THE work of Cheshire writers on humankind and the human spirit features in a newly-published collection of prize-winning literature after being chosen from hundreds of entries.

Winners, runners-up and shortlisted authors in the Cheshire Prize for Literature competition, run by the University of Chester with Storyhouse, gathered to celebrate and launch a new anthology of their stories, poems and scriptwriting.

Highlighting people’s resilience, kindness and ingenuity, the book, Humankind: Writing from the Cheshire Prize for Literature 2022, has been published by the University of Chester Press.

Teachers, school pupils, university students, journalists, an actor, film-maker, counsellor, playwright and solicitor are among the contributors.

They were joined at the launch event at the University’s Queen’s Park Business School site by special guest, Ruth Estevez, writer and University of Chester alumna, who has provided the foreword for the book.

Judges and editors, Dr Simon E Poole, Associate Professor of Cultural Education and Dr Harry Parkin, Senior Lecturer in the Department of English were also present.

Simon said: “From the profound depths of human emotion to the light-hearted giggles of childhood innocence, each creation within this anthology offers a unique glimpse into the kaleidoscope of human experience.”

Ruth added: “To win a competition that hundreds of other writers have entered requires talent, creativity, determination and yes, hard work, to make that initial idea worthy of being in these pages. It takes self-belief and courage to show your work to others because it is revealing a part of who you are. Congratulations to everyone who has shown these attributes by entering this year’s competition.”

The winners in each category, selected from almost 500 entries, are: IIsa Kelly - Poetry Primary; Jack Waring - Short Story Primary; Erin Molyneux - Poetry Secondary; Joseph Cannon - Short Story Secondary; Carol Howard - Adult Children’s Literature; Jack Haworth - Adult Poetry; Eve Naden - Adult Short Story, and Jeremy Fletcher - Scriptwriting.   

The contributors also include: Lauren Archer; Lucy Birchall; Esme Alice Blue; Martha Iris Blue; John Buckley; Valerie Bundy; Alicia Deighton; Robin Donovan; Catherine Faulds; Mark Stephen Fitzsimon; Aaron Haviland; Elisha Heyes; Jan Hurst-Nicholson; Dannielle Jones; Renee Jordan MBE; Kathryn Ratzko; Roberto Rodriguez; Ella Scott; Dylan Thomas; Jane Thomas and Angela Topping.

The Cheshire Prize for Literature was founded in 2003 by the then High Sheriff, John Richards OBE DL, and Dr Bill Hughes from the University of Chester. It is open to people with a connection to the historic Cheshire boundary (including Wirral, Warrington and Halton).

It is one of the few free-to-enter literary competitions and offers a cash prize for the winners (vouchers for under 18s) as well as the rare opportunity for the best entries from the previous year to be published professionally.