Eve Gamblin announces a winning story

The Sense of Mischief short story competition was part of Durham's Literature Festival from 2003 to 2005. The competition, in memory of local writer John Gamblin, was promoted by Clayport Library and Durham City Arts, and has encouraged people of all ages to write short stories for a young audience. At the 2005 Awards ceremony, Carol Attewell, hosting the event on behalf of the Library, announced that this was the last year in which the competition would be held in its present form. It is hoped that the competition will resume after a year's break.

The 2005 competition received 56 entries, covering an amazing range of topics. These were judged by the teenaged Creative Writing group, represented at the ceremony by Kate and Stephanie. A short list of eight entries, two in each age group, had been announced, and Carol Attewell, Eve Gamblin (right) and the judges' representatives (below) shared the task of opening the envelopes and announcing the winners.

Winners and runners up are listed below: you can read the winning stories by clicking the titles.


Over 40

The paddling pool, by David Williams
Nellie, by Eddie McLay

18 - 40

Sensing mischief, by Alex Inskip
Sandcastles, by Judith Morgan

11 - 18

A Sense of Mischief, by Meghan McCarthy
OCD, by Nur Hadiyah Tajuddin

6 - 11

The Star Stealer, by Kate Pickering
The mischievous gobblin, by Jack Patten

Kate and Stephanie, representing the judges

When the short list was announced, Carol Attewell, speaking on behalf of the judging panel (represented at the ceremony by Kate and Stephanie, right), said "We had 56 entries, and the variety of treatment was amazing. There was horror, humour and serious moral messages. There was teenage pregnancy, bullying and space stations. The overall standard was better than last year, so even a longlist would have been difficult to compile. Special mention must go to three primary schools who submitted multiple entries - Murton Jubilee, St Chad's and Wolsingham.

"It is very encouraging to know that the North-east has so many talented writers, and that they're brave enough to submit their work for scrutiny."

You can read about the 2003 competition here.
and the 2004 competition here.