‘Twenty-nine’ – 15 March 2016
We’ve loved reading your entries for our ‘Twenty-nine’-themed 1000 word challenge.
You sent us stories from the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Poland, Bulgaria and Egypt, as well as every corner of the UK, from Dorset to the Highlands of Scotland.
Your varied tales were set on the 29 bus, dealt with the trauma of approaching 30 and considered that quirky extra day in every leap year. We learned about cribbage and pondered a world where having just one head makes you a social outcast.
We especially enjoyed Joshua King’s fantastical Western, ‘29 Paces’, and lived every anxious moment of a hospital visit in Julia Graves’ ‘Twenty-Nine’. We were also impressed by the originality of ‘Searching for my Other Half’ by Ioana Pristoleanu, in which a robot’s mission isn’t quite what it seems.
Picking the winners was a difficult task and we’re pleased to announce that we’ve published not three but four stories and recognised two others we really enjoyed.
- Our first prize winner is ‘Twenty-Nine’ by Arkadiusz Kwapiszewski. We were gripped by Arkadiusz’s story of an army officer weighing up the cost of war. For his beautifully-written tale that truly considers the significance of the number twenty-nine, Arkadiusz wins £100.
- Second prize goes to ‘Trust’ by Kevin Cheeseman. We were intrigued by the relationship between Finn and Leo, a songwriter and a musician, doing battle over song lyrics. Kevin’s enigmatic story rewards multiple readings and we’re delighted to give him £50 for his efforts.
And so, to our joint third prize winners, two stories which, though they couldn’t be more different, are both reflections on entering adulthood.
Barry and Bart win £25 each.
Our two commended stories, which win £10 prizes, are:
- ‘The ramblings of a serial procrastinator, featuring moderate feminism and interruptions from teacher’s pet Jack. (A working title)’ by Katie Burchett. Katie’s funny story rewrites history as her protagonist tries to finish an essay about Anne Boleyn.
- ‘A Tribute to Bud’ by Jerry Wilson is set in a spit-and-sawdust bar where life is hard and affection is measured in beer.
Well done to all our winners and thank you to everyone who entered.