Short Story Winners 2011
Very many congratulations to our winners in this year's competition and many thanks to all who entered.
Darci Bysouth, our short story judge, said:
"I’d like to thank the Grace Dieu Writer’s Circle for giving me the opportunity to read these stories. And many thanks to the writers, whose efforts and talent made this such an enjoyable experience!
I intended to judge the works through a set of standard criteria in an effort to focus my thinking and be as objective as possible (it must be the Virgo in me). A first read of the stories was all it took to make me reconsider. Clearly, the good folk at Grace Dieu had done the hard work for me, as all the pieces I was given met and surpassed the standards of ‘a good story’.
There is a place for objective evaluation. We use it in editing, to figure out why our own writing isn’t quite working for us, or to unravel the technique in the writing we admire. We love the stories we do, however, because something in them touches something in us, and this is largely a subjective experience.
The stories I love have something innovative about them. Perhaps the writer ignores convention to let the story shine, or uses unique and startling imagery, or resists offering false hope in an easy ending. Every element fits together so well that I forget a writer has sweated blood to work those words. My favourite stories have a sense of layering, of a meaning much deeper than the actual events. And above all, the winning stories don’t tell me what to think or feel. They draw me in, they move me, and they leave me echoing long after the last word."
This year's Short Story winners and short listed entries are listed below.
Please click on the story to read it.
1st – Richard Gibney, Dublin – “The Man Who Became Pure Energy”
2nd – Joanna Campbell, Gloucestershire – “Michael’s List of Fears"
3rd – Andrew Dutton, Derbyshire – “Fair Game”
4th – Richard Gibney, Dublin – “Chequered”
5th – Shirley Golden, Hampshire – “The False Moon”
Shortlisted and Commended (in no particular order):
Leo Madigan, Portugal – “The Old Man From The Garden”
Mary Powell, Carmarthenshire – “Wearing Purple”
Jenny Long, Essex – “Rabbit Hole”
Greta McGough, Blackpool – “Mixed Messages”
Ian Burton, Bournemouth – “The House Opposite
Joan Michelson, London – “The Body of a Man”
Dee Turbon, Edinburgh – “Me and Not Yet Me”