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English student wins short story competition

Date: 26 October 2011

Layla Hendow, a second year English Literature student, has won £2,500 in the 2011 International Short Story competition held by the International Gateway for Gifted Youth and Litro magazine. Her story, entitled 'La Maison de Dieu' will be published in The Sunday Times and on posters on the London Underground.

Layla said she would love to become a writer.

'I've been writing seriously for a couple of years, but have always been interested in literature and creative writing. Studying creative writing at Lancaster last year was a turning point in my love of writing. The course taught me so much and I have no doubt that by the end I was a better writer for doing it. The help I received from my peers and my seminar tutor, Polly Atkin, pushed me to develop my writing and I have them to thank for critiquing the story I submitted'.

The winning story was inspired by a trip to France with her family, when she visited a church.

'I have always been interested in religion and it is a common theme in both my poetry and short stories. I enjoyed writing the story very much; it was a challenge to balance the contrast between the priest and the girl, but one that I think I succeeded in finding'.

Layla has already been published in Aesthetica and Acumen Magazine, and has been featured in two anthologies by Forward Press.

Prof John Schad, Head of Department said: 'We are very pleased for Layla and very proud of her achievement'.

IGGY is an international network of the brightest and most creative young people aged 11-19 and the award judges included the author Abdelkader Benali, poet Sabrina Mahfouz, George Ttoouli from the University of Warwick's Creativity and Performance in Teaching Learning Centre and Cathy Galvin, Deputy Editor of the Sunday Times Magazine.

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Further information

Associated departments and research centres: English and Creative Writing


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