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Oxfam Short Story Competition

Oxfam Short Story Competition Winners

Oxfam Short Story Competition

This summer was the 5th birthday of the Oxfam Bookshop on Muswell Hill’s Broadway and to mark the occasion we ran a short story competition related to Oxfam’s campaigning tag-line of ‘Lift Lives for Good.’

With an entrance fee of £3, the 21 stories we received helped raise enough money to buy mosquito nets, provide safe water for 10 people, plant an allotment and build a well. The old adage is that the pen is mightier than the sword; here we see an example of how people’s words are truly helping Oxfam lift people’s lives out of poverty and suffering for good. The statistics are simple: for every £1 given to the Oxfam, 84p goes directly on emergency development and campaigning work.

A shortlist of 6 stories was drawn up by a team of four Oxfam shop volunteers (who together have had more years’ experience in matters word-related than I have had hot dinners). These six stories were then handed to our winning judge, local creative-writing tutor Stewart Permutt, to choose two runners up and one overall winner. Each shortlisted author receives a free copy of Oxfam’s recent crime fiction anthology OxCrimes. The two runners up will additionally receive £10 credit to be spent at the Oxfam Bookshop in Muswell Hill, and the winner will receive a £30 credit voucher.

The short listed stories featured love found among the detritus of a central London street as someone does their community service; a son at the bedside of his dying father; a woman sheltering behind shop shutters from violence on the street, a very round, curly, rosy cheeked, egg stained laughing little girl called Lily; a Highgate Hindu rolling around the M25; and a retired mother from Muswell Hill who turns into a serial killer after retiring from her job as a school librarian!

I am pleased to tell you that the short list and winners are as follows:

Short listed: ‘A Life Well Led’ by Sam Toller Short listed: ‘Retirement’ by Jeremy Kuper Short listed: ‘One Man’s Revolution’ by Yvonne Singh

Runner up: ‘Community Service’ by Alfie Williams Runner up: ‘Lily’ by Better Rosen

Winner: ‘A Moment in Time’ by Sabahat Watson

The aim is to produce a booklet of the six shortlisted stories to sell in the shop and we have now finished formatting them but are still looking for a printer who can preferably produce a one off print run of the product in exchange for just advertising and charitable thanks, or at least for a nominal amount of money. So if any of you know an altruistic printer, then do get in touch!

We will be producing a booklet of the six shortlisted stories to sell in the shop. Our thanks go to the Muswell Flyer & MPC Print Solutions for kindly sponsoring this.

Our ‘Lift Lives for Good’ short story event helped mark five years of customer and donor generosity, as well as hard work by the Oxfam Bookshop’s hundreds of dedicated and kind hearted volunteers.  With over half a million pounds of sales to date and the vast amount of items donated and purchased by our local community we want to say a big thank you for making our first five years so successful.

Sam (Manager, Oxfam Bookshop Muswell Hill)

If you want to know how to make your donation worth 25% more then ask us about Gift Aid next time you are in the shop. Or if you are interested in joining the team, please don’t hesitate to speak to me or one of the volunteers and pick up an application form.



About Barbara (10 Articles)
Together with Sam we run the regular Book Group that takes place at the Oxfam Bookshop in Muswell Hill 6.30pm on the 1st Wednesday of each month. Come along and find out more!