A HANWELL widow is one of the 19 winners of the City of Stories writing competition, launched by Spread to Word and the Association of London Chief Librarians, to discover hidden talent in London libraries.

Jude McGowan, 77, the Borough of Ealing winner with her short story We Have More in Common Than Divides Us, worked in publishing and with children in care before retiring to care for a disabled husband for ten years.

She said: "I am now getting my life back together, and winning the competition has made an old woman happy.”

The winners entered a short story writing competition after attending one of 40 creative workshops held in 20 libraries in June.

The sessions attracted 430 adults and inspired 227 of them to write stories for the competition, which was judged by three of the project’s four writers-in-residence.

All the winning entries are featured in The City of Stories anthology alongside highly commended writers and four stories written by the writers-in-residence.

The anthology will be available, on loan, from 20 participating library services and can be purchased from the Spread the Word website. The winners are also invited to attend a writers’ development day.

Budding writers will have another chance to develop their ideas with 20 free workshops throughout November in libraries across London.