A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student is the first person to win an award created in memory of a late writer from Preston.Advertisement
Sophie Amber Wells was handed the inaugural Janet Mary Budd New Writing Award, which was established by UCLan’s scriptwriting team to honour former mature student Janet.
Sophie – who by chance is studying the same MA Scriptwriting course that Janet completed in 2014 – was chosen as the winner for her poem, Voodoo Doll No More.
Sophie said: “This award means a lot to me, especially as I’m a new writer, so it’s a great confidence boost. I’m a mature student myself and took a leap of faith to return to university to pursue my passion; winning this award confirms that I made the right decision. It’s a real honour to win an award in the name of another dedicated writer from the same course.”
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Janet was a part-time scriptwriting student from 2012 to 2014 along with the person behind the creation of the award, Ian Hornby. Ian was friends with Janet at university and went on to write plays, film scripts and a book with Janet before her death in 2016.
He said: “Janet would be so pleased about this award as it sums her up completely. She was passionate about developing new writers and having come to university as a mature student, she embraced the course completely and loved every minute of it.
“Sophie is a deserving winner and I was very moved by her poem. I hope this annual award inspires other writers to put pen to paper.”
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Sophie received a commemorative plaque and £250 prize money. Second prize went to Sarah Rigby for her short story The Sands, and Peter Wilson came third with his story Water Wars are the Future.
MA Scriptwriting course leader, Bill McCoid, added: “The award is appropriate and fitting in honour of a lady who will forever be part of the UCLan family. Janet was a very enthusiastic student who followed her dream of becoming a writer, and I hope her legacy is continued through this fantastic award.”