SHORT STORY WINNER
Final Score by Alan R Davey
Avery big thank you to all our readers and subscribers who entered this year’s Short Story Competition, sponsored by Jarrold. What a fabulously talented group of people you are! And what a tough job you gave our judges in selecting this year’s 12 star stories.
Judging has now taken place and we are delighted to reveal the winner, second and third places and our nine runners-up, all of whose stories you will be able to enjoy during the next 12 issues of Let’s Talk.
This year’s winner is Alan R Davey, of Lowestoft, with The Final Score, his moving story of a First World War veteran. The tale is set in Alan’s adopted home town and he explained: “Lowestoft is a wonderful town, quintessentially English, and I wanted to celebrate its history in my story as well as to mark next year being the centenary of the end of the war.”
Chris Rushby, Jarrold’s head book buyer, presented Alan with his prize - a £250 voucher to spend at the Norwich store. Chris said: “We are delighted to sponsor a competition which encourages creative writing. Over the years we have had numerous talented people writing on a variety of subjects and in various styles, but always entertaining, thought- provoking and part of that glorious tradition of East Anglia being a hotbed of writing excellence.”
Taking second place in this year’s closely contested competition is Phyllis A Norrie of Holt in Norfolk, whose story The Lion of Times Square is a real tear-jerker. Third place went to An Idea Lives On by Ed Broom of Ipswich, a wellwritten tale about a surprise visitor. Phyllis and Ed both win a year’s subscription to Let’s Talk.
Congratulations to all our winners and runners-up. If your story wasn’t picked this year, please don’t lose heart - start thinking of a plot and characters for your entry to the 2018 competition!
Alan R Davey grew up in North London. His father was a selfemployed painter and decorator who suffered lung damage as a fireman during the Blitz. “Father was a brilliant tradesman but an awful businessman and would take all sorts of payments for his work,” explained Alan. “One time, in lieu of money he was given 5,000 books, so in our ramshackle, bombbattered old house we had two attic rooms stuffed full of books - and from the age of six I started to read my way through them.”
His imagination was sparked by the stories he read and it wasn’t long before young Alan was writing his own tales and selling them for a penny to children in his neighbourhood! One Christmas morning, Alan woke to discover his father had borrowed money to buy him a typewriter “because he had faith in my ability to write” - that faith was to keep him going years later during his attempts at getting books published.
Alan had three much older brothers. During the Second World War his brother Fred, always called Denny, volunteered into the 6th Airborne and was killed while on a reconnaissance mission behind enemy lines in August 1944.
“He was almost 20 years old and he died about six months before I was born,” said Alan. “I have always felt that the only way to ‘repay’ the sacrifice Denny made is to live my own life to the full, to use what skills and abilities I have to enhance the lives of as many people as possible, and to help others make the most of their talents and opportunities.”
Alan, now 72 and married to Shirley for 50 years, has had a varied and successful career, which has included running his own businesses, training as a counsellor, and living in different parts of the country before moving to Lowestoft three years ago. The couple knew the area from the 1970s when he was assistant manager of the Abbey National bank in Norwich.
Writing has always been part of Alan’s life and now in retirement he is seeing success for his work - not only in our short story competition.
Alan R Davey (third from left) accepts his winner’s voucher from Chris Rushby, Jarrold’s head book buyer, as he is congratulated by Carole Slaughter, marketing manager of Jarrold (left) and Let’s Talk editor Angi Kennedy (right).