University of Chichester scores writing prize double

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A TUTOR and a student at the University of Chichester have been short-listed for one of the nation’s most prestigious short story competitions for British-based writers.

Professor Alison MacLeod, from the English and creative writing department, and Katherine Orr, who is studying for a PhD in creative writing, are two of five candidates who have made the final cut for the BBC National Short Story Award 2011.

Alison’s story The Heart of Denis Noble, depicting the imagined recreation of the moment a biologist understood the workings of the human heart, and Katherine’s The Human Circadian Pacemaker about accelerated ageing in astronauts, will vie for first place.

Katherine, who writes as K J Orr, said: ‘It is such an honour to be short-listed.

‘I loved writing the story. It was a case of following my interest in a snippet I heard on the radio a couple of years ago. It was on accelerated aging in astronauts, which fascinated me, and led me down one of the most enjoyable paths in terms of research and reading.’

Alison added: ‘It’s a funny, lovely coincidence that Katherine and I should land together on the short list of five. I’m thrilled for her.’

The winning story will be announced at an awards ceremony on September 26, broadcast live on Radio 4’s Front Row.