Award-winning crime author Christopher Brookmyre delivered a keynote speech as Glasgow Clyde College announced its annual Creative Writing Competition winners yesterday.
This year’s competition, organised by Access to Media and Creative Industries students, had an apocalyptic theme. Entrants were asked to pen a short story, poem or script based around the end of the world.
The winner was 23 year old Jake Douglas, for his short story Best Wishes. “To have won the competition is surreal,” he said. “The story is about insanity, people’s wishes and about building a business around granting wishes. It has elements of dark humour and the characters are likeable, so I think that’s what has attracted the judges towards it.
“I’m trying to figure out what I want to do in the future – my main interests are in the media and in music. Writing is something I’d like to get into: I haven’t written a lot so far, but I would say that winning this is a good start.”
Kirsty Fyfe, a 23 year old Journalism student, took second place for her short story Mother’s World. “It’s really nice to finish in the top 3,” she said. “I came second last year, too, so at least I’m consistent.
“Mother’s World is based around a mother’s eulogy for her daughter. I’m a Journalism student, so it’s good to know I can write fiction as well as news.”
Vernon Swain, also 23, came third for his piece Will You Wait For Me At the End of the World? “I’m shocked,” he said. “It’s the characters, not the theme, that are most important in the story. There’s a bit of myself in the main character Richard’s cynicism – he’s quite pessimistic. But optimism wins out in the end and I think that’s why it’s done so well. Of all the short stories I’ve written, it’s one of my favourites.”
Anne McMillan, Access to Media and Creative Industries Course Leader at Glasgow Clyde College, said that the standard of entries was as high as ever. “All of the judges agreed that Jake’s entry Best Wishes was the winner. It was original, and it looked more at the characters than the end of the world itself.”
Heater Barrie, one of the competition judges, said: “It was difficult choosing a winner, but we all thought Best Wishes was very different and it had a unique perspective.”
Brookmyre, an author of 17 novels, delivered a keynote speech that was by turns inspiring and hilarious. He talked about the creative process, his early struggles as an author and his upcoming video game work, before airing a choice selection of his 1-star Amazon reviews.