Anita Reeves, 42, who has successfully completed all three of the OU’s Creative Writing modules over the last four years, won the competition with her autobiographical piece called Black, White and Shades of Grey about the transition she experienced when she moved from Zimbabwe to England as a teenager.
The competition was organised by the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, with entrants required to submit a 3,000 word piece describing an experience or memory. Entries were judged by an independent panel, and the winners selected from a shortlist of 12 by novelist Katie Fforde.
Mother of two Anita said: “I did find it hard to write, because some of the memories were quite difficult, particularly the parts when people lost their lives. But writing it gave those difficult memories a purpose. They aren’t forgotten because they live on in the written word.
“I won £3,000, which was nice - but what is wonderful is having my piece acknowledged.
“It was fantastic to meet so many established writers at the presentation. Lady Sandra Howard, who has written four novels, gave a speech and Judy Astley, who came second, has written a dozen novels, her short stories have appeared in Woman's Weekly and she has even written for the Times!”
Anita is currently working on her EMA for EA300, Children's Literature.
She added: “I have really enjoyed the course materials and have learned so much, which will help me with my own creative writing.”
“I am very excited as The Society of Women Writers and Journalists is going to publish an anthology of the winners and those shortlisted. It will be coming out on Kindle and they are thinking of calling it Black, White and Shades of Grey in honour of my piece.”