My rather strange story (That) Hollow Place astounded me by taking first prize in the fiction competition in this month’s Writers’ Forum magazine (December issue). It was its first outing and I wasn’t sure whether it worked or not.
I’m delighted that it hit the spot and was judged: ‘A moving and inspirational story with a strong plot and satisfying resolution.’
This year, many Literary Festivals have had to cancel events or go online. The Exeter Literary Festival – a relatively newly- established event but a great addition to Exeter’s increasingly vibrant literary scene – was one. BUT – they kept the competition going, and I am delighted to have won first prize having achieved second place in last year’s competition.
Competition Results – 2020:
As ever, the real prize should go to the organizers, readers and judges. It’s a huge amount of work with not nearly enough recognition or reward. Fingers crossed for the return of the Festival proper (and the competition) in 2021.
This collection is a surprising platter of delightful and peculiar short stories by new and established writers that allow you to lose yourself in their magic.
“In the Kitchen is an anthology which showcases the best of food-inspired writing, with each beguiling story interpreting the theme in a different way. Food, in the hands of these writers, becomes a route into our memories, into magic, rebellion, grief and joy.” CG Menon
Talim Arab, Rachel Beresford-Davies, Dianne Bown-Wilson, Mona Dash, Sarah Evans, Vanessa Jarrett, Emily Monaco, Thomas Morgan, Angela Readman, Madeehah Reza, Reshma Ruia, JP Sanders, Nasia Sarwar-Skuse, Janet H. Swinney, Vanessa Timothy, Jane Wagar, Julia Wood, Alison Woodhouse, Rabi’atu T. Yakubu, Karen Yu.
Encouraging, as ever, to have a story recognised. It’s unbelievably motivating. And, in this case, it was great to have it in the first issue of Writers Forum magazine to appear after several months when it ceased publication during lockdown.
I was mega-pleased to see that my story, Green and PleasantLand won joint 3rd place in this year’s Fiction Factory Short Story competition. It was also recently shortlisted in both the Writers Forum and Flash 500 short story competitions, so it was great that it finally edged over the line! The story is available to read on the Fiction Factory website.
It pays to try new things. Every month, Writers Forum magazine runs a quick writing competition with a specific theme and a tight deadline. Ideal for motivating writers to submit, one would think, but until last month it’s passed me by.
February’s prompt was that month’s cover image which didn’t immediately fill me with inspiration but for some reason (stir crazy after all the bad weather?) I decided to give it a go. The result was Halfway to Hank a 500 word, runner-up place, which is published in the March magazine.
So 2020’s rather-belated resolution: keep trying something new!
Following the shock of my story Quality Time winning the Henshaw competition last autumn (while away on an incredible road trip around Spain) I’ve suffered a bit of a dry spell in terms of output. The win was incredibly cheering, as were a couple of shortlistings for my piece: 1200 Thread Count in the Exeter Flash Fiction and Writer’s Bureau Flash competitions, but the motivation well ran dry.
So, it’s a relief to be knuckling down again at last and hoping, as usual, for inspiration and improvement in 2019. Just write something – anything!
I was delighted to receive a highly commended in this year’s Leicester Writes short story competition and to be included in the anthology of long-listed and winning stories.
The book was launched on Saturday 30 June at the end of a great short story writer’s workshop held in Leicester. Very interesting and motivating – time to start thinking about next year’s entry?