Ryedale Book Festival

Writing Competitions

Short Story Competition in association with the Blackthorn Press


Over 130 writers entered our 2018 Short Story Competition and the judging panel had the challenging task of agreeing upon a short list of ten stories. We are indebted to the judges for their dedication and commitment to the competition.

We are delighted that Chris Power has agreed to be the executive judge of the Competition and will announce the winners on 22nd September at the Talbot Hotel in Malton, North Yorkshire. Copies of Chris’ book and the collection of shortlisted stories will be available for sale at that event.

Congratulations to these ten writers, whose stories will appear in an anthology published by Blackthorn Press in September:

Patrick Bellshaw

Tom Bryan

Alan Bryant

Paul Cohen

Aoife Inman

Barbara Murray

Joanne Preston

Stephen Reid

Stephen Wade

Glenda Young

The Judging Panel


Alan Avery

Alan Avery

After retiring from the army, Alan Avery settled in Pickering and founded the Blackthorn Press, an independent publishing company. The aim of the company was to provide a focus for Yorkshire local history and to encourage new writing. This collaboration with the Ryedale Book Festival furthers the aim of finding new talent and encouraging new writing. Ten authors will be published, many for the first time thus providing an opportunity for some exciting new writing to be enjoyed.


Libby Pearson

Libby Pearson

Libby Pearson holds a First-Class degree in English and American literature and an MA in creative writing. She is a freelance creative project coordinator and playwright. She has written seven professionally produced and performed touring plays, including ‘The Barber’ and ‘Hiding’ for Me & Thee Theatre, Libby is the writer of ‘The Purple List’, a one-man play about diversity and dementia which is performed frequently throughout the country.  She also delivered for the Ryedale Book Festival the creative writing aspect of its Schools’ Story Project which was designed to enable children at ten primary schools to see their collaborative story as properly published book.


Ana Richards

Ana Richards

Ana Richards has been a volunteer with the book festival since the very early days, initially as a Trustee and now as a valued committee member who chairs events and helps with fundraising. Coming from an art and design background, she worked initially in textile conservation then enjoyed various employed roles in the voluntary and public sectors.  Ana is also involved in a number of local groups as a voluntary publicity officer but somehow, she always manages to find time to read!


Executive Judge

Chris Power by Claudia Burlotti

Chris Power

Chris Power lives and works in London. His “Brief History of the Short Story” has appeared in the Guardian since 2007. Mothers is his first book which has been described as the debut of “an exceptional literary voice.”