The winners of the first Black Pear Press Short Story Competition are:
First: Rebecca Burns with ‘Seaglass’
Runner-up: Pam Plumb with ‘Sleeping Dragons’
Congratulations to the winner of the Black Pear Press Short Story Competition, Rebecca Burns, with her entry ‘Seaglass.’ For the judges Seaglass stood out for the writer’s ability to show rather than tell the story. This short story evokes a glassmaker’s life through a few well-written scenes.
Rebecca is a writer of short stories. Her debut collection, ‘Catching the Barramundi’ was published by Odyssey Books in 2012 and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Award in 2013. Rebecca was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2011; winner of Fowey Festival of Words and Music Short Story Prize in 2013. Profiled as a writer on the Grassroutes Project, an Arts Council-funded project overseen by the University of Leicester, which showcases the best transcultural writers in the county. Read more of her work at www.rebecca-burns.co.uk
Congratulations also to runner-up Pam Plumb with her story ‘Sleeping Dragons’. The judges were captivated by the characterisation and setting of this story.
Pam is a writer of flash fiction and short stories, based in the North East of England. One of her stories, Seven Breaths, was included in the 2014 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology ‘Eating My Words’. Other writing can be found online in the third ipamphlet from PaperSwans, as well as on Paragraph Planet, among others. pamjplumb.wordpress.com
Congratulations to all ten short-listed entrants:
A New Life MEGANNE HEARNE
Fly Joe JACKIE BUXTON
Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire! JOANNE DERRICK
No Cause For Concern ALISON WASSELL
Pseudonym RICHARD ANTHONY DUNFORD
Seaglass REBECCA BURNS
Sleeping Dragons PAM PLUMB
Stopping In DIANE SIMMONS
The Faraday Cage GRAEME HALL
The Jogger in the Park KEVIN BROOKE
Judge and award-winning writer, Alison May, said ‘In general the standard of the shortlisted stories was good. I was impressed with the range of stories and styles. The most successful stories were those which evoked a strong sense of character and situation, bearing out the well-worn adage that writers should ‘show, not tell.’
‘The second placed story, Sleeping Dragons, was strong in this regard. The characters, especially the grandfather, felt real and the setting was well-drawn. This was a fraction away from being a winning story, but, for me, the ending didn’t quite feel as satisfying as the rest of the tale.
‘The winning story, Seaglass, also stood out for the writer’s ability to resist the urge to overtell. I was impressed with the way in which the story evoked a whole life through a few short episodes. I also felt that this story stood up well to repeat reading.
‘One small piece of advice that I would offer to all the entrants: only submit a story to a competition or publisher when it is as complete and polished as you are able to make it. Even amongst the shortlisted entrants there were…unnecessary repetitions and redundant words… These are the linguistic equivalents of cracks in the walls of the writer’s imaginary world. Keeping the reader within the world of the story is a magic trick of sorts and niggling technical errors jar the reader out of that world. If the reader is distracted by the mechanics of the trick, the magic doesn’t work.
‘Overall though I enjoyed reading the shortlisted stories. They created ten different worlds, peopled with different characters, experiencing different challenges. It was an honour to be able to visit them all.’