Young writers from Ottery St Mary can still enter new competition

John Gaffney

John Gaffney - Credit: Archant

The deadline has been extended for the John Gaffney Writing Award and more prizes are up for grabs

Aspiring young Ottery writers still have a chance to submit entries for a unique new contest – and there is now even more to gain.

The John Gaffney Writing Award was launched this year to honour the late editor of the Ottery Gazette and encourage new journalistic talent among residents aged from 11 to 17.

Now, following a deal with Sainsbury’s that enabled organisers to increase the prizes that are up for grabs, they have also decided to extend the deadline for submissions.

The topic is ‘Ottery’ and budding wordsmiths are encouraged to be creative and submit work about any aspect of the parish – past, present or future.


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Judges will seek originality, interest, initiative and imagination in the entries – which should be no more than 1,500 words in length.

Anyone between the age of 11 and under-17 on December 1, 2015, is encouraged to enter and could stand to win a first prize of £50 cash, £25 of book tokens and a £50 Sainsbury’s voucher.

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Former journalist Philip Algar launched the competition in memory of John’s contribution to the community.

He said: “This is an excellent opportunity for budding young local writers to see their work in print or, hopefully, hear it on air.”

All entries must show the writer’s name, address and date of birth and should preferably be sent electronically to su.graham@otterystmary-tc.gov.uk. Alternatively, they can be submitted on paper to Ottery Town Council, 8 Broad Street, Ottery St Mary, EX 11 1BZ.

All competitors should clearly label their submission with the word COMPETITION.

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