Lance Clarke is the winner of Amnesty Ely’s short story competition

Amnesty International Ely short story competition winner Lance Clarke, with part of his prize (Aliso

Amnesty International Ely short story competition winner Lance Clarke, with part of his prize (Alison Bruce’s latest novel Cambridge Black). - Credit: Archant

Local writer Alison Bruce has chosen the winner and two runners-up in the fourth Amnesty International Ely City Group short story competition on the theme of “courage”.

The competition is run in memory of one of its founder members, Gareth Davies-Jones, who taught for years at Witchford Village College, and all proceeds from the entry fees go towards Amnesty’s human rights campaigns.

First prize, a hardback signed first edition of Alison’s latest novel ‘Cambridge Black’, plus £50, went to Lance Clarke.

His dramatic, topical story tells of an escape attempt from ISIS-occupied Mosul by two young Syrian men and a Yazidi girl who hope for safety with advancing Kurdish fighters.

In second place was the 2016 first prize winner Lynda Turbet with her poignant, but hopeful, story ‘And Some Will Choose To Stay’.

It draws inspiration from the true stories of the courageous staff who saved thousands of precious artefacts from the Iraq National Museum of Antiquities in Baghdad in the 1991 Gulf War, and on ISIS adherents’ callous murder in 2015 of the revered antiquities scholar Khaled al-Asaad in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

The sensitive story, ‘Parallels’, by Vanessa Horn was highly commended. It tells of the gradual reconciliation between father and daughter against the backdrop of the nation’s grief at the death of Princess Diana and the courage of the young Prince William and Prince Harry at her funeral.

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Lynda Turbet and Vanessa Horn received a copy of the Amnesty Ely Group’s ‘A Taste of Freedom’ recipe book. All three winning short stories can be read on

For more information on the Amesty Ely group email the group secretary, Sally, on:

For more information on Alison Bruce – the author of a crime series featuring Cambridge’s detective constable Gary Goodhew - and on her fiction and non-fiction books visit