SOMEHOW it seems a shame the prize wasn’t a house, but then that is perhaps a bit much even for a writing competition organised by a housing association. As it is, the winning writer has won recognition for her work – and a nifty £500 cash prize.
Tracey Iceton, 33, from Stockton, was stunned to win the Bohouse Writing Competition, organised by the North East’s Erimus Housing, beating off stiff competition from 120 fellow writers. Some of them hailed from as far afield as India and Korea, but it was Iceton’s story of a child growing up, as seen through the eyes of a mother, that stole the show.
“I was just amazed,” said Iceton. “I never expected to win. I have entered competitions over the years and been shortlisted. I can’t believe I have won when there are so many entries.”
Iceton is a teacher at SRC Bede Sixth Form College in Billingham. The competition was organised by the housing association together with the Writers’ Block under the theme of ‘home tomorrow’. Her take on this subject stole the show when she read it aloud at the staged event.
The story is said to have brought a “lump to the judges’ throats”. It tells of a boy’s life, from his birth to his last journey as a Forces officer who finally returns home after being killed whilst serving his country.
“We were awed and overwhelmed by the quality of the tales submitted,” said Laura Degnan, director of Writers’ Block. “There is real talent, so many distinct voices, and we feel sure that they are authors you’ll be hearing a lot more about in years to come.”