Student is given top award for her novel

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A STUDENT has been named among the best writers in the country at a national awards ceremony.

Novelist Zoe Gilbert was crowned winner of the Costa Short Story Award for her tale Fishskin, Hareskin, about a seaman’s wife who escapes her new life by returning to the past and its lost comforts.

The University of Chichester student, who is undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing, will also receive a £3,500 cheque for the short story after beating more than 1,500 competitors.

Zoe said: ‘It is not every day that something like this comes along, and it has come at a time when I hope to step up to the next level in my career, so I will make the most of it.

‘Many of the stories I write are inspired by British folklore and fantasy, and I found that hares are particularly bad luck for fisherman, so Fishskin, Hareskin is an unravelling of this.’

The award is aimed at previously unpublished authors to promote new contemporary British writing.