Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Costa Joy

Room To Write and Read is delighted to announce that North East writer, our associate Avril Joy, has been named as the winner of the Costa Short Story Award for her short story Millie and Bird. 

Avril Joy - winner of the Costa Short Story Award

Costa Short Story Award - Over 1800 entries were received in this new competition, open to both published and non-published writers, for a single, previously-unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over and written in English. 

The identities of the winner of the Short Story Award and the two runners-up, together with the overall Costa Book of the Year winner, were announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony in London on Tuesday, 29th January.

 Extract from Millie and Bird by Avril Joy

"It was the kind of summer when the grass grew too long to cut and your toes stubbed at the damp end of your trainers, the summer I was sixteen. It rained all through May and June. It rained on my birthday. It never let up and the weeds in the yard grew taller than the gate post. Jonty Angel, our next-door neighbour, gave Millie the bird that summer, a white zebra finch, and she spent all her time coaxing it onto her shoulder, whispering to it and feeding it titbits. He gave her a cage too and she put it in her bedroom out of harm’s way. It was the summer of Bird, it was the summer I fell in love..."

Hilary Mantel won the overall Costa Book of the Year Award - see Wendy's commentary at the Reviews and Commentaries tab


  1. Avril has been involved in teaching and tutoring and developing original and creative writing in South Durham through the last ten years. She is a great comrade and a great writer. Congratulations on this great success.

  2. Millie and Bird is god story. Congrats for wining Costa short story award.
    Greetings from India.
    Sunkara Bhskara Rao (brsun)