Success in the 20x13 Story-writing Competition

Welsh Books Council

Success in the 20x13 Story-writing Competition - 23 April 2013
Success in the 20x13 Story-writing Competition

She was announced as the winner by competition adjudicator  –  the well-known mountaineer and Quick Reads author Tori James.

The writing competition, part of the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn 20x13 initiative, invited aspiring authors in Wales to enter by submitting a short piece of creative writing on a subject of their own choice.

Entrants to the competition, which was open to all residents in Wales writing in either English or Welsh, were limited to a short piece no longer than 20 lines and no more than 13 words per line. It was hoped that authors would not only be inspired to think creatively, but that they would also succeed in appealing to readers in just 260 words  –  the sum total of 20 lines x 13 words.

The competition formed part of Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn 2013  –  an initiative that, through the publication of seven new titles for Wales this year, aims to encourage reluctant readers to enjoy reading on a page-by-page basis, rather than trying to read a chapter or a whole book in one attempt. As each page of a Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn book equates roughly to 20 lines with 13 words in each, the aim is to complete one 20x13 section, or more if possible.

Tori James said:  "Following the publication of my own very first Quick Reads title, it was an honour to be invited to judge the entries of the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn 20x13 writing competition. I was overwhelmed by the quality of the entries  –  there were some real gems amongst them. I judged the stories not only on their length, but also on their originality, the use of language and the ability to hold the readers’ interest. The aim of the competition was to write a piece that would draw the reader in, and encourage people to read to the end – and the winning piece did just that."

Maria Panfili Roberts, a primary school teaching assistant, said:  "My story was written very much from personal experience, looking at the response of my family and four children to my mother’s illness.

"Writing is my hobby, and I attend a weekly Creative Writing class in Carmarthen Community Education Centre. However, winning a writing competition was beyond my wildest dreams. I’m absolutely delighted!"

Angharad Tomos, Head of the Children’s Books and Reading Promotion Department at the Welsh Books Council, added:  "The aim of the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn initiative  – which is coordinated by the Welsh Books Council and supported by the Welsh Government  –  is to help people overcome their initial barriers to reading a book. By taking a step-by-step, page-by-page, approach it is hoped people can overcome any confidence issues that may exist and see that reading can be a fun and inspiring activity, which all the family can enjoy. We took the same approach with this writing competition, and we hope that it has encouraged many people throughout Wales to create their very own stories.

"Tori James’s  Peak Performance  is one of seven new Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn titles for Wales in 2013. The book tells her incredible story as the first Welsh woman to climb Everest. Tori’s story is truly inspirational, and one which will hopefully encourage more people to follow their own dreams and to achieve the seemingly impossible."

Maria Panfili Roberts will be presented with a set of the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn 2013 titles and £100 in book vouchers.

Copies of all Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn titles are available to purchase on  and in bookstores, priced at £1.99 each.

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