A Powys-based author who lives near the market town of Llanidloes is celebrating her recognition in The People’s Friend New Writers Prize.

The People's Friend has been providing readers with feel-good short stories since 1869, and to celebrate its 155th anniversary, the magazine launched a £10,000 writing bursary, the UK’s biggest prize for unpublished authors.

Kim Gravell was the runner-up in the romance category, chosen by actress Sally Lindsay, who was head judge of the competition.

Speaking to the Brecon and Radnor Express, Kim said: “I was stunned when I got the email to say I was runner-up in the over 30s romance category. I sent the story off and didn’t have any expectations of it getting anywhere, but I thought the only thing you can’t win is the thing you don’t enter. But it goes to show you have to do these things.”

The story, Silly Old Fool, is set in Greece at a wedding and focuses on an older man called Martin who has had a stroke watching others dance. It features his isolation as he feels alone, and struggles with the change in dynamic of his relationship with his wife, who has become his carer.

“He realises it’s a barrier he’s put up himself, and he realises that he’s missed his closeness with his wife,” explained Kim.

“I wanted it to have a positive ending, with the core of love between them still being there and vibrant.”

In the past, Kim has self-published paranormal stories on Amazon.

She now hopes that she can continue to develop her writing career with The People's Friend, after being assigned an editor.

“Writing is something I’ve always done in my head,” she explained.

“I can lose myself in the writing process and it’s something I enjoy doing. I’m hoping to get one or two more published with The People’s Friend, and hope to have dialogue with them about how my writing fits with them. I think it’s important that they’re continuing to develop new writing talent.”

The People’s Friend is currently published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.