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Huddersfield Literature Festival Creative Writing Competition Runner-Up 2008

A.J Kirby was named as the runner-up in the prestigious Huddersfield Literature Festival Creative Writing Competition at the Small Presses, Big Voices event at St. Paul's Hall, University of Huddersfield on Saturday 8th March 2008. His short story, 'The One Wish Foundation' was selected from hundreds of entries and has now been published on the festival website:

Upon learning of his success, Andy said: 'It is a great honour to have my work recognised in such a way. Ever since I received a phone call from festival co-ordinator Michael Stewart (a Creative Writing tutor at the University of Huddersfieldand some-time Emmerdale writer) I have been on tenterhooks. Being chosen as the runner-up is an absolutely wonderful feeling. I'm off now to get drunk.'

Although our roving reporter tried to catch up with Andy, it seemed that all of his efforts were in vain; Andy was last seen dashing into the Head of Steam public house at Huddersfield Station.


The Beast Market

Due to Andy's inexplicable disappearance from reality, we were forced to visit the festival's website in order to give you some background information regarding the exact nature of the competition.

'This year's writing competition was a competition with a difference,' parped the website. It instructed applicants to 'be inspired by Beast Market! Photographer Amanda Crowther, has taken a series of photos of the people who have inspired Chol Theatre's play, Beast Market.' (Beast Market is a brand new piece of verbatim theatre which premiered at Huddersfield Literature Festival 2008.)

Amongst the winning entries were four poems and two short-stories, of which Andy's entry was chosen as Runner-Up. The below photograph shows Andy receiving the prize from Michael Stewart at the magnificent St. Paul's Hall.


About Huddersfield Literature Festival

Huddersfield Literature Festival supports and showcases established and emerging writers, side by side. The festival is passionate about the reading experience, offering new events for adults, children and, readers’ groups. We provide a platform to promote new work and the opportunity to attend creative workshops. The festival is organised in association with the English department of the University of Huddersfield.

A packed crowd watches as Andy tries not to dance about as though he's won the FA Cup

The event was organised in order to recognise all that's good about new writing. Small Presses, Big Voices celebrates what's hot off the press: the new voices, and new work from some of the country's best small presses: featuring Khadijah Ibrahiim (Peepal Tree Press); Gaia Holmes (Comma); Rob Chapman (Flambard) and Janet Fisher (Salt) who launched her new collection, Brittle Bones, at this special event. Without events like this; without independent publishing companies like these, we risk becoming mired in a swamp of mediocrity where 'writers' like Ashley Cole can be published...

For all you trekkies; a quote from Patrick Stewart, actor and Chancellor of the University:

"Words are the backbone of my life, as an actor. Therefore it is my absolute pleasure to be asked to be a patron for Huddersfield Literature Festival. It's fitting that what has been described as 'the poetry capital of the North', finally has its own literature festival. This emerging and dynamic new festival is dedicated to celebrating the power of words, wherever we may find them. May you enjoy all that the festival has to offer."


Below: The photograph which inspired 'The One Wish Foundation'. To read the story, please visit the festival website: