A Powys writer’s feel-good senior romance story set in Greece has been named as a runner up in the UK’s biggest competition for unpublished authors.

Kim Gravell’s story ‘Silly Old Fool’ was announced as the runner up in the over 30 romance category of The People’s Friend New Writers Prize which this year celebrated its 155th anniversary of providing readers with short stories.

Silly Old Fool is about Martin who watches his wife, Veronica, dancing with a stranger at a wedding. He reflects on how the romance has gone from their relationship following his stroke the previous year.

He can no longer dance and feels Veronica has stopped loving him since taking on the role of his carer. Watching her, he feels lonely and forgotten and is shocked when Veronica insists they have the last dance together.

She says she has missed the closeness of dancing with him, and he realises his fears are ill-founded and that their love is still strong.


Kim, who’s 60, moved to Mid Wales with her husband in 2001 and lives in a converted chapel near Llanidloes originally built for the workers of the local lead mine.

Having recently retired from her full-time job as a program manager for a global IT company, Kim is enjoying the freedom to pursue her writing hobby.

Writer and well-known television and former Coronation Street actress Sally Lindsay was head judge of the competition. She said: “The People’s Friend is something every writer knows, and as a writer myself, I love how it champions stories and creativity.

“The award for new writers is a wonderful idea and I’m so pleased to be leading the judging panel and helping find a brand-new author and help them with their career.”

To celebrate its 155th anniversary, The People’s Friend recently unveiled a fresh new look and last week launched a new initiative with Sally Lindsay to encourage the nation to pick up a short story and read for just six minutes a day, or the time it takes to enjoy a hot drink.