Reg Turnill created a well meaning short story contest with a juicy £1,000 prize to encourage young writers to celebrate the works of H.G. Wells. The problem was, when he insisted all entries be hand written and exclude science fiction, no one bothered to enter.
According to the Kent news, Turnhill said:
"I wanted people to write the stories by hand as a condition of entry to address the low standard of literacy and handwriting these days.
"It's an important art in itself and many of our most famous authors find that's the best way to do creative writing.
"I also wanted the stories to reflect life in 2010 so they would interest readers in 2110, in the way that Wells' stories do.
To his further credit, Turnhill realizes his rules might have been overly strict this time around:
"Last year there were plenty of entries because the competition was open to writers of all ages and stories could include science fiction, depicting ghastly invasions of our everyday lives by all sorts of nameless horrors."
"But I'm afraid for the younger category my conditions have proved too difficult and I'll have to water them down."
Turnhill is a former BBC aerospace correspondent and actually interviewed Wells once, and Wells' family is part of the contest. Sounds like a worthy endeavor to us, and we hope they get it back on track.
(via The Book Bench)