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You are in: Somerset > RaW > BBC short story competition

Helen Dunmore

Author Helen Dunmore

BBC short story competition

This competition gave bbc.co.uk/somerset contributors the chance to have their work voiced by best-selling authors, broadcast on BBC radio and published in a book! Read the complete story - called A Glastonbury Tale - here.

Part of the BBC's RaW campaign, which is all about inspiring people to read and write, the competition ran from September 2006 to March 2007.

James Purefoy

James Purefoy

It was a little unusual in that the idea behind it was for each chapter to be written by someone different.

We started the first part of the story off, courtesy of Lois Harbinson from the Wells Festival of Literature, and asked you to submit your entries for the second chapter.

A winner was chosen from those entries and published on this page, at which point the competition reopened for the next chapter. And so and so on until the story reached its denouement.

Part of the prize for writing one of the winning chapters was the publication of the story.

Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin

Although the books are not available for purchase, they are obtainable from the BBC Somerset Bus which attends various events throughout the county. Follow the link on the right of this page for more details.

The other part of the prize was that each chapter was read out by a different celebrity.

Bristol-based novelist Helen Dunmore - one of the UK's most acclaimed writers, who appeared at the Bath Literature Festival 2007 - took part.

Helen won the Orange Prize for Fiction for A Spell of Winter, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award for The Seige. Her novel House of Orphans was chosen for the 2007 Bath Big Read.

Matt Stevens (photo: Chas Williamson)

Matt Stevens

Somerset's James Purefoy - the suave and debonair actor who has appeared in films such as Vanity Fair and A Knight's Tale, and most recently in the big-budget BBC/HBO drama called Rome - also read out one of the chapters.

Renowned author Ian Rankin (who appeared at the Wells Festival of Literature in October 2006) and Bath and England rugby star (and Celebrity X-Factor contestant) Matt Stevens took part too.

The complete story will be broadcast in a special series on BBC Somerset in the week commencing 4 June 2007.

John Labanoski

John Labanoski

A Glastonbury Tale

By clicking on the links below, you can download the chapters in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format to print out, and listen to the audio version.

To read the complete story online, download it and listen to it in full, click on the links on the right.

Students from the Wessex Academy of Performing Arts at Weston College voiced the character parts in the audio version:

  • Anita Afirim as Guinevere
  • Simon Batchelor as Josh
  • Adam Baylis as Nick
  • Sally Beer as Lena
  • Tom Wotton as Lord Gwyn
Students from Wessex Academy of Performing Arts

Anita, Simon, Adam, Sally and Tom

Local professional actor John Labanoski, from Castle Cary, played the part of Dag.

Chapter 1 - written and read by Lois Harbinson:

Chapter 2 - written by Alison Walton and read by Ian Rankin:

Chapter 3 - written by Tom Hales and read by James Purefoy:

Chapter 4 - written by David Hutchison and read by Matt Stevens:

Chapter 5 - written by David Marston and read by Helen Dunmore:

Visit the Wells Festival of Literature's website to find out about other local writing opportunities - the link's on the right of this page.

last updated: 18/12/2007 at 15:23
created: 22/03/2007

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