skip to Main Content
Hysteria 2013 Writing Competition – Meet The Judges

Hysteria 2013 Writing Competition – Meet the Judges

Hysteria 2013 is upon us and we are busy sorting out the early entries so they can be read by our judges. We have five judges altogether and they have all been interviewed and you can read more about them below. The way judging works is that each story is sent out to every judge. They read it and review it according to a strict criteria. An online form is then completed which means we have a fair and simple way of evaluating the best stories.

ruby cowling

Ruby Cowling

Tell me one thing no-one knows about you.

At heart I am irredeemably lazy.

What do you enjoy reading the most and why?

I love to read about outrageous characters and unlikely happenings, because of the courage and skill it takes to pull them off.

If there was one book or piece of writing you wish you had written what would it be?

So many! Today I choose Black Box by Jennifer Egan – it does so much with so little, and it’s gripping, profound and utterly modern.

What prompted you to volunteer to be a judge in Hysteria 2013?

The promise of reading loads of great stories; helping to reward the hard work and bravery of writers; getting involved with a great organisation.

Have you written a book or a poem? If so what is the title and where can we find it (if it’s available to buy)?

I have written a book called Flowers which you can find in my desk drawer… Published short stories can be found through rubyorruth.wordpress.com.

If there was a film of your life who would play you and why?

Olivia Colman, I would hope, because she’s so talented I’d just love to be associated with her in some way.

sophie duffySophie Duffy

Tell me one thing no-one knows about you.

I have a signed photo of Slade

What do you enjoy reading the most and why?

Novels with a strong voice, where the characters move the story, with humour to lighten the tragedy. Stories about families and the triumph of love in its broadest sense. e.g. Kate Atkinson, Laurie Graham, Fay Weldon

If there was one book or piece of writing you wish you had written what would it be?

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

What prompted you to volunteer to be a judge in Hysteria 2013?

As a writer and also as a reader and judge of several competitions and a patron of Words for the Wounded, I think it’s not only a great way to raise money and awareness, but also a great chance to read people’s work that might not otherwise be read. Plus I had a hysterectomy two years ago and found the association very helpful and reassuring.

Have you written a book or a poem? If so what is the title and where can we find it (if it’s available to buy)?

I’ve written two novels. I got the publishing contract two weeks after my hysterectomy in 2011, when I won the Luke Bitmead Writers Award. The Generation Game was published in August 2011 and This Holey Life a year later in 2012, both by Legend Press.

If there was a film of your life who would play you and why?

Miranda Hart. I’m not as tall or clumsy but I do bumble along a bit, usually with the best intentions.

rebecca forsteRebecca Forste

Tell me one thing no-one knows about you.

This is a hard question to answer because I’m terrible at keeping secrets. But I don’t think anyone knows that when I was a teenager I pushed some copies of some poems I’d written into a hole in my bedroom wall, imagining that someday, long after I was gone, someone might find them.

What do you enjoy reading the most and why?

I love reading so many different types of things — poetry, novels, plays, essays, comic strips, Wikipedia entries — but I especially enjoy reading something that makes me laugh, engages my curiosity or inspires me to redefine my idea of beauty. That being said, the writing of my students is often very enjoyable.

If there was one book or piece of writing you wish you had written what would it be?

There are so many possible answers to this question. I could say that I wish I had written the complete works of Shakespeare, but I suppose that having long been dead would have to be a part of that arrangement, so perhaps that is not the best option. Or I could say that I wish I had written a book containing the magic secrets that would solve all the Universe’s problems. However, the only kind of writing I really want to have done is the writing that could have only been written by me.

What prompted you to volunteer to be a judge in Hysteria 2013?

I entered the 2012 Hysteria contest and I was favourably impressed with the way it was operated. I am glad to have the chance to be involved.

Have you written a book or a poem? If so what is the title and where can we find it (if it’s available to buy)?

My poem “Portrait of a Near Forgotten Dream” is forthcoming in the 2013 edition of the Owen Wister Review. Copies (once it comes out) can be purchased here: http://owenwisterreview.wordpress.com/subscribe

Some of my other writing can be seen here: http://literaethereality.wordpress.com

 If there was a film of your life who would play you and why?

I would probably be played by an unknown actress. I think there would need to be several actresses to portray the different ages. Also, the actress would need to have a good sense of comedy.

penelope lawrencePenelope Laurence

Tell me one thing no-one knows about you.

I sometimes dream of being Special Agent Penelope Laurence who, when she gets a call answers the phone with a serious scowl and a no-nonsense “Laurence!”

What do you enjoy reading the most and why?

Simple stories that display the complexities of real emotions.

If there was one book or piece of writing you wish you had written what would it be?

Alan Ball’s TV series Six Feet Under – such breakthrough television with palpable emotion in every scene.

What prompted you to volunteer to be a judge in Hysteria 2013?

I was a finalist in the competition last year, so I felt it good karma to give back.

Have you written a book or a poem? If so what is the title and where can we find it (if it’s available to buy)?

I wrote the short story “One Perfect Day” that was published in “Hysteria1” which you can find here or at Amazon. Another of my short stories, “Scalene” can be found in the anthology “Just Like a Girl” also available at Amazon.

If there was a film of your life who would play you and why?

Deborah Ann Woll – we have the same hair colour and ability to turn from innocent to fiery in seconds.

annewilsonAnne Wilson

Tell me one thing no-one knows about you.

I have always fancied being a naturist but have never had a like-minded partner and couldn’t cope with English weather.

What do you enjoy reading the most and why?

I enjoy reading in different genres but preferably books or printed pages I can hold in my hand. I like short stories because their sheer variety is always a surprise.

If there was one book or piece of writing you wish you had written what would it be?

I wish I had been in a position to write the autobiographical The Hacienda, by Lisa St Aubin de Teran, because it made me want to be her.

What prompted you to volunteer to be a judge in Hysteria 2013?

I achieved a BA Hons in creative writing and linguistics in my late fifties and never miss an opportunity to encourage and help would-be writers. Entering competitions like this one is a great way to develop and test yourself. Just achieving a listing is a huge confidence booster.

Have you written a book or a poem? If so what is the title and where can we find it (if it’s available to buy)?

My first novel, Here Be Dragons, will be available later this year from http://sbpra.com/AnneWilson and at www.authoranne.co.uk  where my first short story collection ‘Phenomemal Fiction’ can also be found.

If there was a film of your life who would play you and why?

My fourteen years younger sister so she could know me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top