughing her way through the Teatime and Big Drive Home shows, before moving to Rick Jackson in the Morning in January 2017.

There are four winning categories this year:


12 – 17

Under 12s

Highly Commended

Each of these winning categories will have their story recorded by one of our celebrities.  Not only will they come away with a CD recording of their winning story but they will also win a prize which could be a Red Funnel Voucher, Amazon Echo Dot, Cash Prize or vouchers to some of the Island’s attractions.

The under 12’s category will have their winning story printed in the County Press and the other categories will have their stories featured on our website.  

Vectis Radio will also interview the winning categories and come away with a podcast of their feature.

Please support our competition and, even if you haven’t entered, then come along to our Awards Ceremony on Monday 9th December at the Riverside Centre.  Doors open from 6.30pm with the ceremony starting at 7pm.  

Entertainment this year is from Medina Community Choir, Huxley Magician and Hannah Pereira.

On Saturday 9th November, our short story writing team kindly gave up their time to come into Millbrooke House to sort through the story writing entries.  We were delighted with the entries which have now been sent off to our mystery judges!  Watch this space!  

Photo: Left to right:

Chris Cane, Estelle Thomas, Sue Rutherford, Maggie Currie