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Laurie Lee writing shortlist revealed


By Caroline Sanderson

Stroud Book Festival is today delighted to announce the two shortlists for the second annual Laurie Lee Prize for writing.

The winner in each category will announced on Sunday, November 12th at a celebratory Laurie Lee event marking the finale of Stroud Book Festival 2023.

Entries to the prize saw a considerable increase from last year – up from 71 to 122 entries. Of the standard of this year’s submissions, Katie Fforde, chair of judges, said: “We were delighted by the number of high quality entries in this second year of the Laurie Lee Prize. This made judging particularly difficult but also a huge pleasure.”

16-20 YEARS category
Prize money of £500 (to winner), £300 (2nd prize), £200 (3rd prize)
Sophia Bursey, age 19 (Minchinhampton), Florence Hardy, age 20 (Miserden), Rosie Smith, age 17 (Cirencester), Natalie Sturgess-Cadman, age 16 (Hucclecote), Annie Tallis, age 20 (Cheltenham), Autumn Watkins, age 17 (Stonehouse).

OVER 21 YEARS category
Prize money of £1,000 to the winner
Rosamund Brown (Gloucester), Rebecca Klassen (Gloucester), Deborah Cox (Stroud), Charlotte Levene (Stroud), Viktoria Dahill (Gloucester), Chantal Lyons (Cheltenham), Amelia Hodsdon (Cheltenham), Cath Humphris (Gloucester) Ellen Potts (Stroud), Sally Jenkinson, (Cinderford) Belinda Rimmer (Bishop’s Cleeve). Isabella Kaminski (Cheltenham) Simon Taylor (Leonard Stanley)

Open to unpublished Gloucestershire writers across a range of genres, the Laurie Lee Prize for Writing was created in 2022 acknowledge and honour the work of Stroud’s most famous son, Laurie Lee (1914-1997).

Submitted writing – whether fiction, non-fiction or poetry – must be on a nature or conservation theme. The prize is open to writers currently resident in Gloucestershire, and to those who were born in the county.

The 2023 judges are Katie Fforde (chair), Jessy Lee (Laurie Lee’s daughter), Norah Perkins (Laurie Lee’s literary agent), and Gloucestershire writers, Jamila Gavin, Adam Horovitz, and Jane Bailey.

Link to the Stroud Book Festival Laurie Lee event here:

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