Poignant tale wins story festival

Bucks Herald entertainment reporter Heather Jan Brunt with Mrs Jean Howlett, winner of the short story competition in the Queens Park Arts Centre Writing Festival
Bucks Herald entertainment reporter Heather Jan Brunt with Mrs Jean Howlett, winner of the short story competition in the Queens Park Arts Centre Writing Festival

The winner of the short story competition in the very first Writing Festival held at Queens Park Arts Centre was a moving tale about an elderly lady living alone.

The story, called Waiting, was written by Jean Howlett and was about a lady who lives alone since the death of her husband, who is waiting for her adult son and his fmaily to visit.

Mrs Howlett, who lives in Carlyle Avenue, Aylesbury, said this was the first story she has ever written down.

But she has always been a storyteller and made up many stories for her two sons when they were small and still continues to do so for her four grandchildren now.

Speaking of the inspiration behind her chosen subject for the story she said: “I was thinking, we all wait. For example we might wait for the garage to ring to tell us how much the repair to the car will be.

“But waiting for people who are later on in years can be much more poignant, there are so many who live by themselves and so time can hang so heavily.

“I would like to dedicate the story to the older members within our community.”

The announcement of the winner of the short short competition was the culmination of the festival.

Other events in the programme included a keynote address from Chip Colquhoun from Snail Tales Storytelling and a writing workshop led by author and creative writing tutor Claire Steele.

A writers forum was also held during the afternoon, chaired by Bucks Herald leisure and entertainment reporterHeather Jan Brunt. The writers on the panel included Ms Steele together with poet Margaret Morgan-Owen who instigated the idea of the festival, and Queens Park Centre marketing coordinator Dario Knight who is also a scriptwriter.

The panel discussed many aspects of writing which were relevant to them all in their separate disciplines of scriptwriting, poetry and prose. This included explaining their writing process, inspiration, research and their own favourite authors.

The day closed with some of the authors who submitted manuscripts to the competition reading their stories aloud to the audience.

The six judges in the competition were the chair and writers on the forum as well as Mr Colquhoun and storyteller David Ault.