Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

MA Creative Writing student wins International Prose Prize

Friday, 05 June 2020

Sarah Stretton

The SaveAsWriters competition theme was All Things Moon – and commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landings. The challenge was to produce a short story up to 2500 words with a connection to the moon.

MA Creative Writing student Sarah Stretton entered her short story called ‘The Old Moon’ and won 1st prize.

Sarah describes the plot ‘The story I wrote is a folk tale set in the fictional town of Tippering. The town is held in thrall by a supernatural wolf who traps a full moon above the town with her song. The moon grows fatter, instead of waning and making way for a new moon. The story follows the Mayor as she tries to mitigate the disaster and stop the moon swallowing Tippering whole!’ 

The award presentation was held in Canterbury and judges' comments included ‘The story’s subtle poetic language used unobtrusively, subjugated to the narrative structure, which is so tight that the fairy-tale elements seem realistic, in the manner of magic realism.' The judges went on to say ‘The happy ending is heartening, strange and haunting. The writing is clear, evocative, and poetic - nothing facile about it. This deserves to be a modern fairy-tale classic.'

Sarah continued ‘I’m now focussing on completing my second year of my MA, which now means settling on a topic for my Major Project. In addition to this prize, I have my poetry published in Oxford Poetry. I plan to keep writing poetry and short-stories and I’m currently experimenting with flash-fiction; for which one of my pieces was recently long-listed by Retreat West. I’m hoping to write a children’s book inspired by Welsh folklore.’

Find out more about the MA Creative Writing course at Oxford Brookes