So, it may be some consolation to those of you who haven’t won, that I’m typing this with a sore mouth and aching teeth!
Right.. here we go: *drum roll*
The winner of the ‘New Writer’ category is Philippa Bowe with ‘On The Pier’, which I was pleased to see so many of you also chose as your favourite!
It was a close call between ‘On The Pier’ and ‘Besieged’, by Jo Tiddy, which had some beautiful language. In the end, the ‘Main Judge’ thought the ending of ‘Besieged’ was just not quite right for the story. (Sorry, Jo, but it may be some consolation to know that you were very close).
So, well done, Philippa. The ‘Main Judge’ liked the fact that it was a complete story, very atmospheric, it tugged at the heart strings and there was a lot packed into just 250 words.
It’s not perfect. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted a change of tense in the final couple of lines which could do with a tweak BUT we liked it enough to overlook that and we also took into consideration that this was an entry in the New Writer category.
The winner in the ‘Open’ category is ‘Ordinary Day’ by Stacey Taylor. Well done, Stacey!
When I shortlisted the five, I really could have chosen any one of them as the winner. They were all very strong. But when ‘the Main Judge’ read the shortlisted entries, she gave a jolt when she got to the end of ‘Ordinary Day’ and said, “Brilliant!” so it was pretty clear cut for her (although she did, of course, give due consideration to all of them.)
I think what makes ‘Ordinary Day’ so good is the unusual point of view (second person, which can work so well in a short piece like this); the clever use of all 4 required words and the surprise ending which – as Christine commented – stays with you and really makes you think, long after you’ve finished reading the story.
Well done, Stacey – a worthy winner.
I’ll be contacting the winners about their prizes by email any minute now!
Thank you to every one that entered. It’s been fun! I’m really, really, sorry you couldn’t all win but it might be your turn next time. When I get to 300 ‘followers’ (and maybe before…) and I’ll be running another writing comp – with more prizes next time!