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AC Black's short story competition

TES books editor Geraldine Brennan on the inside literary track

AC Black's short story competition to launch the children's edition of the Writer's Artist's Yearbook attracted 1,000 entries. The 2,000-word children's stories on the theme of families allowed for wide interpretation, but bereavement and loss was a prominent theme in the shortlist of 20 from which I had the enjoyable task of choosing the winner.

"Me and Captain Scott", about a boy and his widowed father who retreat into separate Antarcticas of grief, stayed in my head, and it is no surprise that author Hugo Kelly has already won a stack of awards, including recently a second appearance in the prestigious Fish anthology. Kelly, law librarian at the National University of Ireland in Galway, is working on a novel for 11 to 12-year-olds. He wins pound;500 and a meeting with an AC Black fiction editor. Read "Me and Captain Scott" at

Special mention for another story of bereavement , "The Sea's Breath" by Gary Renison, and for "Mab's Choice" by Alice Renaud.

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