For the September competition, we had eighteen entrants with twenty-four different 100-word stories… twenty-four ‘drabble’s. You can send up to three stories each per month so a potential there for fifty-four stories! Details of next month’s here.
Two stories were disqualified for being too short – 92 and 93 words (as per the rules, hyphenated words count as one, and another story seemed to stop too early) – and another two submissions had nothing to do with that month’s theme, which was ‘white’.
A couple had glaring errors – incorrect words, e.g. ‘in’ instead of ‘is’ – so weren’t disqualified but lost points. Mistakes happen but they should only happen in 10,000-worders or perhaps 1,000-word stories, not 100-word stories.
If you’re going to enter a competition – not just my one – read your story aloud… then get someone else (or your computer) to read your story, again ideally aloud. Once you’re both happy it’s perfect, only then click ‘submit’. It’s a shame because they weren’t half bad.
Because September was the first month I’d run this competition, the prizes were:
- First prize: winning all six of my online creative writing courses
- Second prize: winning three courses of his / her choice
- Third prize: winning two courses of his / her choice
- Up to five Highly Commended: winning my Entering Writing Competitions course.
With the first, second and third prized being published on this blog and the highly commended being listed by just author and title.
Hereafter the prizes will be: three courses, two courses, one course, then the EWC course respectively.
I know every judge says this but it was a tough choice (some tougher than others) to whittle it down to the top three (as you will see, it’s actually a top four!) and then only have five highly commended (another two fought valiantly to be on that list).
So without further ado, the winners are…. <opens gold envelope>
First prize (winning all six of my online creative writing courses)
Amanda Hard with ‘They Have To Want To Be Saved’ (her other story also vied for top place!)
Night falls and with it comes the snow that captures my footprints in its soft grip. When I pull my feet away there’s a white hole in the crust, sharp around the edges. There’s a similar hole in the sequence of memories I have with you, a series that ends in snow.
“Carry me,” you asked, and as I donned my white hat and lifted you off your wet feet, I foolishly hoped to carry you further, stepping together around those dark obstacles in your mind.
Your face and my white flag lay dead and cold. Forgive me for failing.
Second prize (winning three courses of his choice)
Tony Tibbenham with ‘White 3’
White was your colour: The sweet innocence I craved.
White was our happiness, bright and clear together.
We shared my white sheets then, moonlight shining on their disarray.
Your pale skin glistening as we held each other, warm and secure against the dark.
White lies fell from your lips, lies that grew and festered.
Black was the void that grew between us.
White was your pallor when I discovered your betrayal.
White satin was your favourite. Your blood stained it red.
Joint third prize (winning two courses of her choice)
Helen Jones with ‘Your Favourite Colour?’
“I would like it white, darling,” he said.
“White it is,” she replied as she slipped in the powder.
He choked, and his eyes questioned her.
Standing over him she reflected. Miss had said in seventh grade, “White’s not a colour. It’s the absence of white that makes the colour.”
“Seems I was right. White is still my favourite colour,” she said sourly as she looked at his face; white with the absence of colour.
Joint third prize (winning two courses of her choice)
Cathy White (very apt!) with ‘Mirror Image’
My age, she thought, as she sat down and opened the morning paper.
Stories spoke of fire, flood and war; a photo showed a white-haired woman fleeing in terror, the whites of her eyes bloodshot with fear.
Freda stared at the woman for a few seconds, tossed the paper aside, entered the bathroom and screamed as she caught her reflection in the mirror.
Freda’s hair had turned white, like the woman in the paper’s, right down to her eyelashes, eyebrows and even the soft, downy hair that covered her face.
Highly Commended (winning my Entering Writing Competitions course) in first name order
- Bobby Fairfield with ‘Into the White’
- Brandon Beckett with ‘Wedding’
- Debasree Banerjee with ‘Her World’ (her other story would also have qualified here)
- Mark Morris with ‘Fade to White’
- Paul Isaac with ‘Conception’
So, congratulations everyone. I will be in touch with the details of your prizes.
For anyone who didn’t enter (or did), October’s competition is already open (and some stories have been submitted!) with the theme of ‘unlucky Halloween’. Details here and the results will be announced on this blog on Friday 13th November… hence the theme’s title!
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