Originally from Kent, England, Francesca Ash is a fourth-year student at the University of St Andrews, finishing up the final year of her degree in English Literature. 

She won the 2021 Dan Hemingway Short Story Prize for Renamed, a story based loosely on the real-life situations of boys inducted onto the Chichester naval training ship in 1866. The story primarily follows James, whose troublesome past and hopeful future frame his first day on the ship. Francesca was inspired by the stories her parents had told her about the Arethusa training ship in Greenhithe, in her home county of Kent, which motivated her research into the original training ship, the HMS Chichester. 

Francesca loves writing, and hopes to pursue this as well as a master’s degree in Anglo-Saxon literature after graduating in 2022. The Dan Hemingway is the first prize she has received for her work.

Click here to read her winning story Renamed