Summer Solstice Writing Competition Winner: Alice Penfold

 Alice Penfold. Winner of the Wild Words Summer Solstice Writing Competition 2016

Alice Penfold. Winner of the Wild Words Summer Solstice Writing Competition 2016

I am delighted to have won the summer Wild Words writing competition!

I have always loved creative writing, particularly thinking about how to write different perspectives and how the same characters or settings can be seen in such different ways, depending on the subjectivity of the viewer. In addition, the power that words have to be interpreted in multiple ways has always been at the heart of my writing.

It was whilst reflecting on the impact of homonyms in writing that I was inspired to write ‘Leaves’, a piece drawing on its meaning as both a noun and a verb. I wanted to write an abstract piece reflecting the challenges that change and leaving things behind can bring.

To create my story, I combined my love of word play with my passion for writing in the natural environment.

For me, nature and in particular, a keen and active observation of the world around us – its colours, its details, its changes – can provide the basis of such a range of writing.

Robert Frost’s poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’, has always been a favourite of mine, and I wanted to draw out its ambiguity as both a poem of hope and uncertainty in my writing today.

I took the poem and some blank paper to my local park, to observe the falling leaves in detail and consider the metaphorical implications that I could draw on and describe.

I am feeling even more re-inspired to create further stories – and to frequent more parks with nothing but an inspirational poem and blank sheet.