Lancaster University

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English student wins short story competition

10/26/2011 00:00:00

A Lancaster student who has won a writing competition is to have her story published in a national newspaper.

Layla Hendow, who is studying English Literature, has won £2,500 in the 2011 International Short Story Competition held by the International Gateway for Gifted Youth and Litro magazine.

Her story entitled “La Maison de Dieu” will be published in The Sunday Times and on posters on The London Underground.

Layla said she would love to become a writer.

“I've been writing seriously for a couple of years, but I have always been interested in literature and creative writing. Studying creative writing at Lancaster last year was a turning point in my love of writing. The course taught me so much and I have no doubt that by the end I was a better writer for doing it. The help I received from my peers and seminar tutor, Polly Atkin, pushed me to develop my writing and I have them to thank for critiquing the story that I submitted.”

The winning story “La Maison de Dieu” was inspired by a trip to France with her family when she visited a church.

“I have always been interesting in religion and it is a common theme in both my poetry and short stories. I enjoyed writing the story very much; it was a challenge to balance the contrast between the priest and the girl, but one that I think I succeeded in finding.”

Layla has already had poems published in Aesthetica and Acumen Magazine, and has been featured in two anthologies by Forward Press.

John Schad, Professor of Modern Literature and Head of the Department of English and Creative Writing said: “We are very pleased for Layla and very proud of her achievement.”

IGGY is an international network of the brightest and most creative young people aged 11-19 and the award judges included the author Abdelkader Benali, poet Sabrina Mahfouz, George Ttoouli from the University of Warwick’s Creativity and Performance in Teaching Learning Centre and Cathy Galvin, 
Deputy Editor of 
The Sunday Times Magazine.

Read Layla’s story here: