EASTENDERS' former scriptwriter Tony McHale attended the film premiere of Creative Ink Publishing's competition 'Dear John, Dear Anyone...' in Amersham on Saturday, in aid of The British Heart Foundation and charity Hearts and Souls.

BAFTA award winning McHale, whose credits also include Holby City, Silent Witness and Dalziel and Pascoe - judged the 12 finalists in the writing competition, out of over 150 hopefuls. Competitors submitted themed monologues on the 'Dear John, Dear Anyone...' topic, connected to Patricia Sentinella's collection of poetry and narrative of the same name and also published by Creative Ink.

The monologues of the twelve finalists were each made into a short film, which together comprise the hour-long DVD. The stories bring the WWII colloquialism into modern times as we watch the characters terminate relationships through modern and traditional methods of communication, over such gritty themes as domestic violence, child abuse, infidelity and murder, alongside a lighter alternative incorporating Peter Pan and Wendy. The overall winner – judged on the criteria of best writing, acting, set and editing – was Elaine Mulvaney's piece 'Dear Jane,' performed by Adrian Baker and Esther May. “It feels amazing to win,” Elaine, a former lawyer who joined the Creative Ink writing group in 2011, told Bucks Free Press. “And the other entries were all so good. But then it was amazing just to have the pieces filmed anyway.”

Baker's portrayal of the main character was chilling, and almost worryingly convincing: “I spent hours trawling the internet and watching interviews to research the character,” he said. “The part is so dark and frightening, I even managed to scare myself. But it's brilliantly written and it was a pleasure to play.”

Technical director Mike Breen said he hoped that the competition would bring a fresh angle to readers' and viewers' experiences, as the films were created purely from the script with no extra input from the authors. “Hopefully, our representation is different to [the writers'] interpretation,” he said. “How a reader of viewer interprets work is so subjective, and I think this project brings that subjectivity to light.”

“I am so pleased and proud of the entire package, and how the strands dovetailed together,” said Jan Moran Neil, founder of Creative Ink and the mastermind behind the collaboration. “There was such a buzz,” she continued. “It was all just brilliant!”

Jan - who is based in Beaconsfield and has just launched her first novel 'Blackberry Promises' - is already planning the next project, which will be based on the theme of 'Promises'. Keep up to date with Jan and Creative Ink - or order your DVD of 'Dear John, Dear Anyone...' for £5.50, to include p&p - at http://www.janmoranneil.co.uk/