Text Box:    Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Competition 2014

The results of the 2014 Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Category are as follows:

 

Winner: Missing Grace by Vanessa Savage

Runner-up: Artful Dealings by Don Wells

 

Very close runners-up were Lost and Found by Jean-Jacques Turkie, Like Father Not Son by Kristin Meachem and Fey by Lynne Voyce.

 

Judge’s Report from Steph Patterson senior editor at Crooked Cat Publishing

The submissions to this year’s Flash 500 Novel Opening Chapter Competition were of a high quality, and I have enjoyed reading them. I discovered a wide variety of genres, ranging from historical romance, crime, mysteries and contemporary dramas to futuristic fantasy. 

All excerpts forwarded on to me were well-written, engaging and very individual in their styles and plots.  I found myself drawn into several family disputes – all unique in POV and premise – and a range of intriguing mysteries raised the right kind of questions early on. Love, childhood, dodgy dealings, heritage, crime – they are all gripping themes.

So, I had to choose just two submissions from such an eclectic group. Not the easiest task! In the end, it was down to five, all with a unique beginning that drew me right into the plots, which could not have been any more varied. Then I had to make a decision. It was a close call.

My choice of winner and runner-up is based on the beginnings that drew me in the most. Interestingly, they could not have been any more different.

Artful Dealings delivers a brilliant hook, and you can’t resist reading on. The tone is just what I would expect in that type of story: witty, dry and to the point. As I read on, the author keeps up the pace, and you are swiftly drawn into the main character’s world.

The introduction to Missing Grace just pulls you in. Straight away, it raises a number of questions and you quickly read on. A mere sprinkling of back story, told in a way that links the past to the present, introduces us to another important character, and then we’re heading straight into the plot. The tension grows as the mystery unravels.

My congratulations to the two finalists! I’m sure both will go far.

Short list in alphabetical order

A Man Repeated by Dan Purdue

A Spell in France by M.S. Clary

Artful Dealings by Don Wells

Echo by Helen J. Reynolds

Fey by Lynne Voyce

Filthy Luca by Andrew Stevens

Fin - The Beginning by Michael Hennessy

Like Father Not Son by Kristin Meachem

Lost and Found by Jean-Jacques Turkie

Missing Grace by Vanessa Savage

Poisonous Picassos by Robin Richards

Quick and Dirty by Bonnie K. Kidd

The Angel of Duntisbourne Hall by Loraine Fergusson

The Benjamin Exhibition - A story of loss, guilt, love and revenge by Simon Van der Velde

The Odd Child by Katherine Anne Armstrong

The Secret by Averil Meehan

 

Long list in alphabetical order

A Bundle of Bones by Anne Wilson

A Man Repeated by Dan Purdue

A Rose by any Other Name by E.L Norry

A Spell in France by M.S. Clary

Artful Dealings by Don Wells

Cain's Choice by Hekate Papadaki

Chaos by Helen Larder

Echo by Helen J. Reynolds

Fey by Lynne Voyce

Filthy Luca by Andrew Stevens

Fin - The Beginning by Michael Hennessy

Kilcreggan Incident by Donald Mitchell

Like Father Not Son by Kristin Meachem

Lockhart College by Catherine North

Lost and Found by Jean-Jacques Turkie

Makeover by Barbara Hudson

Mirage, Rawnie’s Story by Marilyn Weimer

Missing Grace by Vanessa Savage

Nathan Kane by Rebecca Kemp

No Father Was There by Peter Cooper

Poisonous Picassos by Robin Richards

Quick and Dirty by Bonnie K. Kidd

Stein, Stained by Hal Ackerman

Strangers and Pilgrims by Sarah Austin

The Angel of Duntisbourne Hall by Loraine Fergusson

The Barefoot Road by Vivienne Vermes

The Benjamin Exhibition - A story of loss, guilt, love and revenge by Simon Van der Velde

The Curse of Service by Anita Davie

The Last Big Weekend of the Summer by Margaret Callaghan

The Odd Child by Katherine Anne Armstrong

The Secret by Averil Meehan

Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Watson

Witch Hunt by Iain Pattison