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55 words story writing competition for adults

In autumn 2022 we held a creative writing competition for adults.

We invited people to send us their stories of no more than 55 words inspired by our county. The theme could be interpreted broadly and any style - from thriller to horror, crime to romance - was accepted.

We were delighted with the response and received over 100 entries. Our librarian judges had an enjoyable time reading all the stories and they are delighted to announce the winner as ‘Leap of Faith’ by Andy Forsyth.

The judging panel also chose the following stories as highly commended: ‘Longshaw’ by Ann Lloyd, and ‘Night Shift’ by Lynn Ludditt

All eligible entries are now published in an ebook which is available to loan on our Borrowbox platform.

Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to our winner!

Winner: Leap of Faith by Andy Forsyth

Trembling on High Tor cliff she spied Matlock Bath folk scurrying ant-like far below. Recalling memories of her short life she realised none of them cared about her fate. It was time. Pointless to delay. She plummeted from the sheer edge. On broad wings the young buzzard soared over the Derwent into the Matlock sky.

Highly commended: Longshaw by Ann Lloyd

A bus ride to Fox House for young Edward, escape from the dust and grime of the steel works. He brought Nellie to breathe clean air, climb the rocks, sit on the Duke of Rutland's seat. Here he etched her name, now here they remain, their dust alive under the sky and the sun.

Highly commended: Night Shift by Lynn Ludditt

Markham Colliery. 10th May 1938. 5.30am.

Aching limbs trudge towards the Banksman readying the cage, promising daylight, air … freedom!


Suddenly … a tremendous draft, a terrific bang.

Smoke fills the pit, a wall of fire sweeping through seams, exploding gas.

Tubs ram electric boxes, sparks igniting thick black coal dust.

Seventy-nine brave miners killed.