Sussex Writers Awards
PUBLISHED: 17:06 24 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:27 20 February 2013
The winner of the prestigious Sussex Writers Awards was announced at a glamorous ceremony at The Grand, Brighton, as the competition came to a nailbiting conclusion for all concerned
More than 200 guests enjoyed the glittering finale of the Sussex Writers Awards with guests of honour, the judges Peter James, Louise Rennison and Kate Mosse.
After a sumptuous three course meal which earned the Grands executive chef, Alan White, much praise, TVs Marcella Whittingdale introduced Frances Duncan, the director of The Whitehawk Inn which benefited from the Awards. Frances spoke passionately about the work of the organisation and its hopes and dreams for the future.
She then invited guests to watch a short film that demonstrated just some of the successful stories, the charity has to tell.
John Parsons, who led the judging process up to the selection of the final six, then began the announcement of the winners of the awards.
First onstage were the runners-up Rebecca Seymour, Matthew Seal and Sarah Palmer. All received novels by the judges and gift cards from Waterstones.
The three judges were then invited to announce the winner and joint runners-up of this distinguished literary prize.
Kate Mosse announced Graham Chainey from Brighton for his novel The Free Spirits and Louise Rennison announced Maggie Womersley from Steyning for her novel Eddie Bains House of Horrors.
Both won Mac Notebooks, worth around 1,000 each.
International bestseller Peter James took great delight in announcing that Kerry Evans was the winner for her novel 116 WPM.
Kerry, from St. Leonards on Sea, wrote a story about a secretary at a Canary Wharf investment bank and the unlikely protagonist of an insider trading scandal. Despite seeing no way out of her dysfunctional family in a rundown East End tower block, she dreams of escaping to travel the world and embarks on a mission to make enough money on the stock market to do just that.
As she accepted the glass trophy and the first prize of a contract with a top London literary agent, she thanked Stephanie St James of RSVPR, the creator and organiser of the competition, as well as several members of her friends and family who encouraged her to enter.
On winning the award Kerry said: It was incredibly exciting and wonderful to share the moment with my friends and partner who have been so supportive while I have been writing the book.
Organiser Stephanie St James said I would like to especially thank the talented six finalists who have been a pleasure to work with and who all have shown such sportsmanship throughout the competition and on prize night.
I also want to express my sincere thanks to each of the sponsors who have been so very generous to us.
Sussex Life readers will have a chance to buy Kerrys novel later on this year.
Pictures: Lucid Photography