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Writing winner: ‘I couldn’t believe I’d won’

30 August 2013

Budding writer Louise Hird was pretty pleased with the short story she sent in to a British Red Cross writing competition – but was still shocked to get a phone call telling her she’d won.

Each year, the Red Cross runs a writing competition to mark International Day of the Disappeared (30 August), an annual commemoration day for those who have gone missing due to conflict or disaster.

This year’s theme was ‘Found’ and Louise’s entry, Sophia, was the hands-down winner.

Real issues

An ecstatic Louise, from the village of Selby in Yorkshire, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got the call informing me I had won. I only started writing 18 months ago, and at my age, some may consider me a late bloomer.”

The 46-year-old added: “The theme of the competition really touched me because it’s a very real issue in the world we live in – especially with human trafficking, conflicts and immigration featuring so largely in the news.”

Read the winners

Louise’s short story, Sophia, tells a tale of an abducted young girl who finds freedom through her resourcefulness and ingenuity. The story and other winning entries from the Red Cross competition are available to read now.

Harriet Gilbraith came first in the young person’s category, with her moving poem There, Here, Run.

Read all the winning entries