Lancaster student wins short story competition


Lancaster Student Layla Hendrow celebrated success with her short story ‘La Maision de Dieu’ after winning £2,500 in The International Short Story Competition 2011.

The creative writing competition, held by the International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY) and Litro magazine, will publish Layla’s story in The Sunday Times and on posters on the London Underground.

The French title, ‘La Maision de Dieu’ translated as ‘The House of God’, originated from Layla’s interest in a Church in a small French village. She told SCAN, “I have always been interested in religion as a topic of literature, and the many different ways it has been critiqued and pulled apart.”

Hearing about the competition online, Layla decided to enter because “it is one of the best ways to get [her] work noticed.” Fully aware of the challenging field that writing is to break into, Layla is always looking for competitions to enter.

The English and Creative Writing department at Lancaster are delighted with Layla’s accomplishment. John Schad, Head of the Department said that “Layla’s success is a wonderful first step. She has proved herself as a short story writer and I’m sure she will benefit from the exposure involved in this success.”

Layla aspires to be a writer and has high hopes for her future career. “I enjoy poetry and short story writing at the moment, but I hope to write a novel also” she explained.

The department are keen to continue encouraging students to enter competitions as it is “a good way of kick-starting a career as a writer” said Schad, going on to say that “determination and perseverance are key to making it as a writer, and having a role model like Layla can only inspire others to do the same [….] it’s part of our remit to encourage talent wherever it occurs, whether among students or staff.”


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