So it's all over - and how did I do? I got an honourable mention. I'm happy with that, maybe next year I can make my way onto the Top Ten?
I'll present my musings on the experience and then post my three stories below warts and all, as they were sent to the competition - typos, missing punctuation and all....
The 8th Annual Short Story Challenge is a creative writing competition open to writers around the world. There are 3 rounds of competition. In the 1st Round (February 7-15, 2014), writers are placed randomly in heats and are assigned a genre, subject, and character assignment. Writers have 8 days to write an original story no longer than 2,500 words. The judges choose a top 5 in each heat to advance to the 2nd Round (March 27-30, 2014) where writers receive new assignments, only this time they have just 3 days to write a 2,000 word (maximum) short story. Judges choose finalists from the 2nd Round to advance to the 3rd and final round of the competition where writers are challenged to write a 1,500 word(maximum) story in just 24 hours (May 2-3, 2014). A panel of judges review the final round stories and overall winners are selected.
I never had enough time to write but did manage to hit all 3 deadlines, the last one by the skin of my teeth. First round I got comedy, that was a bit depressing because I don't really do comedy (should a writer should be able to turn their hand to anything?). Also in the NYC Flash Fiction challenge I went out on the round that asked me to write comedy. Also, as it's mostly folk from the States that take part would my humour translate? Anyway wasn't totally happy with the first round story and thought it would get nowhere, so was pleasently surprised when I got through to the second round. I came 5th in my group, so barely scraped in.
Then the second round was also comedy, what a nightmare, and I had less time to do it too. We had friends staying that weekend and it was the Airship Ball at which I was doing a reading, so that one was written in a bit of a rush. I was happier with it though and that showed in being 2nd in my Group I guess.
The third round I had even less time and had to be out most of the day at a birthday celebration so I got up early, wrote for a couple of hours, went to the birthday celebration, got back late and wrote for a couple of hours and just about hit the deadline. Unlike the previous round I didn't try anything clever with the prompt, which I guess is what they're looking for. Anyway I'm very happy that I got an honourable mention.
Round One Story -
Genre - Comedy
Subject - A bakery
Character - A newly divorced woman
Yeah, just re-read it. Hilarious! Still surprised it scraped through ... Mixed feedback from the judges too, points knocked off for missing punctuation around dialogue (my bugbear - happens a lot when I write, usually pick it up on one of the editing sweeps, missed it on this one)
Second Round Story
Subject: Learning to drive
Character: A Butcher
Genre - Open
Subject - Jealousy
Character - A Fisherman
The Hungry Spear