29 Jul 2018

Why I Still Hate Competitions But Keep On Entering Them Anyway

The UK’s heatwave has finally broken (temporarily!) and as it’s a curl up on the sofa kinda day, I thought I’d give you a new blog post and a couple of quick reads! 

At the same time as working on my main projects, I also like to dabble with shorter bits of writing.  They’re fun, they keep me fresh and they exercise different writing skills.  They’re also often linked to competitions, which is a shame because I still hate competitions. 

The good thing about them is that they give you a focus and a deadline.

The bad thing about them is that they’re SO subjective.

I recently entered a Flash Fiction competition as part of a Festival where I’ve done pretty well previously (second and highly commended).  I was pleased with my 500 words, capturing what I thought was an emotional and powerful moment in a character’s life.  Stood a good chance of at least getting shortlisted I thought.

Cue the judge doing a Twitter discussion on a few of the entries the day after the deadline.  I know these are supposed to be helpful, but they’re actually highly stressful as entrants pour over the tweets, trying to work out if the judge is referring to their entry.

There was only one tweet that I thought could possibly refer to my entry and it went like this:

I was gutted.  How was I supposed to know that Claire liked at least 75% forward motion in flash fiction?  A different judge might LOVE more retrospective storytelling.  If I’d had that information beforehand then I could have tweaked the story to fit that criteria better 🙁

Hey ho!  I’ve realised recently that stories can be recycled so I’ve since edited it – hopefully giving it slightly more forward movement – and submitted it to another competition, one where I’ll get a few lines of feedback, which should be helpful!

I entered another competition at the beginning of the year, this one to write a 50 word story to go on a festival bookmark.  The challenge of capturing a story moment in just 50 words is seriously fun!

I didn’t win, but as I like my stories better than any of the ones chosen as winners (!) and as I’m not intending to recycle these, I thought I’d share them with you on here!!

One Minute

Believe Your Eyes

Enjoy…and let me know if you’d like them on a bookmark 😉



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