Eleven on shortlist for £1000 Posara writing prize

The Watermill at Posara, sponsors of the £1000 Posara Prize for writing, has announced the shortlist of eleven finalists, originally intended to be ten. More than 160 people entered the competition, which is now set to become an annual event.

Lois Breckon co-owner of The Watermill said, “The quality of the entries was very high and the competition was so close we ended up choosing eleven for the shortlist. I love the fact that our finalists range from age 16 to age 66 – it just goes to show that age is no indicator of merit when it comes to writing. And it's terrific that entries came from all over the world - Uruguay to India as well as from Europe."

The competition was open to anyone submitting an original piece of writing - fact or fiction - of no more than 2000 words that embraced the theme 'A Foreigner in Italy'.

The finalists all come from the United Kingdom, with the exception of one who comes from Fivizzano in Tuscany, the village where the watermill is located. The overwhelming majority of finalists chose to write a fictional piece, see below:

The Watermill at Posara:  the Posara Prize finalists
Helen Bowell (16), Reading, with Learning Horology (fiction)
Karen Dawson (53), Edinburgh, with The Plum Season (fiction)
Paul Fowler (60), Fivizzano (Tuscany), with Primavera (autobiographical/nature diary)
Linda Keech (46), Brigg (Lincolnshire), with The Procession (travel journalism)
  Anny Kilbourne (prefers not to divulge her age), Exeter, with The Aphrodisiad (fiction)
  Vittoria Laurence, Surrey, with The Man and his Castle (fiction)
  Annemarie Neary (prefers not to divulge her age), London, with Cat and Casanova (fiction)
Juliet Platt (41), Swindon, with Serenissima (romantic fiction)
Kay Seeley (66), London, with Some Enchanted Evening (romantica fiction)
  Catriona Stewart (59), Powys, with Venetian Epiphany (fantasy fiction)
Alexandra Wilson (63), Bath, with The Lesson (fiction)

Finalists' judging panel all best-selling authors

Between now and 5th April, when the winner will be announced, three best-selling authors will judge the finalists' entries: Anita Burgh, Jessica Hart and Sharon Kendrick, all of whom have led creative writing courses at The Watermill at Posara.

Anita Burgh
Best-selling author Anita Burgh came late to writing, starting at the age of 46 and first being published when she was 50. But she’s caught up fast: she’s written more than 20 novels, some historical, some modern, some with a touch of comedy – and a recent trilogy has turned into a series.

Jessica Hart
Jessica is an award-winning author of more than 55 romances.  In addition, Jessica is currently working on a mainstream 'time slip' novel commissioned by Pan Macmillan, which is part historical novel, part ghost story, part romance and part psychological thriller - so she is writing across the genres!

Sharon Kendrick
Sharon has written more than 70 books for Harlequin, Mills & Boon. She regularly tops the Waldenbooks list in North America as well as selling well all over Europe, Asia and South America. She gives many talks and workshops and loves interacting with other people in particular nurturing the passion and talent of new writers.

About the Watermill at Posara
The Watermill at Posara has been a vibrant creative centre for both writing courses and painting workshops for the past two decades. The historic watermill stands beside the River Rosaro in the small village of Posara, near the medieval town of Fivizzano in the unspoilt Tuscan region of Lunigiana. Secluded and peaceful, set in a gentle valley with high mountains in the background, the watermill is an inspirational spot for painters and writers alike. Painting holidays and creative writing courses at the watermill are run by a team of international tutors, each selected for their passionate involvement with their art and for their inspirational and sympathetic teaching. There are more details about the watermill, its location and amenities and about the painting holidays and creative writing courses on www.watermill.net.