Hello everyone. Last month I received 24 entries from 12 authors, six of whom had sent three stories (recommended). One was disqualified for only being 99 words. Fortunately the author had submitted two other stories so I had those to choose from. It was actually my least favourite of the three and as well as a word missing, there was a typo (though instead of through… easily done!). Another was disqualified for having a non-hyphenated number (ninety nine rather than ninety-nine) which then made it a 99-word story. Sorry but it’s a typo. Again, the author had sent in two other stories so still had a chance to be placed. Another author who had submitted three (always recommended) had a 102-word story. There was a hyphenated word (well-known) which could have been counted as two words (it isn’t) but no apparent reason for the other excess word.
The winning stories are ones that I reacted most favourably to; usually the winner making me go “Wow”. 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 May is ‘the kite’ and you can submit your entries (and do send three) at any time up to midnight (UK time) on Thursday 31st May.
So without further ado, below are the successful entries this month.
D J Shine with ‘The Green Bucket’
I held the green bucket so close that the smell of earth washed up my nostrils, making me wrinkle my nose. I had used my thumb to put seeds into that earth and spent ages placing stickers of smiling princesses and clowns around my bucket. It was a magic world of happiness. I cried when Dad said I couldn’t take it into bed with me.
The sun did send love through the window but the earth didn’t hear it.
Dad spotted the grape in my bucket and said it was a miracle. It’s not a miracle it’s from the fridge.
Laura Besley with ‘Blue on a Red Day’
‘Grandma, why is Mummy crying?’
‘She’s feeling a little blue, darling.’
I look down at the chopped up strawberries and raspberries in my bowl. ‘But that can’t be true, Grandma. Today’s a red day.’
Grandma slowly dries up the cup in her hand. ‘Not everyone believes the days of the week are colour-coded.’
‘I know. Peter Johnson says I’m silly, but Miss Anne always tells him off when he says that.’
Grandma sort of smiles. ‘Eat up.
‘But what does it mean?’
‘It means you feel sad.’
‘Is Mummy sad because the baby died?’
‘Yes, darling. That’s why she’s sad.’
Joint third place (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) – in alphabetical order:
Angela Greenwood with ‘Animal Facts’
An ostrich lays gigantic eggs, while snakes don’t have any legs. An elephant’s nose is called a trunk and terrible smells come from a skunk. Bees are great at making honey, a hyena laughing isn’t funny. Zebra stripes are always black and wolves go hunting in a pack. A cheetah can run very fast, while a tortoise will always be last. Giraffes have the longest necks and geese will give you spiteful pecks. A lion gives a vicious bite, bats won’t fly unless it’s night. White rhinos have massive heads. But if a bear hugs you, you will be dead!
Lesley McLean with ‘The Moment’
The foxy seven year old swanked up to the teacher’s table, pivoted on the gaudy platform heels and announced to the class, New Shoes! She twirled then strutted down her catwalk, like a diva in drag. All eyes were on the fantastic footwear as she sat back down at her desk, grinning broadly.
It had taken tantrums and tears to acquire these magnificent creations. Mission accomplished, she owned the multi-coloured lace-up clumpertons. And to think, if she hadn’t mortified mother enough, she probably would have had to shamefully hide the horrid dowdy brown sensible Clark’s buckle shoes under her desk.
- Fiona M Jones with ‘A Hundred Words’
- Justin Rulton with ‘Discombobulated’
- Patricia Cooksley with ‘Jessie’s Surprise’
Honourable mentions (not winning anything but only narrowly missing out and still looking good on their CV) – in alphabetical order:
- Ishika with ‘A Loss of Innocence’
- Jennie Gardner with ‘A Stirring Tale’
- Karen Turner-Smith with ‘My Best Friend’
- Lestie Mulholland with ‘It’s a Dog’s Life’
- Shalom Galve Aranas with ‘Lira and the Arab Prince’
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.