The Rosemary Goodacre Memorial Short Story Competition

The Rosemary Goodacre Memorial Short Story Competition

Rosemary Goodacre

To commemorate the life of saga author Rosemary Goodacre, her friends have organised a short story competition, with all profits going to her favourite charity Spadework.

Judge: Vivien Brown

About the competition

Length: 1,500 words maximum
Theme: Friendship
Each entry fee: £7.50 (GBP)


1st £150 (GBP)
2nd £100 (GBP)
3rd £50 (GBP)

Entries open: 1 November 2021
Entries close: midnight 31 March 2022
Please see guidelines below

About our friend Rosemary

On 15 October 2020, we should have been celebrating the launch of our friend Rosemary Goodacre’s trio of paperback books, The Derwent Chronicles (Hera Books). Sadly, we were mourning her sudden death only five days earlier. Rosemary had been poorly but was home from hospital, albeit tired, and was working on her upcoming blog tour interviews, a consummate professional to the end.

Rosemary was a talented short story writer, seeing her work published numerous times in magazines, an accomplished writer of poetry, and being placed (and winning) writing competitions. She was already doing well in her writing career before turning her hand to novels.

Serving her apprenticeship in the Romantic Novelist Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, she graduated to full membership and was part of the wonderful Joan Hessayon award event in the summer of 2020. Rosemary was also a loyal member of The Write Place, honing her craft and making many friends along the way.

Our last memories are of us singing our hearts out in the kitchen at the 2019 RNA conference after the gala dinner. Whoever it was who’d decided we should sing every show tune known to man, we thank you, as it is a memory we recall with fondness.

Rosemary’s quiet knowledge of history was second to none, her travel stories a delight to hear. We could lose her whilst out walking during writing retreats when she stopped to look at something, and ‘Where’s Rosemary?’ were familiar words. She could be relied upon to bring quiche, and a lethal-looking knife, to our one-day writing retreats along with a long list of questions for the ten-minute one-to-one sessions.

A wonderful author of First World War novels, Rosemary will live on in her books, but there was so much more to come, losing her at a time when her writing was doing so well is heartbreaking.

There is a Rosemary-shaped hole in our lives that can never be filled. Rest in peace, dear friend.

Rosemary’s books

Our main judge: Vivien Brown

Vivien gave up her job in finance when she gave birth to IVF twins and started writing instead, winning the annual Mail on Sunday ‘Best Opening to a Novel’ competition in 1993 and reaching the shortlist again three years later.

She has since sold 150 short stories to UK women’s magazines and written more than 250 articles for childcare magazines, based on her subsequent highly rewarding career introducing the magic of books to the under-fives and their families through the Sure Start and Bookstart programmes.

She became a creative writing tutor in the evenings and contributed a regular column to Writers’ Forum magazine, which followed the ups and downs of her writing life. She has also had a book about ‘cracking’ cryptic crosswords published, and several humorous children’s poems included in school anthologies.

Now established as a successful novelist, Vivien has had six women’s contemporary novels published, all with domestic drama and family relationship themes.

Vivien is a fellow of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, where she oversees competitions and social media, and a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

In 2020, she judged the Nottingham Writers’ Club ‘Home’ short story competition and was one of three judges for the Time and Tide ‘Brilliant Women’ writing competition for high school students.

Away from writing, Vivien is a doting grandmother, watches and occasionally takes part in television quiz shows, is an avid reader and reviewer of women’s fiction, and enjoys the challenge of both solving and compiling cryptic crosswords.

Vivien Brown

The charity

Spadework is a charity based near West Malling in Kent, which supports its beneficiaries to be more independent, less isolated and to live happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

Through the many on-site activities, the charity helps its trainees (adults with learning and other disabilities) to be more independent and prepared for life outside their family and Spadework. By feeling the value of doing a good job, being part of something bigger than themselves and playing an active part in the community, our trainees have an increased sense of self-worth, belonging and purpose.

There are also a farm shop and garden centre that are open to the public seven days a week. All profits go to support the charity.

You can find out more about Spadework at or by following us on Facebook.

Entry details

Send your email entry to FORGCOMP@GMAIL.COM with two attachments:

First attachment:

Your story
Maximum 1,500 words
Times New Roman size 12 font
One side of page only
Double-line-spaced and numbered
No headers or footers
Please keep your story to the theme of friendship

Second attachment:

The front sheet to the story containing:
The entrant’s name and contact details*
Title of story and word-count
*Ensure the name used is the same as entered on the bank payment
An email acknowledgement will be sent

Send payment to our competition account c/o:

Elaine Everest
Account number: 08389897
Sort code: 60-83-71
In the reference line please add your name so we can cross reference entries

Results will be announced at the beginning of June 2022

The organisers reserve the right to refuse entries that do not meet the rules of this competition or are deemed inappropriate.

The long list of entries will be drawn up by ‘The friends of Rosemary Goodacre’, consisting of Elaine Everest, Catherine Burrows, Natalie Kleinman, Francesca Capaldi, Elaine Roberts, Ann West.