Easter competition – the judges’ comments

Poetry Competition results and comments by judge Brian Whittingham

 

First prize  

Eileen Carney Hulme    Keepsake

Judge’s comments

I felt this was a well crafted poem with some particularly evocative lines capturing the losing of a loved partner very succinctly and in a way that the reader can feel empathy with the narrative. Loved it!

 

Second prize  

Andy Allan    Glenfiddich

Judge’s comments

This piece has a sense of a different kind of loss. A loss of a way of life particular to Scotland and its people. Some lovely lines showing sensual imagery that pulls the reader into the picture being painted by the poet. Well done!

 

Third prize

Karen Ashe   Twisted

Judge’s comments

Such a lot being said in a very focused voice. A poem that uses language to say a lot about the usage of language in a literal sense but also embracing a much wider metaphoric meaning at the same time. Grand!

 

Highly Commended  

Beth McDonough New Rhubarb

Ann Mackinnon Auntie Betty

Finola Scott Old Contemptible [poem not to be published on web-site]

Colin Will   A Cold Coming

****************************************************************

Short Story Results and comments by judges Louise Welsh and Zoe Strachan

First prize  

Ann MacLaren     Old Annie

Judges’ comments

Old Annie is very well structured; the idea fits the form and the word count perfectly. The style is polished too, and we liked the sentiment of the piece – and then the ambiguity of the ending. In a way it’s a very simple story, but the author succeeds in making it compelling too, in a subtle way – it draws the reader in, and then takes us different places, while ostensibly being about something everyday. Maybe the point is that if we look closely, nothing is simple or everyday!

 

Second prize

Ken Morlich   Świderek

Judges’ comments

We were very impressed by the voice in this one. Original and well done. Effective approach to genre, haunting and unpredictable. Perhaps just slightly abrupt at the end, but a complex and effective piece.

 

Third prize

Alex Barr     Worthy

Judges’ comments

Worthy does a lot within a limited word count. The story unfolds in very vivid scenes, and the dialogue is strong, both of which really enlivened this – the pace was successful too. And the ending hits the right note, resonant without being sentimental.

 

Highly commended   Alan Hill   A Kind of Wild Justice

Judges’ comments

A Kind of Wild Justice: Very impressive in terms of plot, and the scope of the story. Did a lot in a small word count. A well-realised world too.

 

Flash Fiction Results and comments by judges Louise Welsh and Zoe Strachan

First prize  

Annemarie Allan Entrapment

Judges’ comments

Really packed a punch! Shocking, memorable, and cleverly done. Very resonant indeed, and it’s an extremely challenging subject to deal with in a tiny word count.

Second prize

Trudy Duffy-Wigman   A Fish Tea

Judges’ comments

We thought the writing was very strong in A Fish Tea; spare, but the author has done a great job developing the characters and creating a powerful emotional mood in a very limited word count. Really good work.

 

Third prize

Ann MacLaren  Neighbours

Judges’ comments

Neighbours did what only flash fiction can do – take you somewhere in a flash! The voice was distinct and strong, and the joke really works. A smart little piece!

 

Highly commended

Olga Wojtas The Christ Child Disputing With The Doctors

Judges’ comments

The humour worked very well here; irreverent, witty, and very topical.

 

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