The shortlist of 5 stories was very kindly judged by Fran Tracey, who’s been writing quirky/slice of life fiction for the women’s magazine market internationally for 14 years, has been published in various anthologies and has won a number of national competitions.
And the results are:
Winner: Treasure Hunt – by Alyson Faye
Runner-up: Deal or No Deal – by Linda Mallinson
This is what Fran had to say about her choices:
‘After a lot of deliberation – it was a tough decision, they were all really good stories – I’ve decided on Treasure Hunt as the winner. I thought the author had created so much atmosphere in so few words and it left you with so many questions, not least what happens next? There’s a really great sense of what these kids’ lives are like, and we can foresee that the nominally serendipitous discovery will have such a huge impact on their lives. I loved the last line – a twist to make your stomach lurch. The given words were woven into the story so well, too.
For runner up I liked Deal or No Deal. What a fabulous character study in just 100 words. I could hear Grandma’s voice so clearly. It made me smile at her wiliness, but I got a strong sense of the grandchild’s frustration too in the line ‘A little ray of sunshine, Grandma is not’. A great, deadpan line, including one of the given words.
I thought the manner in which each of the authors used the given words was very inventive, but these two stood out for me.’
Thank you, Fran, for doing such a great job of judging and well done to Alyson and Linda, who will be receiving emails from me very soon about their prizes!
I’m off to Writers Holiday in Fishguard in the morning. Really looking forward to it and, unbelievably, I am packed! (And now I’m worried that I must have forgotten something vital. I am never packed this ‘early’. It’s only 10pm!).
Let’s hope, as Fishguard is on the coast, it will be a bit cooler there! Anyone else finding it hard to sleep at night in this heat? (It doesn’t help that we’ve got a wasps nest in the eaves above the bed! They are sooo noisy at night – scratching, buzzing, crackling. I keep thinking a hole is going to appear and they’re all going to drop down on my face).
And on that lovely note, I shall wish you good night!
Night night. Don’t let the bed bugs bite! (or the wasps take flight).