In 2022, Spirit Level held what was probably one of the first writing competitions about what it is like to be trans (or queer, intersex etc) or to know someone who is trans. The best entries feature below and during 2023 we plan to add to this remarkable collection of ‘true life’ stories of trans life and were the centrepiece of Liverpool’s Transgender Day of Visibility opening night party in March 2023.
Winner, Short Story: Angel by Avi Ben Zeev. Avi Ben-Zeev is a gay, transgender man and senior lecturer in psychology, writer, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) facilitator, residing in London, UK. His co-edited anthology, Trans Homo … Gasp! Gay FTM and Cis Men on Sex and Love was a Lambda Award Finalist. A recent Birkbeck, University of London’s Creative Writing MFA graduate, Avi is passionate about applying a psychological lens to memoir and fiction.
Runner-Up, Short Story: Little Voice by Alex Cornell Alex Cornell is a writer living in Cumbria. Their short stories draw inspiration from the experience of raising a young transgender child in 21st century Britain. Alex is a single-parent with a personal interest in autism and loves whiling away the hours with their family and two dogs in the Lake District.
Judges Choice, Short Story: This One Time At The Choir by Kitt Harris
Winner, Flash Fiction: Mx.ed Up by Ellis Jamieson. Ellis is a queer, non-binary writer, based in the north of Scotland. They write prose as well as plays, and enjoy working next to their fire while the winds howl outside. Their work has previously been published in Shoreline of Infinity and on Yorick Radio Productions Podcast.
Runner-Up, Flash Fiction: Parisa by Mel Jayne. Mel Jayne is a British writer and artist of queer fiction. She has been featured in the Beloved zine, the podcast Determination, Deliberation, and Dragons and her free online webcomic Summer of Seoul has captured an audience through its investigation of queer identity through the lens of K-pop
Judges Choice, Flash Fiction: A Letter To Eleanor by Jacqueline Thoms
Winner, Poem: Coolest Kids And The Gender Wars by Charlotte Amelia Poe. Charlotte Amelia Poe (they/them) is an autistic nonbinary author from England. Their first book, How To Be Autistic, was published in 2019. Their debut novel, The Language Of Dead Flowers, was published in September 2022. Their second novel, Ghost Towns, was self published in 2023.
Runner-Up, Poem: Charlotte Jane by Christine Law. Lady late sixties enjoys writing prose and short stories. Christine is a member of Didcot Writers Group Oxford, Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. Recent prose and poetry have appeared for Pure Slush Australia. Autumn Voices online sixty plus writers. Long may her joy in writing continue.
Judges Choice, Poem: The Tenderness of Gender by David Head