The Writers Bureau Short Story Competition 2019
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Short Story Competition 2018 Winners


Winner - Jason Jackson with Fingers
2nd Place - Lynne McVernon Mr Waverley's Waterloo
3rd Place - Michela Tamma with Voyage
4th Place - Gillan Drew with The Embrace of the Sea


Short List for the Short Story Competition 2018
in Alphabetical Order.

Frances Ainslie

Dianne Brown-Wilson

Lori Butterworth

Caitlin Collins

Susan Comer

Bary John Cooper

Gillan Drew

Sandra Edwards

Trevor Escott

Julie Evans

Christine Genovese

Jenny Grittan

Michael Hall

Thomas Harrison

Alice Herve

Alyson Hilbourne

Pamela Trudie Hodge

Catherine Hokin

Caroline Hurley

Jason Jackson

Robert Kibble

Lynn King

Gilbert Maisie

Lynne McVernon

Simon Paul Miller

Carl Mitchell

Julie Molloy

Alex Morrison

Gill Osborne

Jenny Own

Hazel Prior

Elaine Sanderson

Padmini Sankar

Peter Scoffham

Ann Seed

Kay Spencer

Veronica Swinburne

Michela Tamma

Jennifer Tucker

Marita Wild

Victoria Williams

Jacqui Winn

Barbara Young

Congratulations to all of you who've made it onto the short list.

Commiserations to those who didn't. But don't give up. Read on to see where you could have gone wrong and try again.

Not on the short list? Where could you have gone wrong?

Not everyone can go through to the next round - but did you make it easy for the judges to put your story on the 'no' pile? Now's the time to re-look at your entry, as you've got some distance from it, and to analyse where you may have gone wrong. Here are some of the common mistakes people made:

  1. Did you stick to the rules? Read the rules again and check to see if you stuck to them. Several people sent in stories over the stipulated 2000 word limit not including the title. If you were just one word over then your story went on to the 'no' pile - even if it was fantastic.

  2. Did you rush the ending? There were quite a few entries where the ending was rushed despite having plenty of words left. You don't have to write 2000 words if your story is complete at 1500. But do make sure it is complete and not weak at the end, especially if you're under the word count.

  3. Did your story become boring? I'm afraid to say some stories did make the judges yawn. Some started slow and stayed that way whilst others felt they were being stretched to fill the word count. So, check to see if your story set a good pace or if it was padded out.

  4. Was your entry properly proofread? Yes, I'm sorry to say that some entries were littered with poor grammar, bad spelling and clunky writing. Straight to the 'no' pile for them!

  5. Was your story a cliché? There were several stories that were really well written but the judges had seen many like them before. Here is a useful blog post from competition judge Iain Pattison which tells you what subjects to avoid in competition stories. Read more...

Want to improve? Help is at hand.

Check out our 'How to Write for Competitions - and win!' course, written by Iain Pattison and Alison Chisholm - two experienced writers and competition adjudicators. Find out more...

It ís always good to get a professional opinion and The Writers Bureau's Review and Appraisal Service will give you that. One of our tutors will give you constructive criticism on your work and help you to improve your writing. For short stories up to 4,000 words it is £50 and then £6 for each additional 1,000 words up to 8,000. Find out more...

Or you could have up to 2000 words reviewed for £25. Find out more ...

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