THE winner of this year’s Ravenfest short story competition, run by Poetic Justice Productions, comes from Irvine.

Irvine, California, that is...

The North Ayrshire production company’s competition went global this year, with a number of entries from the USA.

The challenge was to write a 500-word story inspired by the writing of crime and horror legend Edgar Allan Poe, who spent part of his childhood in Irvine, Ayrshire.

Thanks to Poetic Justice’s links with the Poe Museum, in Baltimore USA, they received a number of entries from around the world.

The over-18 winner was Lawrence Riggins, from Irvine, California, with the chilling Solitaireee.

You can read Lawrence's winning entry here - Solitaireee, by Lawrence Riggins

The runner-up prize went to another US entry, this time from Dave Melde, who wrote The Duchess of Bogshire.

Dave kindly donated his prize money to Irvine Library - the North Ayrshire one, of course.

But the prizes for the under-18 category were both awarded to North Ayrshire students.

The winner was Abi Young, from Kilbirnie, with her exceptionally scary tale Be Still My Bleeding Heart, while Adam Young took the runner-up prize for his scary tale Silence and Sin.

You can read Abi's winning entry here - Be Still My Bleeding Heart, by Abi Young

The competition was once again sponsored by the Irvine Times and the presentation ceremony took place at the Harbour Arts Centre last Thursday, when all four winning entries were read out.

The evening also included readings of a couple of Poe’s best loved poems and a short film about the poet’s time in Irvine.

Poetic Justice director Neil Smith said: “Once again we were delighted by the quality of writing and it was extremely hard to choose winners and runners-up.

“The competition had a great response this year and we were amazed when the winning entry in the over-18 competition turned out to be from Irvine, California.”

He added: “We did a live show online with Poe Baltimore earlier this year and our link up with them brought us to the attention of a lot of American writers.

“We’d like to thank the Irvine Times for their kind sponsorship once again and North Ayrshire Council and the Harbour Arts team for their support. The event will return next year.”