(from an Original Idea by Giovanni Boccaccio)

The judges of the Sykes Prize want to thank very warmly indeed all those who submitted work for them to consider. There were 56 entries, all differing in imaginative character, tone and form. From this response it is clear that, even in present circumstances, literature is abundantly alive, as it was in Boccaccio's Florence. Carnival is a greater reality than Plague. (Discuss?)

We are well aware, as a panel, that the results in any such competition can never pretend to Olympian authority. Literary biographies through the ages offer many examples of how such judgements can be overthrown by the judgements of history. We warmly congratulate the winners of this year's prize on the originality of their achievements. Yet all of the entries in some way gave pleasure, in their inventiveness, their strength of engagement or in their conspicuous promise. We should like the conversation to go on. And we shall, therefore, be happy to hear from anyone who would like to talk over the work they have hitherto been doing or their work- in -progress. If you would care to, please do get in touch with Robin Kirkpatrick ( ). Zoom is the current channel of communication but before long coffee (as of old) and, eventually, wine should be possible again.

Without further ado, we are delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 Sykes prize as follows: 

First place: Emily Swettenham, Elegy

Second place: Frey Kalus, 8.3

Third place: Beth D., The Goats of Llandudno