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Author's short story wins a £5,000 international prize
A WORCESTER writer has scooped first prize for her short story in an international writing competition which attracted 6,000 entries.
Helen Barton received £5,000 after her story Being David won The Bridport Prize, one of the most prestigious open literary awards in the UK, during an awards ceremony this month.
The competition attracts thousands of entries, not just from the UK, but also from more than 80 countries around the world.
Being David caught the eye of renowned author and competition judge Patrick Gale who said that in the story, she does “something ostensibly very simple yet actually extremely difficult to pull off”.
The story follows a day in the life of David, a young man who is on the autistic spectrum and also has OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).
Mrs Barton, a mum of three, said: “It is a huge vote of confidence to win such a prestigious prize. The awards ceremony was a wonderful experience and I was thrilled by Patrick Gale’s comments.
“The story was actually written in Vietnam last year on a family holiday. The roots of it, however, lie in south-east London where I grew up and worked for several years, running a project for young people with learning difficulties.” Mrs Barton studied English and European Literature at Warwick University and, after teaching English in Japan, returned to study for an MA in English Renaissance Poetry at York University.
She has had a variety of jobs ranging from teaching adult literacy and numeracy, working in a publisher’s office and running a project in south London for young people with learning difficulties but currently works in the careers department of a local school and has also published a series of literary quiz books.
Her publications include Writing In Chalk, which won Orange/Harper’s Bazaar short story competition in 2009 and was broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines in July 2011.
For more information on the 2013 competition, and to enter online, visit bridportprize.org.uk or send a stamped addressed envelope to The Bridport Prize, PO Box 6910, Bridport, DT6 9BQ.