Competition win for Brookes alumna Tuesday, 15 July 2014 Helen Matthews, who graduated from Brookes' MA Creative Writing in 2012, came away with two prizes at the Winchester Writers' Festival. The winners of twelve open writing competitions, many sponsored by the publishing industry, are announced at the Festival. The shortlists were posted up at 10.00 am on Saturday morning and I was astonished to find my name listed in two categories: 'Feature Article' and 'First Three Pages of a Novel' She went on to win third prize for the feature article and first prize for the opening pages of her novel Disconnected. Competition judge, Anna Boatman of Little, Brown Book Group commended the "accomplished writing and an elegant start to the story... It was a compelling novel and really stood out among a strong selection." The photograph shows Helen holding the Nancy Smith Memorial Trophy. Her winning entry will be published in the Festival's Best of 2014 Anthology. The prize also includes an editorial meeting with Little, Brown at their London office. According to Helen, completing an MA Creative Writing is only the beginning of a writer's journey. "It takes a while to assimilate all the learning from the course and I'm constantly striving to improve the quality of my writing. Continuing to meet up every month with my Brookes friends and fellow writers to share and critique our work has been a great support. I'm hugely grateful for their encouragement."