Winners
‘Suitcase’
 
When we chose the suitcase theme for our latest competition, we expected lots of light, comic tales about holiday romances and lost luggage. We did get some of those – along with quite a few sentient suitcases – but what we really didn’t expect was how many of you used your suitcase as a way into much darker subject matter.
 
We read tales of murder, abuse and domestic violence, alcoholic parents and estranged children. While there were some lighter moments – luggage mix-ups leading to love affairs and unassuming old ladies carrying surprising baggage on the Tube – it’s fair to say the theme brought out your dark side in ways we hadn’t anticipated.
 
Our job as judges is, obviously, to pick the best stories from among all of your fantastic entries. Often one of the things we consider is showing a range of tone and focus in the stories we publish. This time, however, we’ve opted for three stories that examine varying degrees of tragedy. All three stuck with us long after we finished reading and we’re proud to publish them.
  • ‘Voicing His Fears’ by Kevin Cheeseman is a beautifully-written examination of the relationship between a ventriloquist and his dummy. We were impressed by just how much Kevin achieves in the short word count and by the fully-realised characters he’s created. We hope you enjoy meeting Rich, Kenny and Maggie as much as we did. We’re delighted to give Kevin our first prize of £150.

  • ‘Remembrances’ by Theodor Bernard Küng is a nostalgic tale of what might have been. Theodor’s excellent story shows how a marriage only works if both partners are invested in its success. It’s a poignant and melancholy tale in which no one really comes out well. Theodor wins our £75 second prize.

  • ‘Parcels of Love’ by Sue Whytock shows the impact of domestic violence and racism on Nargis and her three children. We loved the strongly-drawn secondary characters, the sense of community Sue evokes, and the clear bond between Asha and her mother. Sue is the worthy winner of our £50 third prize.
Thank you to everyone who entered. If you asked for feedback from the judges, it will be in your inbox by 15 October. And don’t forget to give our ‘Strangers’ competition a go. Send us your story by 30 November. Are you up for the challenge?
 
Shortlist
 
‘Foreign Bodies’ by Sam Burt
‘Baggage’ by Sophie Capeci
‘Voicing His Fears’ by Kevin Cheeseman
‘According to Plan’ by Jared Coren
‘The Bald Old Man’ by Joe Gibbs
‘The Notes the Little Birdies Sing’ by Anne Howkins
‘Remembrances’ by Theodor Bernard Küng
‘Case Study’ by Steven Patchett
‘Houdini’s Dare’ by Kate Viggers
‘Parcels of Love’ by Sue Whytock
‘The Baggage Handler’ by Alexis Wolfe
 
Longlist
 
‘What’s Inside’ by Katie Burchett
‘Foreign Bodies’ by Sam Burt
‘Baggage’ by Sophie Capeci
‘Voicing His Fears’ by Kevin Cheeseman
‘Meet Cute’ by Emma Coll
‘According to Plan’ by Jared Coren
‘One Night in France’ by Nell Crawford
‘See What Others See’ by Alex Dawes
‘Sometimes They Return’ by Stephen Gallagher
‘The Bald Old Man’ by Joe Gibbs
‘Resurrection’ by T X House
‘The Notes the Little Birdies Sing’ by Anne Howkins
‘Treasured Possessions’ by Jan Keegan
‘Remembrances’ by Theodor Bernard Küng
‘August Rain’ by Amy Miles
‘Case Study’ by Steven Patchett
‘In the Back Seat’ by Daniel Smyth
‘Houdini’s Dare’ by Kate Viggers
‘Parcels of Love’ by Sue Whytock
‘The Baggage Handler’ by Alexis Wolfe
 


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© 1000 word challenge 2019