Hello everyone. Last month I received 17 entries, a quieter month than normal… perhaps a trickier theme, although not all were written with a flying-toy-type kite in mind.
One was disqualified for only being 88 words. This was submitted by a regular entrant so a faux pas, I think. Another was disqualified for being 101 words and it turned out that a word had been duplicated in error. It was a simple mistake which I could have overlooked but it would have been unfair to other entrants. Sadly it was the entrant’s only submission so missed out. A third was disqualified for only being 99 words (perhaps 100 with the title but that’s against the rules). Fortunately the author had submitted another story so that went through to the judging. Another lost a point for slipping in tense (a ‘has’ in a past tense story) but still made it through, as did a story that lost a point for an ‘it’ instead of an ‘it’. Silly mistakes that should have been picked up when read back through (and why I listen to them – via text-to-speech – while I read on the screen). Finally, another lost a point for using the spelling of a word rather than the noun version. Easily done but always worth checking if you’re unsure.
Winning stories are generally 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).
Apart from the top three and highly commended, 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 ‘the wheel’ and you can submit your entries (and do send three) at any time up to midnight (UK time) on Saturday 30th June.
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): Patricia Cooksley with ‘Emily’s Knickers’
Emily did not need knickers. She was so thin, hers did not fit anyway.
Emily’s imprisonment in the vicarage had been immeasurably cruel. Starved and abused, Emily planned her escape.
She had captured unwary birds through the broken window, for nourishment, and she kept the feathers and bones in the dark recesses of her cell.
Armed with fragments of knickers and bones, Emily fashioned a kite. She pierced her finger until a trickle of blood stained the material: HELP Emily.
Emily patiently waited for sufficient wind to pass her window and all her hopes and dreams left with the kite.
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): Jennie Gardner with ‘Time to Soar’
“Have fun at Uni.”
Myla wipes a tear and prepares to wave. It only felt like five minutes ago she was waving him off to school, clutching his blue bear. She’d felt bereft then too, letting go of the tiny hand and retracing her steps, scooter dangling off her left arm.
Now, driving home, his ‘gone-ness’ is inescapable.
They pass a tree, a kite tangled in its branches, the torn canvas tugging in vain. Myla smiles at the memory of coaxing kites with her boy.
“You have to let it go. When it’s ready it will come back to you.”
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): Lestie Mulholland with ‘If you Love Something, Let it Go’
Raptor was his name because he was majestic enough to capture all of his genus in one. Red Kites are beautiful, graceful, harmless (unless you were a worm) and my chap, with his royal attitude, his masterly management of the wind and his gorgeous colours was a fine bird indeed.
If only I could share my joy with someone else.
Raptor seemed to know what I was thinking. He looked at me perceptively, sort of waggled an impatient tail, asking to be let go. The sky beckoned.
I obliged. It was easy thus to do. I knew he’d come back.
- Amanda Niehaus-Hard with ‘My Graduation Wish to You: Catch the Wind’
- Angela Greenwood with ‘Swooping Soaring and Free’
- Karen Turner-Smith with ‘The Red Kite’
Honourable mentions (not winning anything but only narrowly missing out and still looking good on their CV) – in alphabetical order:
- Barbara Young with ‘Morning Flight’
- Justin Rulton with ‘Breaking The Bank’
- Laura Besley with ‘The Ritual of Mating’
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.