Results of the 2013 Competition
First: ‘Walk Holes’ by Linley Jones (Auckland)
Second: ‘Cutters #3’ by Marie Duncan (Nelson)
Third: ‘Beyond This Gate’ by June Bowen (Blenheim)
‘Drawing the Line’ by Dorothy Alexander (Palmerston North)
‘Through a Glass Darkly’ by Jeanette Cook (Nelson)
‘Sweet and Green’ by Caroline Crick (Nelson)
‘Life: Take One’ by Megan Frith (Auckland)
‘Caught Up’ by Helen Kirkhan (Nelson)
‘Did You See the Love?’ by Mary Ann Lamont (Whanganui)
‘Water’ by Jenny Waters (Eketahuna)
These winning stories were published in the anthology Horizons
The judge, Brigid Lowry, provided this report:
It was an honour and a pleasure to judge this competition. Thank you for giving me the opportunity, and big thanks to Chrissie Ward for her fabulous organising skills.
The stories covered a wide range of themes: love, loss, ageing, bullying, dreams, identity, family and illness. The range of settings was also diverse. I travelled in the realms of the imagination from a hospital ward to a carpark, from a hair dressing salon, to the beach, and to outer space. There was some beautiful writing, and the best stories were clear, clever, competent, creative and thought-provoking. They dealt with humanity, touching on the joys and sorrows of being alive. Many used humour as a zesty accompaniment to their tasty offering.
The most common problem I encountered was over explaining. "Show not tell" really is the best writing advice I can give you, and it is truly worth following. Powerful writing leaves room for the reader to use their intelligence, and provides a few mysteries and suprises. Today's publishing market is a tough one, so only the most original work will succeed commercially these days. I also met a few ill-placed apostrophes, and I advise writers to make sure they give their work a professional level of care with punctuation. I'm with you in spirit today, celebrating the inky world of words, of creativity and delight.