We are delighted to announce the top three stories from December’s entries are (in alphabetical order):
- Blessed are the Peacemakers
- My Nemesis
- Univited Guest
The theme for December was ‘a reunion’. The three top stories will now go through to the final judging and the top ten prize-winning authors (not necessarily the same as the top ten stories as no author can win more than one prize) will be announced at the 2020 BeaconLit literary festival on Saturday 11th July. As with most months, there were more than three stories that could have made the top three but those that did were either closer to the theme or stronger (provoked more of a reaction after reading) so don’t be disheartened if yours hasn’t been mentioned.
If your story for this month isn’t listed in the above three, you are welcome to do whatever you like with your submission hereon in. If your story is listed, it’s possible that it could be placed in the ultimate top ten* which will be published on this website (and on http://www.beaconlit.co.uk) next July so please do not send it elsewhere until after the literary festival.
If you have requested, and paid for, critique, this will be with you in the next few days.
Gareth’s feedback on the stories received this month:
Several good stories written as if from personal knowledge, really getting inside the characters in a short space. Lots of capable handling of dialogue. And it’s good to see writers using (where appropriate) crisp, short sentences. It’s worth trying to make your point with as few words, as this form is all about brevity.
The stories were competent and satisfying. Several saved a neat twist, heavily disguised, to the very end. It’s good to be surprised in a story, but not essential. Others tell a very conventional story, in strict temporal order. But as long as you do it well, and retain the reader’s interest, that is all that matters.
Although Gareth judges on the impact of the stories and the quality of the writing, it’s always disappointing when there are simple spelling mistakes or even simpler errors that should have been picked up during the editing process. Please do read your stories carefully before submitting and ideally show them to someone you trust for their opinion.
*Should you get through to the longlist of 27 stories (three per month over nine months), it doesn’t necessarily mean that your story won’t be chosen if it slips out of the top ten. No author will appear in the top ten twice so a story that came eleventh (or twelfth, thirteenth…) could be bumped up where there are author duplications.
And now you can also receive feedback on your story / stories at £5 per story with the optional critique service (given by the judge, Gareth Davies). This option is detailed on the main 500-word Competition page with an option to select critique within the entry form.
N.B. All the profits from this competition go to BeaconLit funds for the local libraries. No one involved in the competition charges for their time (including the judge!). Good luck!