Image of The Master and the judges with the winners
The Master and the judges with the winners

Winners announced in College short story competition

Judges Emily Winslow Stark and Tabitha Siklos awarded the top prizes to Abide With Me by Anika Goddard and Misjudgement by Rachel Gardner.

The theme of this year's College short story competition was love, following previous years' themes of crime stories and ghost stories. Contestants were invited to submit a short story set in Cambridge in which love in any form was central. 

Novelist and memoirist Emily Winslow and researcher/author Tabitha Siklos judged the competition, having also hosted a love story event in the Master's Lodge on 13 February.

Winning entries:

Best Hopeful Love Story: Abide With Me by Anika Goddard

Emily said: "This story succinctly tells three stories, each set in a different century, all of them set in Cloister Court. I love its glimpses of three very different wistful/hopeful beginnings, and the sense of the College as a place where love stories play out over and over again."

Anika Goddard was presented with the anthology Loving, edited by Charles Sullivan. Read Abide With Me by Anika Goddard.

Best Painful Love Story: Misjudgement by Rachel Gardner

Tabitha said: "Misjudgement tackles a love that isn’t straightforward, that is full of hurt, that could be described as being devoid of hope or even happiness. I found it to be subtle, original, quietly terrifying, stark in its outlook, and unflinching in the way that it unzips the souls of its characters and reveals the depths within.'

Rachel was presented with the book Tiny Love Stories edited by Daniel Jones and Miya Lee.  Read Misjudgement by Rachel Gardner.

Other highly commended entries

The judges were delighted by the breadth and quality of the entries overall.

They said: "The stories cover a huge range of emotions, from casual flirtation to devotion to mourning, from love of a partner to love of a pet, love of friends and love of self. There are beginnings and endings and stories of transition. It was a pleasure to read them."

Hannah Charlotte Copley, Ella Curry, and Lisa Rowe were all commended for having entered all three short story competitions over the past three years. Each of them won a prize in a previous year, and this year they were presented with small journals in gratitude for their commitment.

Other entries:

  • Seven by Lisa Rowe, staff
  • The Silence Around Us by Noah Rouse (undergraduate, 2021)
  • Frail Halves of a Whole by Serena Warwick-Yamamoto (undergraduate, 2021) 
  • The End of Radiant Defiance by Hannah Charlotte Copley (postgraduate, 2019)
  • Their Careless Caresses by Ella Curry, (undergraduate, 2019)
  • Just Like Buses by Angela Abbott, staff
  • A Match in Malcolm Street by Nicholas Ray, Fellow
  • Dear Charlie by Niamh Bradshaw (undergraduate, 2020)
  • Dancing With Rakel by Anonymous

Read the judges' excerpts from these entries, or the full entries.