Results of Morgen’s (free) 100-word competition: November 2015

Hello everyone. There were twenty-two entries this month, two of which were disqualified: one entrant had submitted for the October theme of ‘unlucky Halloween’ rather than ‘fireworks’ and I had to disqualify another story for being the wrong word count (102). It’s because there were two sets of ellipses (…) then the next word without a space in between. Put the space in between and it creates two words instead of one, i.e. “I’m not sure that… oh, OK.” is six words rather than five. ‘that…oh’ is not one word. Don’t rely on Word’s (or whichever software programme you use) word count. It’s only 100 words. Double-check yourself. It’s good practice. Oh, and remember that – as listed in the rules – a hyphenated word (e.g. well-known) counts as one, not two, and bullet points don’t count as words.

I know judges say this but it was a tough choice this month… quite a few authors narrowly missed out on being Highly Commended and some had only submitted one story. You can send up to three per month so it’s worth doing so. If you don’t succeed – or even if you do – you still have the piece to send elsewhere.

So without further ado… drum roll please… here are the results…

Winner: Alyson Faye with ‘A Guy for the Children’

a. bonfire 175864Fear coats me, like a second skin. ‘Remember remember the 5th November….’ The kids shriek the old rhyme while they leg it round the playground, chucking old cans and used condoms at me. Huddled, shivering, inside my tatty raincoat, I rock myself for comfort. ‘Go away,’ I whisper. It’s dark. Late. I wish I had somewhere else to be. Their shadows flit in and out of the swings and climbing frame, looping, swirling. Their hands ablaze with sparklers, which they thrust at me. ‘Run!’ one shouts. ‘Jump!’ screams another. The newspapers around me burst into flame. I will be headlines.

(Alyson wins three of my six Creative writing courses)

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Second placed: Eleanor Wrightson with ‘Our Guilty Embers’

b. tag 934233There he was. The man who charred my soul. He was beside the river, a cigarette plucked between his teeth. The burning tobacco sparked reminders of my bubbling flesh. It scolded my senses. His lulling grin ebbing as the firework bolted through my chest. Now he’s calm, rooting in the algae, puffing away the sadness that I created. His stuttering body is trapped by an ankle tag, a crude reminder of the life we lost. He spits fire, “It’s all your fault”. This time, it’s my guilt that forms the flame, that shoots our firework to light up the night.

(Eleanor wins two of my six Creative writing courses)

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Third placed: Aileen with ‘Things Better Left Unseen’

c. fireworks 979183The darkness smothered her. Fireworks, Irina sighed happily, were best enjoyed alone — but as pinpricks of light danced above, Irina’s solitude was rudely interrupted by a drunkard clutching a bottle and picnic rug. She frowned, but resignedly ignored him. Rat-tat-tat. The clearing lit up, the man’s face awash in red, before going dark. Too red, Irina realized with sudden clarity. Rat-tat-tat. Irina squinted before plunging back into blindness — Rat-tat-tat. — at the wild splotches of crimson, the bottle that was actually — Rat-tat-tat. — a severed hand, the rug that was a human body. Rat-tat-tat. His head swiveled around. The darkness smothered her.

(Aileen wins one of my six Creative writing courses)

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Highly commended (in alphabetical order):

  • Julia Thorley with Kamuro
  • Nick Robley with ‘The Firework Ghost’ and ‘Explosions’
  • Obinna Omotayoith ‘Firework’
  • Paul Isaac with ‘Into Orbit’ and ‘End of the World’
  • Rohini with ‘Adamantine Anger’ and ‘Dinnertime’
  • Wendy Steele with ‘Bonfire Night’

All the Highly Commended win my Entering Writing Competitions course (which if they have won previously can be given to a writing friend). Well done, everyone. I have already received entries for this month’s theme which is Christmas so regardless of whether you’ve entered before, do have a go. You could win one or more of my courses for free! 🙂

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Results of Morgen’s 100-word competition – October 2015

competition 612589For the October competition, we had eighteen entries. You can send up to three stories per author per month and I will pick my favourite of the three for consideration. Details of this competition, the current theme (fireworks), and how to enter can be found here.

Last month, two stories were disqualified for being too short. This month one was for only being 81 words. Last month, another two submissions had nothing to do with the theme (which was ‘white’) and this month one was because it was themed on ‘white’ rather than ‘unlucky Halloween’. As mentioned above, the theme for November is fireworks.

The prizes for October (and ongoing) are:

  • First prize: winning three of his / her choice of my six online creative writing courses
  • Second prize: winning two courses of his / her choice
  • Third prize: winning one course of his / her choice
  • Up to five Highly Commended: winning my Entering Writing Competitions course (which if they have won previously can be given to a writing friend).

The first, second and third prized being published on this blog and the highly commended being listed by just author and title. So without further ado, here are the results of the October 2015 competition…

1st place: Miranda Westbrook with ‘A Trick Treat’

Halloween sweets 52121It lay there innocent, nestled among the other shiny foils of the candy bowl. It promised sweet sensation, excited giggles and energetic happiness, but that promise would be an empty one.

The painted faces stared up into the age-ravaged eyes.

“Trick or treat.”

Smooth, silk-skein fingers clamoured into the bowl, hastened treasure into their pillowcases and were gone.

The door swung close with a click. Staring into the bowl, the faintest smile erupted on his lips. It was gone, on its way to stoke disappointment. Oh, yes. One child was going to be having a very unlucky Halloween this year.

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2nd place: Paul Isaac with ‘Brave’

police tape 924966I slipped away from the others under cover of the storm, running a finger along the police tape that lined the path to the door.

‘I’ve come for my sister.’

I pulled back my green hood and buffeted him over the threshold. He tried to distract me with poisonous edibles, but I pushed deeper into his lair.

Then I saw her, everywhere, she lined the walls.

I screamed my fury, but it was only one more cry against the chorus of this unhallowed night. My one chance cruelly reversed.

I spied an empty place on the mantelpiece, undoubtedly my own.

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3rd place: Tobenamed with ‘Not for burning’

Cool Red Barn 987721The straw-strewn barn held the glowing pumpkins and a novel opportunity. Rumour was that our celebrity was hungry for fresh meat. I nudged away skeletons, witches and goblins, and kicked the door shut.

She swivelled to face me, frowning. I strode forward to offer my autumn fruit, a taster for the main act.

I sensed her interest rise. She took four incisive bites then her eyes travelled down towards my masterpiece.

I held it out proudly to her and pleaded,  ‘Jay Darkling, literary agent, please read it now.’

‘Ah,’ she breathed, ‘hop onto the scaffold. We have our guy.’

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There were no Highly Commended this month.

Congratulations to the three placed winners, especially to Paul who was Highly Commended last month. I shall be in touch with details of your prizes.

For anyone who didn’t enter (or did), November’s competition is already open with the theme of ‘fireworks’. Details here and the results will be announced on this blog on Monday 11th December. You can enter as many competitions as you like but a maximum of three stories per month, and the first version of a story will be accepted so if you spot a mistake after pressing ‘send’ you don’t need to send a revised version because it won’t be read.

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Results of Morgen’s first 100-word competition – September 2015

competitions 677265For the September competition, we had eighteen entrants with twenty-four different 100-word stories… twenty-four ‘drabble’s. You can send up to three stories each per month so a potential there for fifty-four stories! Details of next month’s here.

Two stories were disqualified for being too short – 92 and 93 words (as per the rules, hyphenated words count as one, and another story seemed to stop too early) – and another two submissions had nothing to do with that month’s theme, which was ‘white’.

A couple had glaring errors – incorrect words, e.g. ‘in’ instead of ‘is’ – so weren’t disqualified but lost points. Mistakes happen but they should only happen in 10,000-worders or perhaps 1,000-word stories, not 100-word stories.

If you’re going to enter a competition – not just my one – read your story aloud… then get someone else (or your computer) to read your story, again ideally aloud. Once you’re both happy it’s perfect, only then click ‘submit’. It’s a shame because they weren’t half bad.

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Because September was the first month I’d run this competition, the prizes were:

  • First prize: winning all six of my online creative writing courses
  • Second prize: winning three courses of his / her choice
  • Third prize: winning two courses of his / her choice
  • Up to five Highly Commended: winning my Entering Writing Competitions course.

With the first, second and third prized being published on this blog and the highly commended being listed by just author and title.

Hereafter the prizes will be: three courses, two courses, one course, then the EWC course respectively.

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I know every judge says this but it was a tough choice (some tougher than others) to whittle it down to the top three (as you will see, it’s actually a top four!) and then only have five highly commended (another two fought valiantly to be on that list).

So without further ado, the winners are…. <opens gold envelope>

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