In memory of Jo

Jo Powell (far right)with husband Mike and daughters Naomi (left) and Rebekah. Son Miles is not on the photograph.
Jo Powell (far right)with husband Mike and daughters Naomi (left) and Rebekah. Son Miles is not on the photograph.
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STUDENTS are running out of time to enter the first ever writing competition set up in memory of a former Leigh Girls’ Grammar School student.

Entrants need to submit a complete 3,000 word crime story to be in with a chance of winning the £1,000 prize in the Jo Powell Memorial Writing Competition. It can be written in any style and from any point of view, including that of a criminal, detective or a victim.

A former journalist on our sister paper the Wigan Observer, Jo, nee Gawley, was a creative writing tutor at Edge Hill and is described as a ‘well-loved’ and ‘highly regarded lecturer’.

The mum-of-three, who used to live on Manchester Road in the town, tragically died suddenly at the age of 53, in May last year.

The competition is organised by Edge Hill University which commemorates and celebrates the life of crime writer Jo, whose first novel, The Drop Room, was written as part of her doctoral study at Edge Hill.

Prize co-ordinator Dr Ailsa Cox, Reader in Creative Writing and English at Edge Hill University, said: “Jo was such an inspiration to us all.

“Thanks to the generosity of her friends and family the encouragement she gave to students is still felt beyond her death.”

The judging panel, who will decide on the winning story, are Cath Staincliffe, author of the acclaimed ‘Sal Kilkenny Mysteries’ and scriptwriter for ITV’s hit police series Blue Murder. Joining her will be Gill Davies, former Head of English and Associate Dean at Edge Hill University until her retirement. She was also Jo Powell’s PhD supervisor.

To be eligible, students must be on a full degree course at a UK university, leading to a named award in writing/creative writing comprising at least 25% writing. It’s a £5 entry fee and the deadline for submissions is March 2. Hard copies, with a covering letter should be sent to: Creative Crime Competition, Corporate Communications, Edge Hill University, St Helens Road, Ormskirk L39 4QP.