Hello everyone. This month there were 23 entries from 13 authors. One was disqualified for not being to the theme, which was a shame as it was clever. There were a couple of unsuccessful stories that I read the first time and thought “Eh?” so I read a second time and went “Oh, OK.” I’d recommend sharing your work with someone else and see what reaction they give you. If it’s an “Eh?”, or “Oh, OK.” then you should probably try again. If they go “Wow” or “Ooh”, as I did with some of the successful entries, then you’ve probably “done good” as the (terrible) saying goes.
It was, as often is the case, a tough choice to pick first, second and third, and there was only half a point between them. Even the highly commended scored nine out of ten so if your name isn’t on the list, you probably only just missed out. So without further ado, below are the successful entries this month. NB. If your story has been published, you’re still welcome to use it elsewhere providing they accept previously published stories. I’m not greedy in demanding exclusivity. 🙂
The theme for August is unwanted birthday (mine’s next week!) and you can submit your entries at any time up to midnight (UK time) on 31st August. And from July onwards, there is not only a choice of online creative writing courses (worth up to £45 / $60) but alternatively you could have a free edit of your writing up to 2,000 words (worth £14 / £22).
Andy Morfett with ‘Get Away!’
Three years it’s been since my last proper get-away-from-it-all sojourn in the sun, a week in Marbella. I close my eyes and can feel the sand beneath my feet, the warmth of the sun on my bare torso. The lapping of the sea lulls me into a light doze…
“LIGHTS OUT!” the bossy prison officer yells loudly. I am unceremoniously dragged back to my reality: behind bars, three years into my sentence…
Renee Whittington with ‘A Lively Imagination’
Then heavy whiffs of cumin hit me. I sneeze loudly and hurry past. Damned cumin’s as bad as ragweed.
I imagine a nebulous cumin monster fighting a similar ragweed monster for possession of my histamines, and smile with amusement as I climb a flight of stairs toward my hotel.
Suddenly, screams, roars, and cumin scent erupt behind me. I turn and see two monsters through my watering eyes.
Diana Keschner Henning with ‘The Final Journey’
The train whooshes into the seaside station. Seagulls squawk, dive. Olivia alights shakily, carrying her shabby holdall, and heads to the lodge. The familiar smells assail her senses. She has been here many times before. What wonderful memories this place evokes; summer holidays as a child with her sister and parents, melting ice-creams, mango stained white towels, boys sprayed with cheap deodorant, mini-golf, salty swims. Olivia’s eyes fill with teary droplets. She cries out for her sister who is long buried. Olivia knows that that she will never leave. The disease is insidiously, snaking its way through her atrophied body.
- Paul Isaac with ‘Binnie’
- M W Brown with ‘No Interruptions’
Congratulations everyone. Entries have already started coming in for August so whether you were successful this month or not, do enter again.