Clayesmore Prep and Senior pupil finalists in a prestigious short story competition

Great stories happen to those who can tell them…”  –  Ira Glass 

Prep Head of English and Drama, Mrs Suzanne Chinnock, writes:

Two young writers who certainly have stories to tell are Abigail J (Y10) and Jennifer A (Y7), both of whom have been shortlisted for the under-18 category of the Blandford Rotary Short Story Competition.

Abigail’s story ‘Music’ is set in a dystopian society where silence is indeed golden: Here, no sound above 40 decibels is permitted, the birds have been hushed and the younger generations have not even learned to speak. The playing of music is a crime and musical instruments are a thing of the past. In Abigail’s words: ‘But now they sit. Strings, screaming for a gentle caress of strumming fingers. Mouth pieces waiting to feel a kiss. Pianos, longing for a touch, a beat, or legato notes. They all sit, gathering dust like discarded ornaments or statues.’ The story tells of the consequences when its central character succumbs to the temptation to play music…

Jennifer’s story takes the Manchester bombing as its stimulus. A young girl and her parents are caught up in a terrorist attack at a restaurant: ‘I don’t remember much after the explosion. Just flashing lights and running feet. Shouting. I remember the hospital. People with blood and dirt on their faces and doctors running from person to person.’ The central character is then pictured at a memorial service facing the enormity of the trauma which has befallen her. Jennifer’s story asks an all-important question: can hope exist in such a place?    

The presentation and prize giving will be held in the Galilee Hall of the Blandford Parish Rooms in the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Blandford on 6 October. Abigail and Jennifer will read their stories to an audience, along with the other shortlisted entrants in the under-18 and adult categories. The winners will be announced at the event – watch this space!

To read the stories in full, click on the links below.