Text Box:    Short Story Results 2019

 

First: Hot Chocolate For One by Catherine Hokin

Second: Hippo Man by Shannon Savvas

Third: All Roles We Play by Andrea Wotherspoon 

Click on the titles to read the three winning stories

 

Judge’s Report for the short story competition 2018/19 from Morgen Bailey

 

What a fabulous collection of stories. They were so different that they’d make a great anthology, each story having its own style and merit. Going through the stories in the order I received them, I was a few in before I selected one that I knew would be in the top three. I placed it second but then read the next story and also placed that second. I just needed one more story but with nine to go, I knew it was likely that one of the two second-placed stories would slip out of the top three and I’d already grown to love the characters.

However this wasn’t to prove to be the case, although it wasn’t easy choosing which of those remained in second place and which would go higher or lower. When I read the winning story though I knew it was my favourite at that point and it remained so until I’d read all stories. I was ultimately left with four to choose from and was sad to lose one but it had to be done.

For me, character is key and the impact they make on me and how I feel at the end of the story, as well as the strength of the writing – this is a writing competition after all – is how I judge one over another.

Although the winning story may seem quite simple, I loved the main character’s journey and how her relationship with her husband was drip fed through his actions and words rather than indirect narration – the ultimate show vs. tell. Then we have the beginning coming full circle, with her choosing what she’s initially dissuaded from. The fact that she is liberated not entirely by her own hands is also rewarding and the events are very subtle. It’s a realistic piece and one that most readers would be able to relate to even if not through direct experience.

The second and third stories were very different; they were again journeys for the main characters with one helping herself, the other helping someone else and it was George’s story that endeared me microscopically more than Sarah but again, in another batch, or for another judge, the outcome may well have been different. It’s just my opinion so if you haven’t made the top three this time, the chances are that you only narrowly missed out. They were all fantastic so you should feel very proud.

 

1st: Hot Chocolate For One

Several of the stories were about troubled relationships and this was one of the most subtly told us being shown their in trouble rather than being told directly. It’s a slow-paced tale but one we can empathise with, follow the torture that Mary’s marriage endures. I really liked the fact that Derek’s demise wasn’t of Mary’s doing but equally that she felt no need to hurry to help him. The ending clinched the piece for me. This was a clear winner.

 

2nd: Hippo Man

Poor Georgie and his suet-pudding feet. We feel for him from the off and as the information is revealed, we can only empathise more. Lorna is a lovely ray of sunshine and the description of the other characters is fantastic. I especially liked the way George grew in confidence while the troubled young Shane softens under George’s guidance.

 

3rd: All Roles We Play

This is a very touching story. The fact it had a dog in it, pulled me in from the off and the characters’ interactions and personalities were very warming, and we could feel for Sarah not eager to return home. Having had a ‘You wouldn’t understand’ partner, I could relate to that.

 

 

Short Listed Entries — in alphabetical order

 

10-62 In Progress by Melissa Ganendran

All Roles We Play by Andrea Wotherspoon

Almost Like Home by Taria Karillion

Ancient by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Darth Vader's Skirt by Julia Hartnett

Dirty Pictures by Mandy Wheeler

Hippo Man by Shannon Savvas

Hot Chocolate for One by Catherine Hokin

I Love You to Death by Debbi Voisey

Innocents by Adam Lock

Life in a Day by Nic Hale

Mama by Corinne Melville

The Spaces In-between by Paula Conway

Thingamajig by Joan El Faghloumi

You Didn’t Know I Could Dance by Alison Woodhouse

 

Long Listed Entries — in alphabetical order

 

10-62 In Progress by Melissa Ganendran

A Drinker's Face by Karen Jones

A Handful of Photographs by Ceri Simmons-Lowe

A Sting in the Tale by Taria Karillion

All Roles We Play by Andrea Wotherspoon

Almost Like Home by Taria Karillion

Ancient by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Approaching Dealey Plaza by David Griffiths

Belladonna by Amy Kitcher

Body Double by Oscar Windsor-Smith

Cliffs by Emily Prince

Dangerous Brian by Gregor McClenaghan

Darth Vader's Skirt by Julia Hartnett

Dirty Pictures by Mandy Wheeler

Fifty Dollars by B A Jones

Free Stuff by Michael Gigandet

Grace by C.S. Reardon

Hippo Man by Shannon Savvas

Hot Chocolate for One by Catherine Hokin

Hot Wind by Mandy Wheeler

I Love You to Death by Debbi Voisey

Innocents by Adam Lock

Life in a Day by Nic Hale

Life in Colour by Alison Lindley

Little Pig by Richard Chalk

Luc's Offer by Ian Tucker

Mama by Corinne Melville

Mindfulness by Dan Brotzel

Misanthropes by Dean Gessie

Mr Khan by Mark Norris

Officers of Adaptation to Climate Change by Dean Gessie

Out of Sync by Jordan Duguid

Restoration by Adam Lock

Serbian Dracula Mysteries by Kate Felix

Social Conditioning by Dianne Bown-Wilson

Ten Good Reasons by Tracy Fells

The Amazon of Bloomsbury by Shannon Savvas

The Assassinations of a President by Richard Hooton

The Backup Plan by Hildur Sif Thorarensen

The Bookkeeper by Richard Hooton

The Brightside Brothers and the Loss of the 1953 FA Cup Final by Rob McInroy

The Edge of Love by Richard Hooton

The Only Explanation by John Bunting

The Postman’s Wife by Sherri Turner

The Spaces In-between by Paula Conway

Thingamajig by Joan El Faghloumi

Thirsty by Niamh Noble

Twin Set Up by Ian Tucker

What's the Italian for Campervan? by Robert Kibble

Which Direction Home by Gillian Brown

Would It Kill You? by Patricia Perry Donovan

You Didn’t Know I Could Dance by Alison Woodhouse