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Student New Angle Prize longlist entry by Elliot Woods - Christchurch Reminiscence


Christchurch Park in Ipswich

I’m beginning to become reminiscent. Sentimental about simple things. Thinking I’ve taken places for granted. Like the park. Not in the sense I had as a child when I’d go there to play and always whine about having to leave, no, never that again. The sense that it’s a lovely place to get lost. Either following the paths or wandering across the greens it always felt like there was something off in the distance when I was younger. Going there during it all it was like an expanse I had never explored before. Past all the hills were twisting roads blanketed with foliage that intersected like a web. You can loop back around and take a different way every time to feel pleasantly active.

At the top of the hill is that playground I mentioned and played in. It changed a lot over the years. The one thing that did, I think. The rest is the same; the steep hill I ran down and hurt myself on, the chairs, the buildings. Perhaps the trees remaining untouched helps keep this comforting familiarity. Preserving simplistic childhood memories.

It’s fitting the statues are there then. You cannot miss them. Two small spires and a sun all atop plaques. I never read them. I don’t think most people would. But they’re still standing and might even outlive me. Forever paying homage to the soldiers and martyrs. I feel like I should read what they say when it’s all over, since we’ll also probably fall to being ignored in the future.

In the middle is the manor, it’s unmissable. There’s a garden outside of it that is quite lovely as I recall, though that’s for all we recall. I remember touring that giant house of history and recreation with the constant want of moving on. It was quite impressive though. Probably still is. Fitting that it’s the figurehead of a place that retains so much similarity.

I can recall playing in the park. That time I fell and grazed my knee badly. The long walks I would take snaking inbetween the greenery and seeing all I could because I couldn’t do much else in this time. Despite all the good and bad it’s still a fond place, something that I can remember and revisit without fear of change. A constant in a time of turbulence. That’s all we need, sometimes. Nothing grand, or mind-blowing, or perhaps even that interesting. Something ever-present amongst the change. Mine is a park I still like to walk in.


Student New Angle Prize

The Student New Angle Prize is a competition partnered with the New Angle Prize for Literature, a national book award for published authors. SNAP is an annual event and offers all students of the University of Suffolk the chance to enter by submitting 500 words of original writing as prose or poetry. Like the New Angle Prize, all entries must either be set in or clearly influenced by our East Anglian region. 

The SNAP competition gives offers a chance to hear new voices in the region and encourages students to add to the literary representations of the region which continue to make East Anglia such an important place for art and literature and poetry. Every year a different judge is invited to join the panel. For this year the judge is honorary graduate, novelist and actress Esther Freud.  

Twelve writers from courses across the University have been longlisted for the SNAP Writing Awards 2021. The shortlist will be announced on 10th March. The winner and runner up will be announced 19th March.

If you are interested in writing, why not consider our BA(Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing or MA in Creative and Critical Writing?

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