Random Word Short Story Competition: RESULTS!

Apologies for making you wait until now but I only got in at 7pm (not gallivanting but ferrying my post-hip-replacement father around and going to the dentist. Urgggh).

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!

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13 Responses to Random Word Short Story Competition: RESULTS!

  1. Jackie Sayle (Brown) says:

    I was thrilled have one of my stories shortlisted and to get a special mention in the last competition, especially since I have only recently started writing fiction again after a hiatus of at least 15 years. It shows me I’m on the right track. I think these 250-word stories are a marvellous exercise in pruning work down to the essence and good discipline for writing longer stories. I also enjoy the random words concept and how differently everyone uses them.

    Congratulations to all those shortlisted in both categories and to the winners. I enjoyed all the stories but my favourite in the New Writer category was ‘On The Pier’. In the Open Category, I liked the humour in ‘Dirty Talk’ and ‘A Little Problem’, and identified with Miss Timms in ‘Banded’ because I, too, pick up the little red beasties. ‘An Ordinary Day’ was a powerful and worthy winner.

  2. Congratulations to the winners and all those shortlisted. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them all 🙂 (and it was that bit more relaxing for me seeing as I ‘sat this one out’!)
    Now, I must go off and enter some comps myself!

  3. Cath Barton says:

    Congratulations to the two winnners (I picked you too!) – and indeed to all the shortlisted writers – well done!

  4. Green Quill says:

    Congratulations to both Philippa and Stacey! While we are on the topic of flashfiction and short stories, I just finished reading ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ by Jhumpa Lahiri and found it very nice. In case someone doesn’t know about her, she is an Indian-American author whose short stories take from her cultural background. Just thought I could suggest it as a good read to whoever is looking for one.

  5. Jo Tiddy says:

    Thank you Helen, it was great to be mentioned. It’s given me a much needed confidence boost! I loved all the stories, and the variety conjured up by just 4 words.

  6. Keith Havers says:

    Congratulations to the winners. If the ‘newbies’ persist with their writing it will only be a matter of time before they gain more success.

  7. Christine Howe says:

    Congratulations to Philippa and Stacey and thanks to you, Helen, for running the comp. It was fun to enter and I enjoyed reading the other shortlisted entries. Roll on the 300!

  8. Tracy Fells says:

    Congratulations to Philippa and Stacey – worthy winners! And thanks again to Helen for organising this fun competition. I love flash fiction and really enjoy the challenge of using the key words. Roll on the next one 🙂

  9. Maggie May says:

    Thank you for running this competition Helen and I was thrilled to be shortlisted. Thank you also to Mirian Hanah for saying she liked my story. Well done to everyone and roll on the next random word comp.

  10. PhilippaB says:

    Thanks to everyone for all the kind congratulations. I really enjoyed taking part in this competition, so considerately organised by Helen. The challenge of the random words was stimulating and fun, really fascinating to see how everyone in the two short lists used them differently. And of course I’m over the moon to have won!

  11. Stacey says:

    Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments. I had a lot of fun taking part and I loved reading all the shortlisted entries. Congratulations to Philippa too.

  12. Congratulations to both the winners!
    And thanks for running the competition, Helen. I enjoyed taking part.

  13. Lynette Noel says:

    Helen, I just saw your blog with the results.Congrats to the winners and thanks for having the competition.I enjoyed taking part.
    Lynette

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