As you may know, we recently hosted our first summer essay competition for budding young Northern writers to share their words and ideas with us in response to a number of prompts. We were really impressed with the entries we got from some really talented young creatives, which made it difficult to choose winners. However, some of the writing we received stood out immediately, and we are really glad to announce our winners as follows:
1st place: Misty Taylor, 18, Lancashire
As soon as we read Misty’s essay, we knew that they had won the competition. They are a really imaginative and intelligent writer who chose a compelling and memorable angle which stuck with us from the moment we read their entry.
“For many communities, the working men’s club was central for years. A place to relax, catch up, and discuss issues away from bosses and wives. The North has a higher number of blue collar workers, who will have, and may still, drink with their friends and colleagues at these clubs. With a lack of community spaces other than those centred around alcohol, it’s no wonder that drinking is an integral part of working class community life. Lager may be the most popular drink in these establishments, rather than spirits, but it definitely kept people’s morale high.”
2nd place: Anisha Minocha, 18, Manchester
We’re always stunned by Anisha’s writing, but this essay really stood out to us as a very creative and individual response to the prompt which showed real love for Northern communities and histories.
“Follow these raindrops of infinite warmth to flow down cobbled streets and you’ll see. The smiles that weave us together, closer like spun thread. In the open fields or forgotten factories. Under the soot, gleaming gold in history. In the riffs and hums that run through your bloodstream. Let me take you there, just for a while.”
3rd place: Griff Bourne, 16, Liverpool
We loved this essay because of its really personal and heartfelt response to the prompt. Griff is a hugely talented writer, especially for someone so young, and we thought his entry was unique, interesting and moving.
“Northern solidarity in foreign lands like the south or the internet or on trains I’ve never been on before taught me and teaches me how important being Northern really is to my identity. I’m proud to be a friendly, extroverted scouser. I’ll always give southerners a chance, but I know my true friends are in the North.”
Huge thanks to all who entered for your amazing words. This essay competition was a delight to judge and we can’t wait to read more of your work when submissions open for our third issue!