The Helen Richards Creative Writing Award was launched in 2019/20 to acknowledge literary talent at Murray Edwards College.
College alumna, Helen Richards (1998, English) passed away in 2017 and this award was created in her memory by her friends and family.
The judges were: Professor Raphael Lyne (Professorial Fellow in English), Kate Morrison (author of A Book of Secrets) and Hazel Tsoi-Wiles (writer). Kate and Hazel are alumnae of the College and studied English alongside Helen.
College students were invited to submit a previously unpublished 4000-word story earlier this year and we are delighted to announce that The Light Below Malmedy by Emily McTyre is the winning entry.
The Light Below Malmedy is a story about remembrance, and about the stories passed down through the minds and voices of loved ones. A narrator recounts her grandmother’s journey in Belgium during the Second World War, detailing both the horrors and the hope intertwined in her memories.
Emily is currently studying for an MPhil in Education (Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature):
I am honoured to receive the Helen Richards Creative Writing Award. I feel it is a very special way to carry on Helen’s legacy, continuing to share stories and give a platform to young creators. I feel very lucky to share my writing within the Cambridge community.
The panel commented:
The Light Below Malmedy is rich in detail and feeling. I liked how the whole thing is told through the pictures the grandmother draws…the visual framing is very skilful writing; to be visual and sensual and full of feeling at the same time is impressive.