Tamsin James won the Edge Hill University MA Prize for her short story Hope. © Peter Stevens

Working mum Tamsin James has attracted interest from a publisher within hours of winning the MA Prize at this year’s Edge Hill Short Story Prize award ceremony.

The aspiring author’s dream of becoming a fully-fledged writer has been buoyed by winning the £500 prize, which is presented to a student studying Edge Hill University’s Masters in Creative Writing.

Tamsin, from Chorley, completed her Masters this year and is currently working part-time as a cleaner, giving her the freedom to pursue her passion for writing in her spare time.

The 29-year-old mum of four said she was overjoyed to have won the accolade for her short story entitled Hope.

“I really am just so happy to have won the MA Prize; I was so shocked when my name was announced but I did work really hard so it’s an amazing feeling. And to have already been approached by a publisher is just incredible.

Hope explores loss and motherhood through the eyes of a mum of a still-born baby. Baby loss is still a bit of a taboo subject so I wanted to address that. I get a lot of my inspiration for writing from real-life experiences; both my own and others’. Everyone has a hundred interesting stories to tell if you just listen hard enough.”

Tamsin’s win was announced at a special ceremony at Waterstones in Piccadilly, London on Friday (25 October) where the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and Reader’s Choice awards were presented to David Szalay for his collection of short stories entitled Turbulence (2018).

Her short story was chosen by a panel of judges which included acclaimed author and 2018 prize winner Tessa Hadley, co-founder of Galley Beggar Press Sam Jordison, and author and playwright Elizabeth Baines.  

Billy Cowan, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Edge Hill University, commended Tamsin on her success and wished her the best of luck in becoming an author.

“We are thrilled that Tamsin, who studied her BA in Creative Writing with us as well as her Masters, is now getting recognition for her talent and hard work.

“Tamsin exemplifies what we are trying to achieve at Edge Hill with our students – nurturing and developing the writers of the future.”

Within the Department of English, History and Creative Writing, Edge Hill offers a three-year BA in Creative Writing and a full or part-time MA in Creative Writing, both of which are open to international students.