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One Man and His Dog win Tale Spinners' Title

A Howden man’s comic story about his dog has earned him the title of East Yorkshire Tale Spinner 2018.

Retired community care worker Don Rhodes, 69, entered the county’s creative writing festival for the first time with New Tricks, a tale about his old Labrador, Ozzie, and their shared ageing issues.

In this competition, the writers read out their work to a live audience who then vote for the best. Don’s short story beat off competition from nine others by the audience in the final of Tale Spinners 2, held at East Riding Theatre in Beverley on Wednesday 31st January.

The Tale Spinners Competition attracted dozens of entries from writers across East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. Organised by Beverley-based theatre company, Other Lives Productions, it featured heats in Beverley, Barton-upon-Humber, Lund, Swanland, Bishop Burton and North Dalton throughout January.

Don said: “It was great fun and a rare opportunity to put writers in front of a live audience where the reaction is pretty immediate. It made for a really good atmosphere and was nowhere near as terrifying as it might sound.”

Don is a member of Howden Writing Group which meets monthly on a Wednesday afternoon at the Shire Hall and is always open to new members.

Don, who has previously published a collection of short stories called Bugs in Amber in 2016, received a cheque for £100, a bottle of Prosecco, and his story recorded for broadcast on Beverley FM. The work is to be published in an anthology by Hammond House Publishing, which is responsible for the website.

Co-organiser Neil King says: “We were very impressed by the quality of both the stories and the performers in the final and I am so glad we weren’t judging them. Congratulations to Don on his story.

“The idea of the competition came from an American idea of people gathering together to spin their yarns and this second year of the competition was our biggest yet.”

Contact information for Howden Writers’ Group is as follows: Email, tel 07873 287773.

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