Competition Results & Puppy Progress!

SpringI am, perhaps, being a little optimistic (and premature) with that picture of Spring, given that we’re all freezing and snow-covered BUT I am feeling hopeful!

The results of two writing competitions that I entered have been announced and although I didn’t win, I’m polishing up the stories and sending them straight out again, to competitions ending at the end of March. Second time lucky, perhaps?

So, what were these competitions that foolishly overlooked me?

Firstly: Country Life. I sent them something a bit cheeky and (hopefully) funny (but it was set in a village!) and the winner (I bought the magazine today to read it), was ‘Soothing Plain’ by Caroline Jackson – a beautifully written and quite ‘serious’ story. (And I’ve just found it on the website, so there was no need to splash the cash, after all! Runner-up and Highly Commended are on here too).

But, I have to admit, I didn’t quite understand it! Or at least, not how the beginning – which seems to indicate one thing – ties in with the ending. But that’s probably just me being stupid. If anyone else reads it and can explain it to me, please do!

And secondly, The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook announced their winner and two runners-up at an event last night and put the stories on the website today, as they said they would – so full marks for them (well, maybe not full marks. After all, they didn’t include me, did they?!).

You can read them here.

The winning story, ‘For The Discerning Traveller by Grace Tsai, is brave and different and I can see why it stood out in over 1000 entries. I think you need to read it more than once, to really make your mind up about it. See what you think.

And on the puppy front.. (because you all want to know, don’t you?!), we bought a black working cocker spaniel puppy last week! We’re bringing her home on 10th April, when she’ll be just over 8 weeks old. Can’t wait!

P.S: Competition coming later this week. Watch this space!

Puppies 2

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13 Responses to Competition Results & Puppy Progress!

  1. Bernadette says:

    I haven’t read all of the country life stories yet, but I also didn’t get the ending of the winning story – I thought I was just being dim! I’ll need to read it again with a closer eye.
    I also submitted a village-set light hearted story – so that was clearly not what they were looking for.
    Hopefully they’ll make it an annual event and we can have another go next year!

  2. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    It is indeed a beautifully written story- a deserving winner but like you, I didn’t understand the ending.I’ve read it a couple of times and no, still not getting it. It’s irritating me so please, if anyone out there can enighten me…? Gorgeous puppies, Helen. I want one!

  3. Downith says:

    I thought the lamb was cute until I saw the puppies. Have you named her?

  4. Soothing Plain. I am often reminded of Paul McCartney’s words – ‘What good is art if it hurts your head?’ I skipped a lot of this story because it was description, description, even though most was beautiful. I thought it overdone but I may read too many womag stories where decription is a luxury fitted into a dozen words while the rest is plot and characterisation. I thought it was only Jesus who managed to resurrect himself, oh, and Lazarus. Now we have Robin.
    I suppose all the missing gaps between words and other errors are down to it being copied onto the website?

  5. Wendy Clarke says:

    Ah you did call her Bonnie – you said you might. I hope she is better behaved that my Bonnie, Helen!

  6. Tracy Fells says:

    Thanks for mentioning these competitions Helen. I entered both and was really hopeful, but alas no luck with either – so will have to read the winners. Can’t wait to see puppy pics – you do realise the new addition will soon hijack your blog…

  7. John says:

    Soothing Plain. Some fine phrases and a very moving theme but I agree the ending was puzzling. Was it just wishful thinking?

  8. Linda says:

    No, I didn’t win either but I now have another story looking for a kind home. It’s a bit like matching puppies with suitable new owners – one person’s Ahhh! is another’s No Way!
    (But who couldn’t love your puppy!)

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