Saffron Walden vet wins international poetry prize

Ilse Pedler, senior partner at Mercer and Hughes Vets in Saffron Walden, who won an international poetry competition

Ilse Pedler, senior partner at Mercer and Hughes Vets in Saffron Walden, who won an international poetry competition


A Saffron Walden vet has scooped first prize in an international poetry competition run by a women’s writing magazine.

Ilse Pedler, 53, who is a senior partner at Mercer and Hughes Veterinary Surgery in Radwinter Road, heard in November that she had won the Mslexia magazine competition, which received thousands of entries from around the world.

The top prize was £250 and publication of her poetry pamphlet, which was released two weeks ago through publishers Seren Books.

The pamphlet, entitled The Dogs That Chase Bicycle Wheels, draws on the experiences of Ilse’s 26-year career as a vet, as well as her knowledge and understanding of animals.

Ilse said: “I was absolutely amazed. When I first received an email from the editor of the magazine asking me to call her, I assumed I was one of the runners up. But when I telephoned the next day, I was amazed to hear that I had won.

“The publishers have been fantastic, and we had a launch in Cambridge two weeks ago, where I read with another author. It was very well received, and people have been so kind. It’s such a lovely and unexpected thing to happen.”

The pamphlet is available from Mercer and Hughes Veterinary Surgery, Heffers bookshop in Cambridge, or at


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