Posted in competitions, critique, literary festival, writing

BeaconLit Third Year 500-word comp Round 2 – Oct 2019 winners announced

We are delighted to announce the top three stories from October’s entries are (in alphabetical order):

  • Adult Behaviour
  • A Sticky End
  • Time to Speak Out

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 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:

Again, I liked all eight entries this month, written to the theme of ‘sweet revenge’,  but in the end I chose Adult Behaviour, A Sticky End and Time to Speak Out as my winners. But every one was a contender.

There was ambiguity in some (nothing wrong with that) – did that errant husband even survive the meal?  – but not the confusion I sometimes experienced last month.

Characters were well established in such a short space. And flashbacks, where used, I could understand – ie I knew we were going back to the start of the story, with it being spelt out.

People seem to have taken the point about using exclamation marks excessively. I only counted a few. And they were justified.

But people were still continuing a sentence, when they could easily put in a full stop  and start a fresh sentence, instead of running on.  People write succinctly in other ways; if they cut sentence up, it would make their points quicker, and with more impact.


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!


Writer of 'dark and light' (crime / chick-lit) fiction since 2005, WordPress blogger since March 2011, editor since March 2012 (more recently just for Bloodhound Books), and creative writing tutor since Jan 2014. Also judge for H.E. Bates, and BeaconFlash / BBC Radio 2 / Althorp Lit Fest 500-word competitions.

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