Celebrating Devina: Winner of Capel Manor College’s Writing Competition

Meet Devina, the latest winner of Capel Manor College's creative writing competition.

A Tale of Inspiration

In a heartfelt interview, Devina shared her journey to victory. When asked about her feelings upon winning the competition, she expressed gratitude and delight. Her inspiration to participate came from a desire to share stories and experiences, encouraged by a previous win in the competition.

The Story Behind the Story

Devina’s winning piece was not just a product of imagination but a reflection of real-life experiences. Inspired by the struggles of a friend slipping into isolation and her own journey of recovery after a stroke, Devina’s narrative touched on the theme of loneliness among the elderly.

Challenges and Triumphs

Every writer faces obstacles along the road to creation, and Devina was no exception. Struggling with the sensitivity of her topic, she navigated the delicate balance between conciseness and objectivity, reflecting on ways to refine her writing style.

A Message of Empathy

Through her writing, Devina aimed to shine a light on the quiet struggles of ageing individuals, emphasising the importance of small gestures in brightening their lives. Her narrative served as a powerful reminder of the impact of empathy and human connection.

The Impact on Future Endeavours

Winning the competition served as a springboard for Devina’s future aspirations. Encouraged to write and share more frequently, she found renewed energy in her craft, fuelled by the recognition and celebration of her work.

Literary Influences and Creative Process

Devina grew up on a literary diet of P.G. Wodehouse, Arthur Conan Doyle and George Mikes, all of whom undoubtedly influenced her writing style.

Her creative process, she revealed, is fluid, waiting for the perfect time and inspiration. Writing is a healing process for Devina, as she previously wrote a diary in blog form of her road to recovery following a stroke in 2014, and more recently, her experiences in hospitals following falls and injuries. It has helped her healing process to put into words and share it.

Words of Wisdom

For aspiring writers hesitant to share their work, Devina offered valuable advice – write without fear or hesitation. She highlighted the importance of community and support in nurturing one’s craft and recommends attending a writing group or workshop.

A Journey of Learning and Growth

Beyond her writing achievements, Devina’s journey is one of continuous learning and growth. A mature student at Capel Manor College, she has immersed herself in various disciplines, from creative design to horticultural studies, driven by a passion for knowledge and a love for nature’s wonders.

A Snippet from Devina’s Entry: Touching – The Smile That Was Lost

55-year-old Philomena found her world getting smaller every day. She rarely received visitors and her few trips out of the house never went further than her corner shop to buy essential groceries or to the supermarket when her son visited once weekly.

She had suffered a stroke about two years ago and now found it difficult to be as active and independent as she used to be. After the obligatory get-well cards and good wishes, she rarely heard from the friends and associates with whom she had shared so much of her time and energy.

She had been the driving force behind her community charity, working tirelessly to raise funds for services for the elderly and disabled, organising activities, meetings, trips and shows for their entertainment and stimulation.

Now her life felt empty, devoid of purpose. She felt unwanted, discarded, no longer needed by those who had once looked to her for inspiration and lauded her efforts.

In her mind’s eye she could still herself as she was but as her gaze turned to the Philomena of today she could not recognise herself.

She had once been told by a total stranger that her smile lit up the room but now she found it so hard to smile and often caught sight of herself frowning as she passed a mirror or window.

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