Article - The River Blog

“My River in the Valley” Short Story Competition

Author: Jane Skilling
Categories: Uncategorised

“My River in the Valley” – the short story winners.

Launched in April (in partnership with Read Bookshop, Holmfirth) with the theme of “My River in the Valley”, the aim of the 500 word story competition was to engage people with their local river during the first few weeks of Covid-19 lockdown when spending time outdoors was strictly limited.  With three age entry categories the competition was open to anyone living within the River Holme catchment.

The winners have now been chosen from over 50 entries!  A team effort to choose the winning stories included River Holme Connections volunteers who read every entry and Read’s Louise and James who shortlisted the entries.  World-renowned Yorkshire author Joanne Harris selected the level of prizes from the shortlist and poet and broadcaster Ian MacMillan audio recorded the three first prize winning stories.

The 24 talented winners were each awarded a cash prize at an event at the Sands recreation ground on 2nd August.  Read Bookshop also presented the 1st and 2nd prize winners with a gift voucher.  Look out for the winning stories which form a story trail at Sands over the next couple of weeks.

10 years and under category (click on the name to read the story)

1st prize – Emily

2nd prizes – Richard and Daisy

3rd prizes –  Carys, Hadley, Katrina, William and Harriet


11-18 years category (click on the name to read the story)

1st prize – Brook

2nd prizes – Thomas and Ruby

3rd prizes – Finlay, Amelia, Katy, Amber and Molly


Over 18 years category

1st prize – Peter

2nd prizes – Helen and Peter

3rd prizes – Joanne, Karen, Philip, Annabel and Lucy


Lynva Russell, River Holme Connections Trustee said “Thank you to everyone who participated in the competition.  There is some amazing imagination in the area and we really hope people will continue to appreciate their local environment.  Reading some of the stories moved me to tears.”

Joanne Harris said “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read so many excellent young writers – there’s obviously a LOT of talent coming up the ranks…”

Ian MacMillan said, “I’ve chosen to audio record as it really brings the stories to life”.

One of the winners said: Brook is very happy as he is fundraising for a trip to Peru so the prize money will go towards this.  We were thrilled to listen to the audio recording by Ian McMillan”.

Another winner said: “Amazing! I am in shock that my story has been chosen. Joanne Harris is one of my favourite authors, so praise from her is something I cannot put into words right now.”

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition.

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