Winner of the Green Shoots Writing Competition 2021

On Sunday, I received some unexpected but wonderful news. It was announced that I had won the Green Shoots Writing Competition, run by the Essex Book Festival. And I’ve spent the past couple of days trying to put into words how happy this has made me.

The public announcement of the Green Shoots Writing Competition winner posted to Instagram by @essexbookfest.

For context:

The competition was open to writers between the ages of 18 and 28, who were asked to submit an eco-themed short story of no more than 2,000 words. All pieces had to be prose and were to be submitted with no identifying information within the document. Each story was then assessed on its own merits, their authors completely anonymous.

I’d love to say more about the piece itself, but I’m not too sure how many details I should reveal just yet. Maybe that’s a blog post for another day.

What I would like to say, though, is how much of a confidence boost this news has been. To know a group of renowned professionals within the industry read and enjoyed my work, with zero knowledge of who I was, truly fills me with so much joy.

If you read my last blog post, you’ll know my creative output from last year fell dramatically short of my own standards. One of my top priorities this year is to turn that around and build a sustainable writing habit.

With this news, I feel invigorated and more determined than ever.

So I’d like to thank the friends who pushed me to keep writing and submit for this competition. And I’d like to thank the judges for naming me the winner. Not just for the prize, but for the added confidence in my own writing.