Short Story Award Is a Lasting Tribute to Reader; the Northern Writers' Awards Welcome a New Addition This Year, Created in Memory of a North East Woman with a Passion for Literature. SAM WONFOR Reports

The Journal (Newcastle, England), December 18, 2014 | Go to article overview

Short Story Award Is a Lasting Tribute to Reader; the Northern Writers' Awards Welcome a New Addition This Year, Created in Memory of a North East Woman with a Passion for Literature. SAM WONFOR Reports


Byline: SAM WONFOR

ENTRIES for the Northern Writers' Awards are now being welcomed - and North East writers will be pleased to hear there is a new award in the mix which is exclusively for them.

The Clare Swift Short Story Award is worth PS1,000 and will be awarded to the best unpublished short story written by an author based in the region.

The award has been created in memory of Clare Swift (nee Bartley), of Whitley Bay, who was just 47 when she died in 2013 following a short illness.

An avid reader and fan of the short story, it was the members of Clare's Whitley Bay book group who had the idea for the award, and the organisers of the Northern Writers' Awards were pleased to add it to the annual roster.

Launched with the objective of celebrating and promoting writing talent in the region, the award is supported by the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) in association with Northumbria University in Newcastle.

Journalist Peter Wilby, former editor of The Independent on Sunday and The New Statesman, for whom Clare Swift worked as a PA, will judge the award alongside members of Clare's book group.

Peter Wilby said: "Clare was passionate about writing and about literature, and this competition is a worthy memorial to her sadly short life."

Clare held a degree from Sheffield University and a postgraduate diploma from Northumbria University and spent many years working for newspapers in London, before returning to the North East in 2002 after the birth of her second child.

Latterly, she worked at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. Sue Reay, Clare's friend and a fellow book group member, said: "Clare was one of the founding members of our book group about 10 years ago.

"She was passionate, opinionated and challenging and loved literature, books and reading. She was a kind, generous, creative individual who always went the extra mile for people. We miss her dearly and her life was cut short so tragically and quickly that we still struggle to take it all in sometimes. The short story competition was an idea that we felt would be a fitting tribute to Clare and keep her memory alive. We are so grateful that it has been achieved in such a way as to be part of the Northern Writers' Awards. …

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