When I set up the writing competition I was thinking very much about my own story; how I have spent more time outdoors in the last year than in the previous 10 and how nature as been both a catalyst and a coping mechanism when re-designing my life.
Over the weekend I re-read many of the submissions, many of which go well beyond anything I imagined. It may sound a little trite but I have been humbled by the whole thing. The response has surprised me and the content has, at times, overwhelmed me.
Revelations and aspirations.
There are some extremely personal stories of physical and mental suffering. 500 words does not allow for too much frill around the edges and perhaps this also means that stories have been stripped back to their core. The good, the bad and the ugly. Reading them I often felt like the writer was opening up to me, personally, sharing something that might otherwise have not been shared.
Some were light-hearted, many were not. Revelations and aspirations. What nearly all had in common was hope, and there can be no greater tribute to the power of nature and the outdoors than to equate it with hope.
Thank you to everyone who entered. It was really hard to get it down to a shortlist. Originally it was going to be a shortlist of five, but then it became seven and the judges will now make their final decisions, so here is the shortlist of writers:
Magsie Hamilton Little
The winner will be announced this time next week!