previously scheduled for
Wednesday, 25th June 2014 at 7.30pm

Sorry. I have moved to Kent and do not feel I can manage it from here - at least not this year.
~ Elliott
The Pint Pot of Fire is an annual story-telling competition among public speaking clubs, writers' circles, drama/theatre groups and performance storytelling groups in the region*. Participation is open to established groups and to classes and workshops. Each group puts forward one or two champions to represent them on the night by telling a story. There are some truly marvellous story tellers in our area. The winner is decided by audience vote, less time penalties. The prize is a year's guardianship of the Pint Pot of Fire - an almost completely worthless trinket.

For the last three years, The Pint Pot of Fire has been held in October to coincide with Alton WordFest. We have now moved the event back to its original late spring date as this is more convenient for more of the groups taking part. This means there will be no Pint Pot of Fire in 2013. It also means we are no longer part of Alton WordFest. We would like to thank WordFest for their support since 2010.

Thank you also to Holybourne Theatre for their generosity in making their theatre available to us.

Competitor registration and ticketing info to follow.

Parents please note: Children are welcome to attend but the event is aimed at adults and the stories may deal with adult themes.

Congratulations to our 2012 winner
Alison Moulden

Belinda's heartfelt and dramatic autobiographical story of how, as a teenager, her heart condition scarred her physically and emotionally and how she overcame it with a triumphant spirit struck all the right notes with the judges who ranked her first.

Every Second Counts was not as popular with the audience as with the judges and Belinda's overall position was third in the voting. She rose to second place thanks to her expert timekeeping, finishing her story just one second out from the target of ten minutes. This is an excellent reversal from last year when time penalties, by the tiniest fraction, knocked her from runner-up down to third place.

Waxing Lyrical is a storytelling workshop that meets in Farnham Maltings.

The Pint Pot of Fire owes a huge debt of gratitude to Simon Wood of Dubmaster Studios for transforming the audience experience again this year with his audio and lighting equipment and expertise and for the manner in which he put nervous contestants at their ease. Thank you also to Sarah Buxton for the photography on this page.

Right: our volunteer timekeepers, Kathy Brown and Lucy Brown, shown at the vote count with Pint Pot MC Elliott Manley.
Alison Moulden reclaimed the Pint Pot of Fire for Hog's Back Writers for the first time since 2006. She is seen here (centre) receiving the Pint Pot and a bottle of bubbly from judge Terrie Howie and MC Elliott Manley. Hog's Back Writers is a writers' group that meets in Wanborough, near Guildford and was one of the founding groups of the Pint Pot of Fire.

Alison's story, Deep Fried Mars Bars at the Jungle Food Café, was an entertaining romp through the strange characters one meets as a newbie in a writers' circle.

Alison came second with the judges and narrowly beat Charlotte Comley as the audience's favourite. The combination was enough to ensure her a comfortable overall win.

Second prize went to Belinda McKenna of Waxing Lyrical, Farnham

Above Belinda McKenna (left) receives her runner's-up bottle of wine from judge Rita Wheeler

Third prize winner was Charlotte Comley whose wry story The Trouble with Arthur told of the difficulties, perhaps familiar to all parents of teenage boys, of living with a zombie in the house. Highly popular with the audience, if somewhat less so with the judges, Charlotte finished in overall second position but by ending her story at 9'20", 40 seconds short of target, she received a 12.5% time penalty, knocking her down to third place.

Charlotte was representing The Writers @ Lovedean and is to be warmly congratulated on doing so well as this was her group's first entry to the Pint Pot of Fire. We look forward to welcoming them again in future years.

Left: Third-prize winner, Charlotte Comley receives her certificate from judge Bryan Harrison.

2012 Contestants and Judges were:

back row, judges, left to right
  • Rita Wheeler
  • Bryan Harrison
  • Terrie Howey
front row, contestants, left to right
  • Derek Keen, The Fellowship of the Pen
  • Charlotte Comley (third place), The Writers @ Lovedean
  • Belinda McKenna (runner-up), Waxing Lyrical, Farnham
  • Richard Trouncer, Three Heads in a Well
  • Alison Moulden (winner), Hog's Back Writers
  • Polly Broadwood, The Fellowship of the Pen
  • John Taylor, Alton Storytellers

For more information on the participating clubs and contact details, click here

Voting and Judging details

Judges' votes:
  1. Belinda McKenna
  2. Alison Moulden
  3. Richard Trouncer
Audience vote:
  1. Alison Moulden
  2. Charlotte Comley
  3. Derek Keen
Combined vote:
  1. Alison Moulden
  2. Charlotte Comley
  3. Belinda McKenna
After time penalties:
  1. Alison Moulden (11 seconds out, no penalty)
  2. Belinda McKenna (1 second out, no penalty)
  3. Charlotte Comley (40 seconds out, 12.5% penalty)

    For participants and winners of the 2011 Pint Pot of Fire, click here.
    For participants and winners of the 2010 Pint Pot of Fire, click here.
    For participants and winners of the 2009 Pint Pot of Fire, click here.

    * We have contestants from roughly the area bounded by Winchester, Basingstoke, Farnborough, Woking, Guildford, Godalming, Haslemere, Midhurst and Petersfield but if your champion is willing to travel, they are eligible to enter. There is no geographical restriction.