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February 26th 2021

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Avril Bruten Creative Writing Award 2021

The College is delighted to announce that Kitty Blain (2nd year undergraduate studying Philosophy and Modern Languages) has won this year’s Avril Bruten Creative Writing Award for her story ‘Looking at it all, underwater’.

Sarah Moss, the acclaimed writer, former St Hugh’s student, and this year’s judge, also commended Nana Sarfo-Bonsu (3rd year undergraduate, Classics and English) for her story ‘kCal B at Oxford’ and Molly Stock-Duerdoth (M.St. in Greek and Latin Language and Literature) for her poem ‘Three Recent Portraits’.

Sarah described ‘Looking at it all, underwater’ as “beautifully written in a narrative voice that feels utterly natural and convincing but is finely judged and perfectly measured. The account of dislocation and alienation is both cool and moving. I hope to read more of this writer’s work.”

She also praised ‘kCal B at Oxford’ for blending “wordplay with sadness in a way that is hard to control as this gifted writer does”, and ‘Three Recent Portraits’ for catching “some of the absurdity and fear of the last few months in well-made poetic form.”

Congratulations to all three, and many thanks to everyone who entered this year’s competition. Remember: there is always next year! Thanks too to Sarah for all her labours, and we hope to welcome her back to St Hugh’s as soon as the pandemic allows.

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