Winners Revealed in Competition to Create Best Imp-inspired Short Stories

Lincoln Imp

Winners of Lincoln Book Festival’s latest flash fiction competition have been revealed – claiming prizes for their ultra-short stories inspired by an infamous Lincoln legend.

The annual creative writing contest challenges authors of all ages to produce their own stories of exactly 50 words – no more, no less – on a given topic.

This year’s theme was the Lincoln Imp and entrants were invited to submit their own creative but concise takes on the legend of the grotesque gargoyle in the stonework of Lincoln Cathedral. Prizes were £30 in book vouchers for winners in three age categories (primary school age; secondary school age; and adult age category), as selected by a panel of judges.

The winners were Jenni Tree (adult) from Grantham; Imama Rajput (secondary) from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Horncastle; and Iris B (primary) from Witham St Hughs Academy. Both schools completed a clean sweep in their respective age categories, supplying second and third place runners-up too through Alexis L and Ella M-C (primary) and Georgina Hadley and Jessica Frick (secondary). Runners-up in the adult age category were Kelly Punton from Newark, Nottinghamshire; and JS Rogers from Malvern, Worcestershire.

Lincoln Book Festival 2020 had been due to take place in May but was postponed in accordance with Government advice due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Organisers are currently looking at whether the festival could be rescheduled in some format for later this year.

Phil Hamlyn Williams, Chair of Lincoln Book Festival Trust, said: “Our flash fiction competition is a highlight of the book festival each year and although we haven’t been able to stage our festival as planned this summer, reading the excellent entries to the competition has as ever been a joy for the competition judges. We received many excellent stories from writers of all ages and it was a tough task to choose winners. We are particularly grateful to those schools who picked up their pens and submitted some wonderful stories this year on our theme of the Lincoln Imp.”


Lincoln Book Festival 2020 Flash Fiction Competition Winning Entries:

Adult Age Category


An earthquake, toppling Lincoln’s illustrious Imp from its cathedral corbel, releases the city from centuries of misfortune. Amy Beachey’s sons march home; clean water averts typhoid; the Magna Carta unfurls in the Wren Library. City beats Arsenal five nil at Sincil Bank. And the Cross o Cliff speed camera fails!

Secondary Age Category

Lincoln cathedral at night – by Imama Rajput

The misty moonlight filtered through the highly decorated stained-glass windows. The clock struck 12. A flock of ravens began to caw. Evil cackling broke the silence. The creature had clawed fingers and its waistcoat of feathers glinted like gold. Its devilish horns stood out. The imp was coming to life.

Primary Age Category

The Lincoln Imp – by Iris B

The noise came again. Jamie looked around the cathedral. He was alone. “Who’s there?” he called. Suddenly, a quiet rhyme was being sung. “Today, I am free, la-la-dee, I’ve been stuck in stone, I am freezing to the bone.” The stone above Jamie cracked. He ducked. The imp is free…