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06/11/2002

Ana Sandoval and Asier Alvarez, short story prize-winners

06/11/2002 Two stories set during the Spanish War of Independence and the Middle Ages win the competition for Short Stories.

06/11/2002 The story of a young girl from Peñacerrada working for the parish priest of the Santa María Cathedral during the French occupation in the War of Independence and the trials and tribulations of a family during the early stages of the Gothic cathedral´s construction, are the plots of the two stories that won first prize in the 1st Short Story Competition organised by the Santa María Cathedral Foundation.

Ana Sandoval, with La espada de Nápoles, and Asier Alvarez de Arkaia, with Ametsak elurpean, won the adults´ prizes in the Spanish and Basque categories, respectively. Almost one hundred entries were received and the judges´ panel emphasised the enthusiastic response and high level of the stories written in Spanish in the over 18s category.

Ana Sandoval´s La espada de Nápoles is set in the 19th century, during the French occupation in the War of Independence (1808-1814). A young girl from Peñacerrada is forced to move to Vitoria where she works under the guidance of the parish priest of the Santa María Cathedral. In Ametsak elurpean, on the other hand, Asier Alvarez de Arkaia tells the story of the Avendaño family, especially as regards their connection with the Old Cathedral during the initial years of its construction in Victoria.

In the under 18s category, the prize-winners were Edurne Iñigo, with El secreto de la Catedral and Oier Llinas, with Koblakariaren sorginkeria. The first tale is centred around a young student from Vitoria who accidentally finds a very old book in the cathedral which tells of the Holy Grail and points to its possible presence in the city. Koblakariaren sorginkeria tells the story of a group of children who follow the activities of the minstrels throughout the city, and in particular the Cathedral.

José Antonio Nájera, La ciudad rosa and Alberto Echevarría, Un duende en la Catedral won second and third prize, respectively, in the Spanish over 18s category; while Alexandra Arenaza, La última botella and Laura Hernández, Lágrima de Luna, were the runners-up in the under 18s. Runners-up in the Basque language category were Josean Bueno, Ez dakit, aitite and Antonio Zubeldia, Santa Mariako mamua, for the over 18s, and Irantzu Martínez de Aramaiona, Eta orain, zer? and Gustavo Baños, Antzinakoak in the under 18s.

The 1st Short Story Competition received almost one hundred entries, the majority in Spanish. To qualify, stories needed to feature of the Old Cathedral either as a setting or as part of the plot. The judges´ panel, made up by writers, university lecturers, teachers and journalists, emphasised the high level of the entries, in particular those in the Spanish language over 18s category.

The stories focused on a wide variety of subjects and themes, with authors showing an in-depth knowledge of the cathedral building and history. Love stories, crimes, mysteries and enigmatic characters were all well represented in tales set in both the past (mainly the Middle Ages) and the present day. The prizes for adults were €300, €200 and €150 respectively, while those for under 18s were €250, €150 and €100-worth of different articles. All participants can collect their diploma of merit from the Santa María Cathedral Foundation from 11 November onwards.

Talk by Rosa Regás this Tuesday
The winners from the different categories will receive their prizes on Tuesday 5 November in a ceremony held prior to the talk scheduled to be given by the writer Rosa Regás in the Europa Conference Centre as part of the ´Encounters with the Cathedral´ cycle. The author from Barcelona, winner of the Planta 2001 Prize for La canción de Dorotea, will follow in Ken Follett´s footsteps with a talk entitled ´Cultural Monuments in fiction and reality´.

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