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Writing prize created to honour late historian

The English-Speaking Union has launched a competition in honour of a historian, author and former Editor of The Royal Gazette.

The competition is named after William Sears Zuill, who died aged 86 in 2016, and was also the first director of the Bermuda National Trust.

Don Moore, the president of The English-Speaking Union in Bermuda and an Anglican priest, came up with the idea for the competition.

Mr Moore said: “I had the great pleasure of knowing the late Will Zuill for a number of years, especially during the several years that I was the interim Anglican priest in charge at St Mark's in Smith's Parish.

“Will was a very sincere Christian gentleman and also a very knowledgeable one.

“His strong connection with the English language prompted me to recommend to our executive committee that we should honour his memory in some suitable and meaningful manner. This eventually led to the current writers' competition we have just launched in his name and memory.”

The William Sears Zuill Memorial Writers' Competition, which has a total of $5,000 in prize money, will be judged by a panel of Bermudian writers and editors.

The Bermuda branch of the English-Speaking Union, set up to promote the effective use of English around the world, said: “William Zuill's abiding passion was Bermuda's rich history, particularly seafaring, the political scene and the colourful characters of the early colonial period.

“As a writer, he wrote short journalistic pieces, narrative accounts, plays and character sketches as well as narrative histories, always in a crisp style and with flair.”

The four subjects for the competition are pirates, pilots and politicians, a Bermuda character, colonial lawmakers and the people, adventure and privateering on the high seas, and God and the Bermudian.

Mr Zuill's career at The Royal Gazette started in the early 1950s as a news reporter. He later became parliamentary reporter, assistant editor and associate editor before he became Editor until he retired in 1971.

Mr Zuill's book The Story of Bermuda and Her People was published by Macmillan in 1973, and was for many years regarded as the definitive work of Bermudian history.

The Pirate Menace, a history of buccaneering and politics in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, was published in 2015 and featured several Bermudian pirates alongside notorious figures such as Edward Teach, an English pirate better known as Blackbeard, and Welsh pirate Henry Morgan.

Mr Zuill completed a shorter work on the life of Captain William Kidd, a Scottish-born pirate, shortly before he died.

The English-Speaking Union competition is open to short stories, fiction, historical accounts, character sketches, plays and poems and all age groups.

There are three word-count categories.

The 5,000-word category has a prize of $2,000 and the 2,000-word category winner will take home $1,250.

The winner in the 1,000-word category will get $1,250 and, for entrants aged under 16 for work of up to 1,000 words, there will be a prize of $500.

Entries must be submitted by e-mail to esubermuda@gmail.com by June 7 and the winners will be announced on June 21.

The ESU said all work must be original and unpublished.

The organisation added it also reserved the right to publish submissions in print and online.

Respected author: the late William Sears Zuill

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Published May 21, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated May 21, 2019 at 7:55 am)

Writing prize created to honour late historian

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