Text Box: Text Box: Winning Entries Fourth Quarter 2016

First: Everything After Now by Chloe Banks

Second: Feet by Hilary Howe

Third: Never Too Late by Taria Karillion

Click on the titles to read the three winning stories

Highly Commended: Waiting by Stuart Wardrop

 

Judge’s Report for the fourth quarter’s competition 2016 from Simon Whaley

 

I’ve always admired writers tackling flash fiction. To tell a story in fewer than 500 words is (insert choice word here) difficult. Difficult because, I feel, there still needs to be a story. Flash fiction is not simply about making an interesting observation that we writers are good at spotting while we sit in cafes people-watching. It’s about using those observations to tell a story.

As readers, we still need to empathise with the characters, want them to achieve their goals, and be satisfied with the resolution at the end. That’s a tough call, and I was delighted that so many of the entries I judged achieved that. It made my task all the more difficult.

 

1st: Everything After Now

As writers we’re taught to play the What if …? game when creating story ideas. Yet this is a game everyone plays at some point in their life, especially with relationships that didn’t work out for whatever reason. In Everything After Now we learn about Timothy and Rachel, young lovers whose relationship was quashed by parents who thought an artist was not good enough for their daughter. And briefly, for one afternoon, a chance meeting 57 years later enables them to play the what if game … and create a potential resolution to that question. Lovely.

 

2nd: Feet

You can tell a lot about a person by their feet. This story uses other people’s feet to convey the main character’s perspective on life, and reveal where they are in life at the moment. It’s full of classic observations that a writer may have spotted while people-watching once, but they’re cleverly used to tell a story, which concludes when the main character changes their life by getting up onto their feet. A fitting resolution.

 

3rd: Never Too Late

When it comes to telling a story with a restricted word count, finding the right structure can make all the difference. Never Too Late is a countdown, but one that gives the main character a chance to reflect upon her life and that of her granddaughter. It drew me into the story quickly, and proves that so much can be revealed in as few as 305 words.

 

Highly Commended: Waiting

The coldness appealed to me in this piece. There was some lovely description: trailing steamers of breath and frozen Lowry figures. I felt for the main character, who just wanted this night to be over. Except when it was, it signalled the start of a whole new chapter in her life.

 

We regularly receive several hundred entries each quarter, so those making the long and short lists should feel very proud.

 

Short Listed Entries — in alphabetical order

 

A Sofa I Don't Care About Anymore by Jamie Stacey

Alone and Palely Loitering by Sandra Crook

Angst by Vanessa Horn

As Dry As Ink by Carolann Stone

Bikini by Sherri Turner

Bloody Stupid by Katherine Wedderburn

Bunny Ears by Jamie Stacey

Dancing Partners by Diane Simmons

Dog-toothed Night by Douglas Bruton

Everything After Now by Chloe Banks

Feet by Hilary Howe

Haven't We Met Before? by Richard Fuller

Hide and Seek by Sharon Boyle

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse by Tracy Fells

If the Shoes Fit by Sherry Morris

Jem by Katie Jones

Mushy Muesli by Jamie Stacey

Never Too Late by Taria Karillion

Pandora's Cat by Tracy Fells

Sheriff by Donna Brown

Sponges by Russell Reader

Ten Ways to Prepare for Your Brothers' Visit by Jude Higgins

The Reflexologist by Ingrid Anders

Waiting by Stuart Wardrop

Wash at 40° C by Nigel Tomlinson

 

Long Listed Entries — in alphabetical order

 

2061 by Barry Charman

A Murderous Descent by Lynn Bushell

A Sofa I Don't Care About Anymore by Jamie Stacey

A Very Thin Line by Sandra Crook

Alone and Palely Loitering by Sandra Crook

Angst by Vanessa Horn

Anticipation by Kathryn Ratzko

As Dry As Ink by Carolann Stone

Bikini by Sherri Turner

Bloody Stupid by Katherine Wedderburn

Breaking Through by Eleanor Williams

Bunny Ears by Jamie Stacey

Dancing Partners by Diane Simmons

Demolition by Kate Duncan

Dog-toothed Night by Douglas Bruton

Echoes by Richard Chalk

Everything After Now by Chloe Banks

Fallen Fruit by Russell Reader

Feet by Hilary Howe

Hail Mary by Dorothy Snelson

Haven't We Met Before? by Richard Fuller

Hide and Seek by Sharon Boyle

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse by Tracy Fells

If the Shoes Fit by Sherry Morris

“I’m 95, You Know...” by Sandra Crook

Island of the Mind by Tim Jamieson

Jem by Katie Jones

Jenny and I Went to Bristol Zoo by Anthony Dandy

Life Cycle by Riannah Donald

Love Struck by Steven Moss

Mushy Muesli by Jamie Stacey

Never Too Late by Taria Karillion

Pandora's Cat by Tracy Fells

Passion by Diane Simmons

Rosemary on the Wind by Alison King

Sheriff by Donna Brown

Sponges by Russell Reader

Tarnished Hero by PJ Stephenson

Ten Ways to Prepare for Your Brothers' Visit by Jude Higgins

The Elephant Man by Alison Wassell

The Reflexologist by Ingrid Anders

The Wallet by Sylvia Fairley

Waiting by Stuart Wardrop

Wash at 40° C by Nigel Tomlinson

Welsh Waves by Jamie Stacey

WKD by Jamie Stacey