Wednesday, 27 April 2011

It's Only A Number: Shortlist

The judging for the first round of my competition was done by a panel of readers. These stories got the most votes out of the 39 entries and will go forward to the second round:

Clock Watching by Aaron Conaway
It's Just a Number by Anthony Anderson
An Alluring Fashion Parade by Catt Turner
Babysitter by Cee Martinez
The Boxes by David Vernon
Living the Dream by Linda Jones
Infinite by Lisa Bodenham-Mason
It's Only a Number by Lisamarie Lamb
The Returnee by Paula Kennelly
Forty by Pete Domican
The Right Decision by Rin Simpson
Mama's Boy by Rohi Shetty
The Number Six by Simon Kewin
Chicken by Siobhan McKinney

Congratulations to the shortlisted authors, and I am very sorry to everyone else who entered. The variety of themes among the entries was incredible and the judges had a tough time coming back to me with their votes, so thank you for sending your stories in for this.

With many thanks to my first round judges, Donna, Geraldine, Matt, Curly and Andy.

Friday, 22 April 2011

It's Only A Number: Judging in Progress

A little update in case anyone is frantically checking my blog as I have been known to do when I've entered a writing competition.

All of the stories are with my panel of judges. I have 6 judges for the first round, and 2 have come back to me already. I will be posting a shortlist on or before Wednesday 27th April.

I have read through all of the stories myself and I have to say they are a very impressive selection. It is amazing to read 39 stories based on the same prompt and for there to be such a variation in theme and approach.

Well done to everyone who entered, in my eyes you are all winners!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

It's Only A Number: Competition Now Closed

My flash fiction competion is now closed.

I have received 39 entries for this which is about 36 more than I was expecting, so I am very excited.

I will be starting the judging process by passing the stories on to my panel of readers and asking for their favourite 10 stories. From their combined responses a shortlist will be created.

I will post an update as soon as this shortlist is ready.

Thank you to everyone who has entered or spread the word about this competition. The response has been wonderful.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

It's Only A Number: Competition Update

When I set up my 'It's Only A Number' Flash Fiction Competition it was a bit of a joke which evolved from me feeling thoroughly underwhelmed about turning 40. As I wrote the post for it, I wondered if anyone would enter.

Here we are though, eight days until the deadline (which is midnight on 20th - my actual birthday) and to date I have 25 entries, which is such a lovely surprise.

Because of the amount of entries, I have decided to have a two stage judging process. First of all my judges (who are all avid readers but not writers themselves) will read the entries and select their favourite ten. From this feedback I will work out a shortlist.

We will then decide on the winners from the shortlist. There will be at least four judges for each round.

I've also decided to add a third prize to the list on the competition page.

Thank you to everyone who has entered or spread the word about this competition. It really is making me feel very excited about my birthday!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Friday Flash: The Lab

This flash was written for a challenge on My Writers Circle. The task was:

With 250 words, write a story in any genre, using any 3 of these five words or all if you can.

Bonus points for awarded for using this phrase anywhere in the piece:
It bore a strong resemblance to my youngest daughter.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Lab

My research into membrane structures and osmosis was complete. The necessary experiments had been undertaken without anything catastrophic happening and I finished my dissertation months before my deadline. I decided to spend my remaining time at University utilising the available space in the spare room behind the lab.  My aging supervisor, Professor Morris, who had a quiet resentment of me for some reason I would never understand, would have been far from amused.

Ever since I saw the movie Incognito, I’d had a passion for art. There was something amazing about painting the naked female form and then turning the painting into a representation of an angel or some other mythical creature. I never failed to find willing volunteers to model for me after plying the undergraduates with a few free drinks at the bar.

On my last day at Uni, I entered the lab as always. Professor Morris came storming out of the back room and I felt shivers of fear running through my body.

“What’s with the paintings, Green?” he demanded.
“It’s just something I do for a hobby,” I replied.

Professor Morris put his hands on his hips.
“One of those angels, well, it bore a strong resemblance to my youngest daughter.”

As the realisation hit me of exactly who Miranda Morris had been, with her silky skin and her willing mouth, I looked up.  Professor Morris had a demonic look in his suddenly-familiar eyes. I knew that my chances of gaining a doctorate were over.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you'd like to have a go at one of these challenges, I am hosting the next one, which is the reward for getting the most votes. You can find it here.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Yesterday: An Anthology

I've not had much luck with writing competitions. The odd long-listing, the occasional win. I don't enter that many but one of the best 'sorry you've not made it' emails I have received was from Marit Meredith who is responsible for The Pages Magazine and the related Annual Short Story and Poetry competition.

When a co-ordinator of a competition says you haven't made the top rankings but there's going to be an anthology published, it's a lovely feeling, despite not winning.

Today, the anthology has been published and you can see it for yourself on the Lulu website. It's available to download for 99p or as a paperback for £2.50 and it's being sold in aid of Ty Hafan Children's Hospice, Wales, UK. (Little bit of trivia, this is a charity that John Barrowman actively supports.)

My short story is called 'Ben' and it's a YA story.