‘Fresh’ – 15 December 2015
We were hugely impressed with the quality and variety of entries for our first 1000 word challenge. Stories came from as far afield as Egypt, the USA, Canada and Australia, as well as the UK. We had thrillers, romances, period pieces and character studies. We even had the story of a dog experiencing the evils of humanity thanks to the ‘gift’ of a human heart.
We were moved by ‘The Rouge’ by Mona A Ghani and ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ by Kev Harrison, which both sensitively tackled terminal illness. Marcus McCabe entertained us with his tale of a meek, middle-aged man discovering the primeval hunter within in ‘Free Range’.
The quality of these stories, and many others, made picking just three winners very difficult – we’ve been burning the midnight oil and arguing about which stories should make the cut.
We’re pleased to announce our three main prize winners and that we’ve chosen three commended stories, whose authors each win £10:
- First prize: ‘Fresh’ by Lubnaa J – a macho fantasy? A parody of a macho fantasy? It was initially hard to tell with Lubnaa’s intriguingly strange tale. But when the penny drops, a quirky, playful and often hilarious story is revealed. For her stunningly unique take on the theme and sheer inventiveness, Lubnaa is our £100 winner.
- Second prize: ‘The End of the Line’ by Chloe Davis – a simple story, but wonderfully written with some beautiful turns of phrase. Central character Barb is a fully-realised and wonderful creation who stuck in the mind long after we’d finished reading. Chloe wins our £50 runner-up prize.
- Third prize: ‘The Middle of the Mosaic’ by Jared Coren – a dark, disturbing tale of a possessive relationship. Well structured and with an original take on the theme, it’s not for the easily offended, but with its woozy prose, ever-watchful mannequin, Rita, and wrenching ending, Jared is a worthy winner of our £25 prize.
Our three commended stories are:
- ‘Fresh’ by Katie Burchett – an unusual and exciting story of an owl on a night hunt to feed a newborn chick.
- ‘The Darkness of Snow’ by Patricia A Crumpler – a beautifully written fantasy about a vampire-like woman who extracts the lifeforce of an old man.
- ‘Fresh Carnations’ by Anna Pasquill – a story both bleak and amusing about the slow, sorry death of a vase of flowers.
Congratulations to our winners and many thanks to all who entered.