Hello everyone. This month I received 31 entries from 16 authors. There was a mixture of amusing and entertaining but the ones I chose were, for me, the ones that summed up the prompt of ‘comic’.
Four were disqualified for only being 99 words (no obvious reason why) and sadly three were the only entries by those (new to this competition) authors. One should actually have been 98 as two words weren’t hyphened that should have been.
Every month, I say to check your word count (both via whichever document software you use and manually) and DO send in more than one entry because if you’re disqualified for your one and only story (or two and only) then you’ve missed out for the whole month.
One lost a point for having a ‘gong’ instead of a ‘going’*. That may sound tough but most, if not all, competitions will do this. It’s only fair to the other entrants. So please read, re-read, and read your stories again. *It’s a shame because that story particularly tickled me as it featured a character (even the same name) that featured in one of my novels.
The winning stories are ones that I reacted most favourably to. They were clever, surprising, eek-making (in a good way), or gave me a warm fuzzy feeling.
You may have chosen a different order or indeed not placed one or more of them so if you entered and didn’t find your story / stories here, don’t lose heart. You probably only just missed out (there were originally eight highly commended then I whittled down to the maximum three) so do enter new stories this month*, next month, whenever you like (but not in advance!). It’s an ongoing competition and free, so you could win at any time. There were new and familiar names this month so anyone could win… it’s all dependent upon whether your story grabs me, for whatever reason (whether it be clever, funny, unusual, quirky, or sweet).
A new recent feature… there are some ‘Honourable Mentions’. They don’t win anything but they were so close to being Highly Commended that I wanted them to know how close they came. It’s still something for them to put on their CVs.
*The theme for June is ‘German’ and you can submit your entries at any time up to midnight (UK time) on Friday 30th June.
So without further ado, below are the successful entries this month:
Alyson Hilbourne with ‘Superman’
Superman stood three foot tall in his red underpants.
We got used to the look as Oliver refused to recognise his alter ego and wore nothing but his comic book hero costume for three years — in bed, under school uniform, and even to his aunt’s wedding. He told us he could only be destroyed by kryptonite, Brussel sprouts, or having his hair washed.
When his Daddy died, suddenly in a car crash, and my world shattered into a million pieces, Superman was there to save me. But the crash destroyed Superman too, and my comic book hero became Oliver again.
Rehanna Neky with ‘I Feel Like a Joke’
Dear Agony Aunt,
I’ve spent the last five years being attacked by an online hate campaign, all because of that single war memorial incident. And a few dodgy legal letters.
Let me explain.
I was unruly as a youngster, a rallying point for rebels but beloved of children. Now I’ve become conventional. Headteachers even request my presence in the classroom!
But this hasn’t protected me from the trolls. My curves and slight instability are mocked viciously whenever I appear in public. No-one believes anything I write any more. I’m 22 but feel a hundred.
Please help me.
Joint third place – in alphabetical order (each winning free access to one of my online creative writing courses (currently worth £20 / $20) or a free edit and critique of up to 1,000 words (worth £7 / $9):
Laura Besley with ‘Speed Reading’
I noticed the dirt under his too-long nails as he pulled the last comic off the shelf. He flicked to a page roughly halfway through, and stood there, reading, for about ten minutes as I pretended to browse. He put it back and I grabbed it quickly.
‘Got lucky,’ I said to the cashier. ‘Last one.’
‘The kid’ll be disappointed tomorrow.’
‘He comes in every day and reads a couple of pages.’
‘Why doesn’t he buy it?’
‘No money, I guess.’
Since then I’ve bought two copies every month and left one for the kid behind the counter.
Paul lsaac with ‘The Comic Book Artist’
‘Be ready,’ The Hero whispers to his freshly inked nemesis, staring up the nostrils of The Artist. ‘We’re looking more and more like him with every panel. Our time will come.’
The Artist stares down at the outlined empty face of The Bystander, caught up in the collateral damage of the fight. ‘Cameo?’ he thinks, ‘why not? It’s good enough for Stan Lee.’
Image mirrored, the pen fights back. He cannot escape ‘The Pull’.
He wipes debris from his eyes. Above him, The Hero and The Villain loom before a battle ruined sky. ‘Oh the things you’ve put us through…’
And new! Honourable mentions (not winning anything but only narrowly missing out and still looking good on their CV) – in alphabetical order:
- Ash Nazir with ‘Billy and the Incredible Beast’
- Carol Pryke with ‘Two for Four’
- Lestie Mulholland with ‘Didn’t Forget the Blanket’
- Mike Jackson with ‘Adam and Eve’
Congratulations, everyone. The entries for this month are already drifting in. Remember, you can send up to three per month so rather than miss out on a chance by sending one story, do submit more.
If you’ve enjoyed these stories and / or just want to leave a comment, please do so below and / or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org., although I won’t (can’t) discuss forthcoming entries unless it’s a general query.