Upton Story Slam

Members of Dorset’s literati converged on the library yesterday evening for the first ever story slam initiated and organised by F4UL. In a county famed for its authors – Thomas Hardy, Enid Blyton, T.E.Lawrence and Adrian Ford to name a few – events that offer a chance for aspiring writers to showcase their work are surprisingly few and far between. F4UL, therefore, will quite rightly be revelling in the praise of esteemed critics that must surely appear in this morning’s national and international press reviews.

DSCF4527We were privileged to boast the presence of two very busy people who agreed to judge the contest. Local author, Pam Fudge, has a long pedigree of published works: her tenth novel will appear in July. Dr Jim Pope has a diverse range of publications and is currently Director of the International New Media Writing Competition. Never let it be said that F4UL goes for anything other than the best.

DSCF4528Speaking of the best, we were also lucky enough to secure the services of the inimitable John Barclay who acted as Master of Ceremonies throughout the event. John explained that the entrants would read a story they had written, taking no more than five minutes. Councillor Burns was commandeered to act as time keeper, being in possession of a rather nasty buzzing device on his mobile phone; a task which he performed with much vigour.

The audience also enjoyed Mr Barclay’s rendition of a humorous poem and a reading from his new book, Surface Male, a copy of which he generously presented to the library.

So, now dear readers, I offer you the contestants. If you were unable to attend the event, see if you can guess the winner.



Richard Green

(Upton Eyes was a little alarmed on hearing this contestant announced having once had the misfortune to be married to someone of the same name. However, this Richard could spin a yarn. Although, come to think of it, so could the one I knew.)




Mike Lawrence





Frances Colville






Richard Nicholson







Anne Peterson





Adrian Ford





Maria Pruden-Medus




Jenny Piercy










Kathy Hallsworth and

Gail Aldwin.










A further story written by Bob Hitching was read by Councillor Drane.

And the winner is……………………..




… No – Wait! here’s Jim Pope telling us how brilliantly constructed all the stories were and how enjoyable but tricky the judges’ task had been.

The stories were judged on whether they had a good beginning, how well they’d been structured and the quality of the delivery – because a story slam is about performance.


The runner-up was Maria Pruden-Medus and the winner is………………….





Frances Colville for her beautiful story Merman. Here’s Frances with Pam who not only awarded our worthy winner a handy cheque but also gave her some sound advice on where to get Merman published.






Many congratulations to all the contestants and particularly the winners, grateful thanks to the judges and MC and a big pat on the back to F4UL for a most excellent evening.

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One Response to Upton Story Slam

  1. hibernianfc says:

    Lovely presentation and write-up – as per usual, Alison. Thanks very much.

    Frances Colville and ‘Merman’ and Maria Pruden-Medus with ‘Say it with flowers’ were worthy prizewinners.

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