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Maidenhead wildlife campaigner wins short story competition with her first ever work

A wildlife campaigner who is active in Maidenhead has won a national short story award for the first work she has ever written.

Jan Stannard, who works regularly with the WildMaidenhead ecology group, has won the LoveReading Very Short Story People’s Choice Award for her 600-word tale, The Undiscovered Tribe.

The story describes a tribe that encounters modern civilization for the first time, but features a surprising twist.

Jan said that the story was fuelled by the same anxiety about the environment that inspires her work with WildMaidenhead.

She said: “I wrote the story without explicitly talking too much about the environment, but there was a lot of unconscious motivation behind it.

“The wildlife work is very explicit but with the story, they both stem from the same anxiety.”

The Undiscovered Tribe follows an unnamed group as they tell the rest of their tribe about the tall grey things like ‘towers of rock’ they saw cutting down the forest.

The story won the People’s Choice award, which was voted for Love Reading’s members.

Jan was inspired to write the story while she was on a creative writing course in the Lumb Valley in Yorkshire 2017. The vast forest that covered the valley reminded her of the Amazon rainforest and inspired her to write within a woodland setting.

She said that she has spent at least 20 hours writing and revising the 600-word story.

The success of her first story has galvanised Jan who already has two more stories on the go.

Visit: to read the story.


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