Ex-teacher ‘flabbergasted’ to win national competition

Sue Jenkins from Thame WI
Sue Jenkins from Thame WI

A Thame woman has won a national Women’s Institute award thanks to a ‘bold’ and ‘forceful’ piece of writing.

Sue Jenkins picked up the Lady Denman Cup, awarded to the best essay submitted through WI groups around the country, and said she was ‘flabbergasted’ to win.

Entrants had to write a piece of up to 500 words starting with the phrase ‘If I were... for a day, I would...’, filling in the blanks with who they would like to be and what they would get up to.

Mrs Jenkins, 67, began her essay by saying: “If I were a truthful woman for a day, I would rip apart the meticulously crafted structure of life.”

The retired teacher had previously been highly commended in the competition and receives £75 in book tokens for her efforts.

Mrs Jenkins, who has been involved with the WI for 18 years, said: “I enjoy writing but I’ve never done very much. When I was younger I would write essays so I thought I would have a go.”

Judges said her essay covered a broad range of events.

They said: “These are held together not so much by a direct situational relationship, as an implied thematic – and overtly tonal – one.”

Betty Parsley, Thame WI president, said they were all ‘very proud’ of Mrs Jenkins’ achievement. She said: “It’s just fantastic.”

Read Mrs Jenkins’ winning essay at www.thewi.org.uk