The winner has been announced for St Elizabeth Hospice’s Henry Buckmaster Short Story Writing Competition which has raised important funds for the charity.
Announced on National Writing Day 2020 (24th June), Edward Lane was selected by judges as the winner from a very high caliber of 141 stories entered into the competition by the Suffolk based hospice with his winning short story, ‘Messrs Charon & Sons’.
Organised by St Elizabeth Hospice alongside Lily Buckmaster, the competition was held in memory of her father Henry Buckmaster who received support from St Elizabeth Hospice before he passed away in August 2019.
As a result of the competition £10,000 has been raised for the hospice from donations received from entrants.
Lily Buckmaster, who works in International Sales for Penguin Random House in London, said: “St Elizabeth Hospice gave my father such tender and dignified care in his final days. They made it possible for him to be peacefully at home surrounded by those he loved when he died and we as a family wanted to find a way to thank the hospice for their help.
“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of everyone who has supported the competition, and by the standard of entries we have received. I have read every single entry and had such a fun time doing so.
“Some were funny, some sad, some thought-provoking and some hopeful, but the common theme in all of them was how much effort had gone into the writing. It made for a very competitive judging process!”
Keen to give back to the hospice which supported Henry, the Buckmaster family, who live near Ipswich, decided a writing competition would be suitable way of raising funds whilst also observing government COVID-19 guidelines.
The competition encouraged budding authors to write a short story based on the themes of family, community or compassion with entrants encouraged to make a donation for each entry.
Fighting off stiff competition, the judging panel – featuring Dan Franklin, Elizabeth Young, Harriet Bailey and Lily Buckmaster – chose Edward’s story, which concentrates on the theme of ‘family’ with an unexpected twist at the end, as the winning entry.
As reward for his success, he will now receive a mentoring session with Charlotte Humphrey, an editor at Penguin Random House, as well as being posted publically on the St Elizabeth Hospice website, along with the other shortlisted stories.
“I am so delighted and surprised to have won,” explained Edward, who lives in London but has spent many summers in Suffolk and Aldeburgh.
“I cannot wait to take part in my mentoring session and am so pleased to be a part of a competition which has raised a brilliant sum of money for a more than worthwhile cause.”
St Elizabeth Hospice is an independent Suffolk charity providing free services to improve life for people living with a progressive or terminal illness. Centered on an individual’s needs, the hospice provides specialist support, whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice.
Celia Joseph, Area Fundraising Development Manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, added: “Congratulations to Edward Lane and to all the entrants in the competition and thank you to everyone who entered or made a donation. A special thanks goes to Lily and her family for the truly amazing amount of £10,000 has been raised to support the work of St Elizabeth Hospice.”
To support St Elizabeth Hospice please call 01473 727776 or visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk.