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