The characters in ‘Just For a While’ are credible, each with a distinctive voice, and the narrator, Tina, is particularly finely drawn, with her mix of child-like logic and sometimes grown-up preoccupations. This is an understated piece of writing that speaks about finding and stability, and about understanding people whose backgrounds are troubled.

Gillian Pink. Momaya judge.

‘Lily’ is a truly insightful story, but it’s not just its obvious emotional pull that appealed. It also had a sense of authenticity that few stories ever seem to capture. It had a truth that no newspaper story of The Troubles could match. It had a truth about the feelings, the confusion and the pain still lingering. And it understood what people are really like and made that come alive on the page.

Iain Pattison. Writers’ Bureau Competition Adjudicator.

‘My Father’s Hands’ is a beautifully structured, poignant story. The main character, a young boy is very well drawn, and his voice comes across so well that you feel as if you’ve taken up residence in this child’s mind. An almost perfect piece of work.

Speakeasy Short Story Competition.