I recently received my copy of The Winchester Writers’ Conference Anthology 2010 and it is a fantastic read. For those of us that entered the competitions last year, it was good to read the winning entries and analyse what the judges look for. My own entry into the Short Story competition received a commendation which was one hell of an achievement; i’ve been writing (seriously) for two years.
I can’t stress enough, how important I think it is for a writer to enter competitions and, or, attend conferences. The feedback you receive is vital for your growth and necessary sustenance for your long journey on the road to becoming a published author.
I am proud to announce that my name is published in the anthology (see below), though sadly, my story is not.
I have uploaded the story onto if you wish to read it
The adjudicator for this particular competition was John Jenkins, publisher and editor.
Here is what he wrote about the entries;
“Compiling a competition short list from a host of short story entries is not too difficult if you approach the task methodically, work away from other distractions and concentrate. You ask yourself a number of questions:
What was the author trying to achieve?
Did he or she succeed?
Was it worth the effort?
Would I as an editor publish it inviting people to pay for the privilege of reading it and using up some of their time?
It is, as sports commentators twitter: a tough ask. But the answer for everybody on the short list was yes.
To assist in this course of action it is usual to de-construct the story under a variety of headings: Opening, Title, Plot/theme, Pace, Characters, Entertainment, Dialogue, Language and Ending. Other judges use more, e.g. story arc – and occasionally fewer headings.
Then there is something indefinable, a certain je ne sais quoi. Much as I deplore foreign phrases there is nothing quite as accurate as this one.
One story will score high on all headings but another will be a better story. It will resonate in the mind either because the tale is beautifully told or it strikes a chord where a chord needed striking.”
You can enter the 2011 competitions by logging onto this site: