Glossop writer Helen Larder has been named one of the winners of a competition run by Derbyshire County Council Libraries.
All residents aged 16 were invited to submit pieces of up to 500 words of fiction, memoir, or poetry with the theme of isolation.
Helen came second overall from the 130 entries, with her short story called ‘How to Make Friends’.
Keen to foster a love of reading and writing, Helen has donated the £150 worth of book vouchers she won to a local primary school to support their library.
“When I was five, I started writing stories which sometimes made my teachers laugh. I’ve never stopped writing and I’ve been lucky enough to have two novels picked up for publication, one for adults and another for young people. I’m finishing another for young people at the moment.”
Helen is always writing and between her larger projects enjoys creating short stories.
And her advice to others who want to write: “I would encourage them very strongly to try to make time for themselves to write.”
The libraries ran the competition earlier this year after receiving funding from Arts Council England to take part in BBC Novels That Shaped Our World – a programme celebrating the novel and reading.
The competition was judged by authors Emma Pass and Anna Stuart. Emma said: "I was incredibly impressed at the standard of all these entries. Although they shared a common theme of "Isolation", each had a unique take, and choosing these pieces was no easy task.”
The winning entries of the competition along with a number of highly commended entries are available to read on the council’s website.
All eligible entries will also be published in a compendium ebook on Derbyshire Libraries' BorrowBox platform available by the end of May.