Text Box: Text Box: Winning Entries Third Quarter 2015

First: Three Minutes by Emma J Myatt

Second: The Wedding by Anita Goodfellow

Third: Temper and Tenacity  by Gayle Letherby

Click on the titles to read the three winning stories

Highly Commended: The Fickleness of Iniquity by Helen Meikle

 

Judge’s Report for the third quarter’s competition 2015 from  Iain Pattison

 

It was a real pleasure to read the shortlisted entries in this quarter’s Flash 500 competition. As you’d expect with stories that have made it so far in a major competition, all were accomplished and very well written.  All showed the writers were skilful and could construct an entertaining, logical and thoughtful narrative.

So I put writing style and fluidity to one side and made my selections based solely on the degree of story-telling magic each entry contained. I concentrated my focus on those tales with that something extra; unusual yarns that gripped from the beginning and wove a powerful spell throughout. I was looking for those tales that enthralled and enchanted –with characters and plot twists burning into the memory.

This gave me a group of eight stories – a shortlist within a shortlist;  yarns that were lively, risk-taking, cleverly structured and packed with flair and originality. These were: Temper and Tenacity, Alice’s Alphabet: A to W, Yellow Submarine, The Fickleness of Iniquity, Angel, The Wedding, Three Minutes and Cat in a Bag.

Now, if you made it into this clutch of eight bobby dazzlers be very proud – even if you ultimately missed a podium place by a whisker. If you didn’t make the eight, don’t be downhearted. As I said, all the entries I had the joy of seeing were professional and polished.

However, it’s worth pointing out that some entries failed because they featured overly familiar subjects and themes, while others boasted unconventional plot ideas, but then executed them in predictable ways. A few dwelt on the main character’s emotions at great length - only revealing the cause of the sadness or anger in the last two sentences, making the denouement feel grafted on, almost as an after-thought.

Two or three also suffered from not having enough dialogue tags so it was difficult to tell just which character was speaking at any given point. Likewise, some writers didn’t do enough to signal the gender of their protagonist, which made it harder to follow the action without reading the story over and over.

In the end, making my final selection was tough but I chose:

 

1st: Three Minutes

This is a marvellously gritty and tense drama packed with sharp black humour that had me guessing right to the sucker punch end.

 

2nd: The Wedding

Another tense tale, featuring a love triangle twist so potentially  horrifying that it has you both appalled by its implications, but captivated by its gripping sense of jeopardy and alarm. I love the ambiguity of the ending.

 

3rd: Temper and Tenacity

A wonderfully inventive reworking of Pride and Prejudice that strides the fine line between kitchen sink drama and period pastiche. Very imaginative – and proves how relevant Jane Austen’s characters and situations still are today.

 

Highly Commended: The Fickleness of Iniquity

A wonderful romp, with a wicked edge. Very  amusing.

 

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

 

Alice's Alphabet: A to W by Emma Harrison

An Oceanful of Loneliness by Russell Reader

Angel by Anita Goodfellow

Burying the Truth by Jane Anne Rogers

Cat in a Bag by Patricia Anne Jackson

Dear Agnes by Sally Lane

Fire in the Snow by Philippa Bowe

Five Minutes by Natalie Pearson

Five Toes, and So On by Dan Purdue

Last Supper in Gaza by Safia Moore

Meeting Sally by Steve Startup

Nelson by Mandy Huggins

Not to Be by Steve Startup

Papercraft for Parents by Rhonda Wilson

Siege by Sandra Crook

Temper and Tenacity by Gayle Letherby

The Arrangement by Lynn Bointon

The Fickleness of Iniquity by Helen Meikle

The Wedding by Anita Goodfellow

They Might Shrivel Up Some, But they don't Always Die by Jonathan Gough

Three Minutes by Emma J Myatt

Tomorrow, Maybe by Jamie Stacey

When Goldilocks Came to Stay by Marie Gethins

Where the Heart Is by Donna Brown

Yellow Submarine by Alison Wassell

 

Long Listed Entries — in alphabetical order

 

Alice's Alphabet: A to W by Emma Harrison

An Oceanful of Loneliness by Russell Reader

Angel by Anita Goodfellow

As Night Approaches by Kevin Tosca

Burying the Truth by Jane Anne Rogers

Cat in a Bag by Patricia Anne Jackson

Confessions of a Box Jumper by Tracy Fells

Dear Agnes by Sally Lane

Fire in the Snow by Philippa Bowe

Five Minutes by Natalie Pearson

Five Toes, and So On by Dan Purdue

Free Ride by Patricia Duffaud

From Start by Jon Elkon

His Yellow Line by Jamie Stacey

If You Leave Me, Can I Come too? by Margaret Callaghan

Killing the Worm by Scott Sisti

Kindness Killed the Rat by Freya Morris

Last Supper in Gaza by Safia Moore

Leaving by Gail Wright

Meeting Sally by Steve Startup

Nelson by Mandy Huggins

Nightmares by Charlotte Rushton

Not to Be by Steve Startup

Papercraft for Parents by Rhonda Wilson

Put Him Down by Rita Trotman      

Quattro Formaggio by Russell Reader

Siege by Sandra Crook

Sticks and Stones Will Break my Bones by Freya Morris

Tears in the Sky by Jamie Stacey

Temper and Tenacity by Gayle Letherby

The Arrangement by Lynn Bointon

The Assignation by Sandra Crook

The Checkout by Dave Slade

The Fickleness of Iniquity by Helen Meikle

The Heart of the Matter by Frances Colville

The Landlady's Pyjamas by John Bunting

The Nostalgia Effect by Alex O'Sullivan

The Sweetie Game by Susan Howe

The Wedding by Anita Goodfellow

They Might Shrivel Up Some, But they don't Always Die by Jonathan Gough

Three Minutes by Emma J Myatt

Tomorrow, Maybe by Jamie Stacey

Waiting Game by Russell Reader

When Goldilocks Came to Stay by Marie Gethins

Where the Heart Is by Donna Brown

Yellow Submarine by Alison Wassell