shortstory - Short Story Competition

Sam Angus announces winners of the Minehead Literary Festival under 16s short story competition

Minehead Literary Festival adults’ short story competition –  

Tessa Hadley announces this year’s winners

The theme for this year’s competition was The Secret

Tessa said:  ‘What a rich crop of stories this year!  It was a delight to read through them all: what variety of styles and themes and subject matter the writers came up with – and wonderfully varied ways of interpreting our title.  And it really was – I know everybody says this, but it really was – very difficult to choose the three winners.

‘For my third prize I’ve chosen Malcolm Welshman’s Under The Greenwood Tree, set in the future.  I’m not always mad about sci-fi stories, but this felt like an excitingly original use of the genre.  It was so succinctly put together – this future world was conveyed very economically to the reader.  And it was an elegant and striking idea – that a couple excavating an ancient library from the twenty-first century had their eyes opened to a vanished world of feeling.  

‘For my second prize I’ve chosen The Woman and the Sea by Susan Mitchinson, where a woman is appalled to find herself developing scaly nodules between her toes, and turns eventually into a mermaid.  Again, here the tone was very nicely judged, balancing comedy with something wistful and poignant.  And like the previous story, it was so elegantly put together, with great economy.   

‘For my first prize I’ve chosen John Barnes’s story.  This was such an original way of interpreting the title – a man is accidentally privileged to witness a secret ceremony among the stags on Exmoor, where they gather to rub off their antlers at the end of the season.  This was a serious story, with none of the poised irony or humour which I loved in others.  But its tone was just right for the material, the writing was beautifully spare and unsentimental, the whole was carried off with such a sure touch, such vivid and moving description.  I couldn’t shake its images from my mind afterwards.

‘Very well done to all these finalists – and to many others who entered too.’

Short Story Competition

Short story competitions, with separate classes for adults and children, was organised in the run-up to the Minehead Literary Festival 2020.

Tessa Hadley, one of the country’s foremost writers of novels and short stories, judged the adults’ competition. The children’s entries, organised in conjunction with local creative writing group Café Write, will be judged shortly by children’s author Sam Angus.

MLF Short Story Competition Poster SECRET - Short Story CompetitionThis year’s adult short story competition:

For adults 16+ years old

Theme: The Secret

Entries (one per person) of up to 500 words, may be prose or poetry.

Entries must be type-written and accompanied by a completed application form (download here), and submitted to mineheadliteraryfestival@gmail.com, or posted to Minehead Literary Festival (Comp), c/o Flat 1 Merton Place, Western Lane, Minehead TA24 8BG.

Entries must arrive before March 6, 2020. 

The under 16s competition, facilitated by Café Write and supported by the West Somerset Academies Trust, has three age-specific categories:

MLF Short Story Competition Poster BOAT - Short Story Competition

The 2020 under 16s short story competition

Children aged 5-7 and 8-10 years old

Theme: The Lost Boat

A short story or poem of up to 250 words and entries may also be illustrated.

All entries by under 16s should be submitted, with a completed application form, (download here) via mineheadliteraryfestival@gmail.com or posted to: Minehead Literary Festival (Comp), c/o West Somerset Academies Trust, Minehead Middle School, Ponsford Road, Minehead TA24 5RH.

Entries must arrive before March 6, 2020.

MLF Short Story Competition Poster CASTLE2 - Short Story Competition

Those aged 11-15 years old

Theme: I Captured the Castle

A short story or poem with a limit of up to 500 words.

All entries by under 16s should be submitted, with a completed application form, (download here) via mineheadliteraryfestival@gmail.com or posted to: Minehead Literary Festival (Comp), c/o West Somerset Academies Trust, Minehead Middle School, Ponsford Road, Minehead TA24 5RH.

Entries must arrive before March 6.

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