International honour for writer Matt

Matt Dovey, award-winner.
Matt Dovey, award-winner.

A former Skegness man has won $1,000 and a trip to Hollywood after triumphing in an international science fiction and fantasy writing contest.

Ex-Richmond Primary and Skegness Grammar pupil Matt Dovey, 31, won the latest Writers of the Future quarterly competition.

It has earned him a 1,000 US-dollars cash prize, a trip to Hollywood for a week-long writers’ workshop, an invitation to an awards ceremony, and a place for his winning short story in the annual bestseller L Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future (after which comes another cash prize).

Boston-born Matt, who works at Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School in Grantham, and has been writing seriously for about three years, said it felt ‘very surreal’ to have won.

He said he was inspired to enter the contest by the chance to spend a week with top writers at the workshop, adding: “These are people who have spent 20 or 30 years at the top of sci-fi and fantasy, best-selling authors who’ve shaped the field, so I reckon it’s worth knowing what they know.”

The competition was founded by L Ron Hubbard and hundreds of entrants have gone on to have successful writing careers following their publication in the anthology, including 12 New York Times best-selling authors.

Matt, who lives in Horncastle with his wife and three children, said he is taking his first place as a vote of confidence in his writing.

He said: “It means I can believe I’m on the right path and not completely wasting my time in pursuit of a mad idea.

“It’s validation, especially as the contest is judged by professional authors who know what to look for.”

Matt is unable to reveal details of his short story, as his work will be judged anonymously to decide who wins the annual grand prize of $5,000.