Sophia Sifaki from Greece is the winner of the first Mediterranean environmental-themed short story prize with her story The Treasure.

Sifaki’s story The Treasure spins an enchanting conservation tale in which a young doctor arrives on the small Greek island of Lemnos ready to serve the colourful population, having been charged by her benefactor to discover the hidden treasure of the island.

As part of her prize Sifaki will travel and stay on the Greek Island of Lemnos, one of the Rooted Everyday campaign eco-sites. She’ll be given a guided tour and opportunity to write further on the conservation and cultural heritage issues of the Island and be presented with the competition trophy.

Winning writer Sophia Sifaki has worked in linguistics and innovative translation technology for almost three decades. After becoming aware of the threat to the centennial forest of Dionysos she joined the ‘Yades’ movement and participated in local elections. She has previously been published in a collect of women’s short stories called Time For Coffee (Lychnos 2007) and Yades (2018). Her poem Belladonna was awarded the 1st place in the 13th Panhellenic Poetry Competition organized by Ideopnoon.

Sifaki said: “Through the competition I became aware of the Rooted Everyday campaign and it became immediately obvious to me that its goals are close to my heart and my efforts to protect nature in the Mediterranean. I immediately felt that I should pick up my pen and write.”

The Runner Up was Jose Ruiz Rosa from Spain with Plant Wisdom, a story told from the perspective of a thousand-year-old tree witnessing man’s destruction and its plea for science, love and wisdom to save them.

Shortlisted stories to receive a Highly Commended award from the judges were Gone by Maria Dalamitrou (Greece), The Shepherd by Abdelhakim Barnous (Morocco), and Rulfo by Ana Catarina Milhazes (Portugal).

Novelist Amy Beeson, Chair of Judges said; “The competition was created to give a platform for writers who are passionate about the environment and cultural heritage as part of the Rooted Everyday campaign. The writers have created characters that enable us as readers directly to engage with the hidden wonders of Mediterranean and the environmental challenges ahead.

The winning five stories can be enjoyed in a free eBook which will be available to download on the website from 8 October 2019. All shortlisted stories will be available to read on the website from 15 October 2019.

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