Skip to main content
Close menu
Connect logo
Alumni short story competition

Alumni short story competition

Last year, we invited our alumni community to display your creative talents and take part in our first short story writing competition. Many of you responded and it was wonderful to read so many imaginative and entertaining tales – all with a link to a University of Nottingham campus.

Time for a drum roll please, because our winner is...


Many congratulations to Debby Lush (Animal Physiology, 1982), who takes first place! Debby fought off tough competition from 52 other entries to take the prize with her short story, The Librarian.

We also offer our congratulations to Samuel Woodford (Architecture and Environmental Design, 2011), whose story Supervision was Highly Commended by our judges.


Creative writing winner Debbie Lush graphic

                       Read Debby's story: The Librarian

                                                                        
Creative writing runner up Samuel Woodford graphic


                            Read Samuel's story: Supervision

The top six stories which all made our final judging panel shortlist were:


How were the stories judged?

All entries were carefully read by a shortlisting panel of eight creative writing and English students and graduates, who assigned scores for: creativity and premise / characterisation and dialogue / plot and structure / presentation and grammar / style and tone. All stories were anonymised before judging. 

The judging panel

 A shortlist of six stories were presented to the final panel, which included: 

Jon McGregor – our creative Writer-in-Residence, whose latest novel Reservoir 13 has been named Costa Novel of the Year 2017 and featured on the longlist for the Man Booker Prize 2017. 

John Miller – celebrated BBC television and radio producer, who has published books on many famous actors including Dame Judi Dench, Sir John Gielgud and Sir John Mills. 

Lauren James - British Young Adult author of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and popular The Next Together series. 


We thank our judges for giving their time to participate and for bringing their professional expertise to this competition.  

We also say a huge thank you to everyone who took part and submitted an entry. It really was a joy to read so many wonderful stories and to celebrate our talented and creative alumni community. 

Read our top 20 alumni creative writing competition entries: