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Short Story Competition Winners Announced

June 2nd, 2021

First, thanks to Savannah for last week’s post. She provided some interesting suggestions on how you might improve your short stories. It’s quite easy to get stuck in a rut when writing and it’s good to try out new ideas and approaches. There’s usually more than one way of writing a story and it pays to experiment until you find what works best for you and, of course, your reader.

Sorry about the delay in announcing the winners of our 2021 Short Story Competition. If you haven’t already discovered them on our website, here they are! In first place is Bob Thurber (see photo) with Thanksgiving 2010; in second place Ellen Evers with The Goodbye Visit; in third place Pamela Gough with Cake for a Wake and in fourth place Ruth Clarke-Irons with Cross My Heart. Congratulations to all of them and I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading their work.

When the competition was held last year we’d gone into the first lockdown but the weather was good, people were feeling ‘creative’ and were striving to keep their spirits up. No one knew how long things would drag on – and the entries, on the whole, were very similar to those submitted for previous competitions. This year, things were very different and the themes that people chose seemed to reflect this – they were much darker and less optimistic. It had been a long hard winter, people were missing loved ones and there seemed no end in sight. That’s why Bob’s light-hearted, humorous story made it stand out from so many of the others.

I’m not saying don’t write about gloomy themes – we’d be missing some of our best literature if we all did this. But, you need to bring something fresh and original to your story if you hope to win competitions.

Our Poetry Competition is currently accepting entries; but if you don’t consider yourself a poet then here are a couple of other things that might interest you. Searchlight Awards are running a competition for a bedtime story up to 500 words suitable to read aloud to a young child. But note that the entry fee is £9, which is rather steep. The closing date is 16 August but they also have other competitions in the pipeline – all aimed at those who enjoy writing for children.

And now for something a little different. Check out the website of Dr Tawnya Selene Renelle. In addition to offering ordinary online courses she has also been providing more experimental single-session “pay what you can” zoom courses. Tonight’s is Writing With Your Pet. She says it involves “writing to, for, from the perspective of, and with our pets. All pets welcome! Open to all genres and skill levels.”

The next “pay what you can” course will be held on 10th June, 6-8pm and is called On Being Fat 2. She says: “Join me for another workshop dedicated to creative expression around the experience of fatness, fat-phobia, and fat-shaming. During this workshop we will be looking closely at several places of intersection including fatness and disability, fatness and class, and fatness and queerness. There is no need to have attended the first to join!”

Hope you’re all enjoying the wonderful weather and starting to get out and about to gather inspiration for your writing!

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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