u3a - Creative Writing 2020

Creative Writing Competition Winners ANNOUNCED!

During the height of the UK’s lockdown, we embarked on a nationwide search to find the best short story penned by a U3A member.

The task was to write an original story, no more than 1500 words, around the theme of TIME.  

Members responded in their hundreds, sending stories from every corner of the UK. Panels of regional judges received all the stories anonymously and selected winners within each area.

The search is over - We are proud to present 13 winning finalists in total; 10 regional winners from across England, including 2 joint winners from the East Midlands, plus winners from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

We are delighted to announce the overall winner as Rosemary Burton, from Oxford U3A in the South East region with her story “The Clock”. Second place goes to Penny Holland from Horncastle U3A in the East Midlands with her story “There’s a time for everything”. Third place was awarded to Gillian Griffith from Much Wenlock & District U3A in the West Midlands with “Time to Leave”.

Their stories, alongside all other regional winning entries, are available to read below, accompanied with a brief note from each writer detailing the inspiration for their story and their writing background.

We are delighted to announce that each regional winner will receive a prize of the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2021. This guide, published by Bloomsbury is the industry recognised guide to getting published.
The latest edition of the bestselling guide is packed full of advice, inspiration and practical information. The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook has been guiding writers and illustrators on the best way to present their work, how to navigate the world of publishing and ways to improve their chances of success, for over 110 years. The overall winner of the competition will also receive £50 worth (based on rrp) to spend on books from the Bloomsbury website. Rosemary’s winning story, with a bespoke illustration to accompany it, will also appear in the November edition of Third Age Matters magazine, which reaches over a quarter of a million households. Rosemary will also receive a framed copy of her story as it appears in the magazine.

We are also very pleased to offer U3A members a site-wide discount on Bloomsbury books (https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk) of 30%. U3A members should use code U3A30 at the checkout to obtain this discount.

South East

Rosemary Burton

Oxford U3A

South East & Top Three Winner

The Clock

Read Story

West Midlands

Gillian Griffith

Much Wenlock & District U3A

West Midlands & Top Three Winner

Time to Leave

Read Story

East Midlands 1

Penny Holland

Horncastle U3A

Joint East Midlands & Top Three Winner

There's a Time for Everything

Read Story

East of England

Lindsay Whitehouse

Chelmsford U3A

East of England Winner

Doing Time

Read Story

North East

Deborah Barwick

Saltburn District U3A

North East Winner

Quercus Aeternitas

Read Story

Yorkshire & The Humber

David Smith

Stokesley & District U3A

Yorkshire & The Humber Winner

Once Upon a Time

Read Story

North West

Sue Temperley

Littleborough U3A

North West Winner

Reflections of a Mirror

Read Story


Erica Benson 

Cupar U3A

Scotland Winner

Time and Tide

Read Story

Northern Ireland

Jim Hamilton

Belfast U3A

Northern Ireland Winner

The Road to Kilbracken

Read Story

East Midlands 2

Mike Woolley

Carton Gedling & District

Joint East Midlands Winner

Timeless Skies

Read Story


Sunjai Gupta

Norwood; Dulwich & District U3A

London Winner

The Time Capsule

Read Story

South West

Lynne Carroll

Crediton U3A

South West Winner

Working Against Time

Read Story


Janet Boreham

Crickhowell U3A

Wales Winner

Greenwich Mean Time

Read Story