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Kirsten Udall

Exeter student wins writing competition

A third year English student at the University of Exeter has won a Young Writers Short Story award.

‘Black Bin Bags’ by Kirsten Udall, won the Young Writers Short Story award in The Bedford Competition International Writing Awards. The story will be published next month in the anthology of the shortlisted and prizewinning competition pieces, alongside entries submitted from across the globe, including Spain and Australia.

“When I wrote ‘Black Bin Bags’, it was playing around with emotion,” said Kirsten.

“Whenever I approach any story, or creative writing piece, it’s usually leading with the emotion of the primary character involved and in this instance I wanted to play around with the seven stages of grief. I feel like anger is one of the stages which gets ignored or neglected, so I wanted to play with big, great, glorious rage and see what comes of it.”

During her studies Kirsten has specialised her degree as much as possible around creative writing, including a creative writing dissertation.

Kirsten heard of her win during the latest national lockdown:

“As a collective, friends and family, the small victories any of us have at the moment are heightened and everyone was so pleased because it was a bit of good news,” she added.

Kirsten hopes to keep up her creative writing, alongside starting a Masters degree in publishing at UCL in September: “I definitely want to work with books, so hence the publishing masters, and I do have an idea for a children’s novel that I’ve written a few chapters of. I’m trying to say 2021 will be the year I write my novel, but we’ll see!”

You can read Kirsten’s winning story ‘Black Bin Bags’ here and visit ‘The Bedford Competition’s’ Website here to find out more.

Date: 24 March 2021

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