Happy Valentine’s & Happy Long-List!

IMG_0286 (2)Hello and, if you believe in all that lovey-dovey stuff on 14th Feb, Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here I am looking very smug with the Lanson ‘I Love You’ set that I won recently on Twitter (in fact, I look like I’ve already had half a bottle of the stuff in that picture but honestly I hadn’t!).

Although, I am actually sipping the pink champagne as I write this. It’s a tough job and all that. (eek, he’s just brought me a second glass! Quick, I must finish this before I start typing more gobbledy-gook!)

Right, here is the longlist for my Random Words flash fiction/poem competition, that closed on Friday night. I don’t usually do a longlist but I had lots of entries this time so it seemed apt.

Congratulations to the writers of the 15 stories listed. I did have a few poems sent in but sadly none of them made the cut.

I had exactly 50 entries, a record for these little comps and very pleasing (and great fun to read), so thank you to everyone who took the trouble to enter. Please be assured that every story was read carefully and considered (and printed out about fifty times last night as my printer went hay-wire!).

Unfortunately, I had to disqualify THREE stories as they were over the word limit (one entrant wrote “..sadly, it’s a little over despite ruthless editing…”! Which was a real shame as not only could she fairly easily have deleted the excess wordage without drastically changing the story, her entry was otherwise very good! Definitely a long-lister, maybe even a shortlisted story. But ‘rules is rules’ as they say. Sigh!).

I’m very excited about the ‘final judge’ for this competition! I won’t tell you who it is yet in case there’s any bribery and corruption but he – or she – will be receiving the 6 shortlisted entries from me (and I haven’t definitely decided on the shortlist yet) in the next day or so, anonymously and before I put them on here, in order to pick the winner and runner-up. That’s the main reason I haven’t put names beside the story titles because the judge will be making his/her choice without knowing who’s written them.

If you didn’t make the longlist, please don’t be disheartened. I had lots of stories on a similar theme: SPACE! (as in ‘the final frontier’), probably not suprisingly as one of the must-use words was ‘planet’ but it meant that some perfectly well-written stories had to be left out because they were just too similar to some of the others.

Two entries, by the way, didn’t have titles, but had they made the longlist, they would still have been included, with a title made up of the first couple of words of their story. But really, folks, if you’ve got chance to add a title to your story, in addition to the 100 words you’ve been given, you should really take it! Titles can intrigue, entice, explain, enhance… you should really use them well, if you can.

Right, lecture over. Here’s the longlist, in alphabetical order by title:

A Futile Gesture
Disco ‘78
Full Steam Ahead
Lucky Number
Moving Day
My Red Jumper
Sixpence And A Smile
Sleep
Solved
Speed Date
Stargazy Pie
Subtext
The Camel’s Back
There And Gone
Winging It

The shortlisted 6 stories will be printed here in full, with their author’s names, in the next couple of days (and not long after that, the winner and runner-up will be announced), so watch this space!

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8 Responses to Happy Valentine’s & Happy Long-List!

  1. LadyCristobel says:

    Congratulations, Helen! And thank you for your efficiency in posting a longlist. It’s really good for submitters who might not win to know that they made a long list. Many thanks, LadyC

  2. Best of luck to the long-listers. I don’t envy you your job having to choose between what I’m sure are excellent entries. Love your pink fizz prize. Lucky you!

  3. Champagne! How lovely…and has the power to make a girl feel special too.
    Great to see you had so many entries for your competition. Good luck to all the short listed, and well done to all those who took the time to enter.
    Interesting stats Helen, but no surprise you had someone who feels they can get away without sticking to the rules! The word count rule seems to mystify a lot of writers, and I have also had to disqualify good stories because the writer thought they were above the rules.
    It’s such a shame.

  4. philippabowe says:

    Hope you enjoyed your bubbles – and are not suffering for it today. And very glad to hear you got a record number of entries, your competition deserves recognition!

  5. Keith Havers says:

    50 entries shows just how popular your blog is, Helen.

  6. Patsy says:

    Congratulations to those who’re long listed – and to you on your own win.

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