Saturday 9 July 2016

Short Story Winners

This afternoon, events at Finchley Literary Festival opened with Joanna Campbell, judge of our short story competition, announcing the results.

Congratulations to the winners.

The stories Joanna chose are:

1st Prize:  
The Sender of Second Chances - Anthea Morrison

2nd Prize: 
The Wondwossi Hotel Bar - James Woolf

3rd Prize:  
Now I'm a Fish - Sal Page

And here is what Joanna had to say:
All the shortlisted stories spoke to me in clear, distinctive voices which never faltered. I was in supreme company with the narrator every step of the way. These journeys were sometimes physical, sometimes emotional, and a few of the stories offered both at once.

This sense of progression produced compelling reading. In every case, I was taken on a thrilling trip, sometimes from A to B via pitfalls, turnings or dead-ends, and sometimes in looping fashion, all the way round to the beginning again. In some cases, both linear and circular routes were skilfully incorporated and succeeded in enhancing and developing the main character.

However their route was structured, the characters in the most memorable stories underwent a significant change during a raw, sensitive moment in their lives. Their destination—or ending—provided the final signpost at which I could look back on the amazing path I had travelled and imagine the direction the main character would take next. Expert handling of the vital final paragraph lent some of these stories an exceptional sparkle.

However, the task was very difficult and many of these twelve stories were in fierce contention for the top three places. In the end, reading them all aloud revealed not only the most compelling, resonant voices and the smoothest narrative flow, but also plumbed the emotional depth of the story. The winning entry’s carefully understated theme of regret suffused with an essence of hope brought a lump to my throat.

Our thanks to Joanna for taking on the task of judging the literary festival's first short story competition, hopefully the first of many.


The Sender of Second Chances - Anthea Morrison
The Sovereign - Vanessa Couchman
Three Words and a Chocolate Bar - Norman Kitching
So Many Questions - Veronica Bright
A Man of Means by No Means - Emma Myatt
The Wondwossi Hotel Bar - James Woolf
The Lonely Pat - Abda Khan
The Prize - Robert Grossmith
Now I'm a Fish - Sal Page
Tilly's Account - Jo Derrick
Costume - Santino Prinzi
Swan - Gwen Williams


Wrecks - Alun Williams
The Sender of Second Chances - Anthea Morrison
Three Words and a Chocolate Bar - Norman Kitching
The Wondwossi Hotel Bar - James Woolf
The Magic Lantern - Kevin Kissane
A Necessary Occupation - Lynne Voyce
257 Cracks - David Kevill
The Last Morning - Philippa Holloway
The Tin Flute - Rob Nisbet
Lessons Without Instructions - Shirley Golden
The Lonely Path - Abda Khan
The Prize - Robert Grossmith
Now I'm a Fish - Sal Page
Grandma's Needles - Alison Wassell
Costume - Santino Prinzi
Allotments - Maggie Voysey Paun
Reflections - Wanda Dakin
The Woman on the Corner - Andrew Dutton
When Luck Runs Out - Susan Corfield
A Piece of Cake - Kimberley Martinez
Like Trees in The Forest - Crilly O’Neil
Tilly's Account - Jo Derrick
Happy Birthday - Matt Bourn
The Most Delicious Biryani - Samantha de Bendern
Project Claire - Andrew Byrne
Swan - Gwen Williams
A Man of Means By No Means - Emma Myatt
So Many Questions - Veronica Bright
The Sovereign - Vanessa Couchman
29 Days - Nicole Fitton

The winning stories will be published on the website during the coming weeks.

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