Hello everyone. Last month I received 23 entries from 15 authors. One story was disqualified for being sent a month too early. It also means it can’t be resent in April (it’s in the rules) but is then free to be sent elsewhere. Some were heavily influenced by the theme (superstitious), others less so but there was, as always, an entertaining and impressive mix of tales.
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 (without being sickly).
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 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 April is ‘a children’s story’ and you can submit your entries (and do send three) at any time up to midnight (UK time) on Monday 30th April.
So without further ado, below are the successful entries this month.
First place (winning free access to three of my online creative writing courses (currently worth £60 / $60) or a free edit and critique of up to 2,000 words (worth £14 / $18): justin rulton with ‘Mini Winnie’
‘Eating unshapely food means your baby will be ugly,’ Steph said with a grin.
Rachel examined what was left of the punnet of strawberries she’d been guzzling for the last fifteen minutes, picking up pieces of the fruit and grimacing at their uneven contours. ’That’s just old superstitious rubbish,’ she replied, laughing it off.
Three months later she was blessed with a baby boy, a small pink thing that looked a great deal like Winston Churchill chewing a nettle.
‘Isn’t he adorable?’ she asked her friend.
Steph took a bite from the smoothest, roundest of apples, pretending not to hear.
Second place (winning free access to two of my online creative writing courses (currently worth £40 / $40) or a free edit and critique of up to 1,500 words (worth £11 / $14): Barbara Young with ‘Animal Magic’
Steve glances at his cards. “Raise.”
He throws two bedraggled magpies onto the table.
Dave smiles. “And again.” A rabbit’s foot lands with a dull thud next to the birds.
“I’ll see you,” says Steve.
He tosses a scrawny black cat into the pot; it arches its back and hisses at the magpies.
I can no longer contain my outrage: “I represent the League Against Luck Games. You will be detained indefinitely. These innocent talismans will be rehabilitated and returned to their natural environments.”
I glance at the blood oozing from the rabbit’s foot.
I swallow. “Well, most of them.”
Third place (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):Amanda Hard with ‘Step on a Line, Instead’
It happened as they always said it would: his foot, his fault. While his mother recovers from surgery, he is especially careful with the salt, avoids all color of cats (just to be safe), doesn’t wish on stars or clovers, nor plucks petals from daisies — he already knows she loves him, despite the incident with the crack.
When she calls, he waits three rings before answering.
Her tired and lonely voice implores him to visit, but he makes the busy excuse.
He has no car, no bicycle, and there are too many cracks on the road to risk another trip.
- D J Shine with ‘Lucky Blond’
- Andre N. Lepine with ‘Modern Bathory’
- Liz Smythe with ‘Mr Frigg’s Superstitions’
- Christina with ‘Paraskevidekatriaphobia’
- Jennie Gardner with ‘These Eaves’
Honourable mentions (not winning anything but only narrowly missing out and still looking good on their CV) – in alphabetical order:
- Angela Greenwood with ‘Step On A Crack’
- Ishika with ‘The Church of Luck’
- Jane Broughton with ‘When Good Luck Goes Bad’
- Sebastian with ‘Aunt Sadie’
- Valerie Griffin with ‘Shopping With Gran’
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.