Hello everyone. This month I received 30 entries from 19 authors. NB. You could all have submitted three stories for a better chance of getting through to the shortlist. Just saying’. 🙂 Every month there are disqualifications and September was no different…
One was disqualified for having a word (‘to’) missing which would have taken it over the 100 words. Another was disqualified for not being written to the theme.
Another story was withdrawn by the author because he’d submitted a variation elsewhere and it had been successful. Please don’t do this. It just wastes time I don’t have as I don’t wait until the end of the month to read and score them. I don’t mind having stories you’ve previously submitted elsewhere and have not been successful, and if you’ve not been successful in my competition, you’re welcome to then use them elsewhere but please wait until the results have been announced before you duplicate. It’s not long to wait (six weeks at the most).
Some stories missed out on top marks because they were dark but not strictly to the theme. One had been written in an unusual – and very clever – format but sadly the ending let it down. Do remember this is all subjective – just my judgement.
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 (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 October is ‘a ghost story’ and you can submit your entries (and do send three so you have a better chance of reaching the shortlist) at any time up to midnight (UK time) on Tuesday 31st October.
So without further ado, below are the successful entries this month…