It’s been another brilliant year for our 100-Word Story competition. Our fabulous judges over at Vintage books have picked their top three favourite entries from those submitted from across the country and we are incredibly excited to announce the winners.
As ever, it was a joy to read through the many entries we received for this year’s 100-Word Story Competition. The bar was set extremely high by last year’s winners so we knew we were in for some truly outstanding writing from our young writers.
We always find that the themes and the styles of the submissions for our competitions vary wildly, and this was certainly the case again this year. We had everything from sparring toasters to bird-catching squirrels. Naturally, this variety and creativity made it even more exciting send on to our friends at Vintage books.
The editors at Vintage said that choosing winners caused some “heated discussions”. That’s exactly what he like to hear – great pieces of literature stirring up emotions! We’re pleased to announce, however, that they did eventually agree to a top three. And so, without further ado, let’s find out who they chose…
‘Boy’, Daisy Benn (Longcroft School and Sixth Form)
Her chest was open, and her feet were too small to walk around home barefoot. Her hands were too short limbed and even with her nails plucked down to the bone she thought them too feminine.
Their chest was wrapped tight and their shoes had grown too short to wear, and from their fingers protruded toothy nails.
His chest was bare, baring scars, such desirable scars; his nails stretched down to his thighs, helpful needles proclaiming his victory, and his feet were gloved in loose socks. His voice was earthy, and his skin was no longer a costume.
About Daisy’s winning entry, the judges at Vintage said, “‘Boy’ is rich in imagery and is crazily inventive. The three-part structure documents a transformation that at first glance reads almost like a fairy tale. It bears analysis and multiple interpretations, and there is something new to discover with every reading. We loved it for its confidence to take on a complex subject with unique style and buckets of imagination.”
Congratulations Daisy! You clearly have a gift for writing, and we hope your win encourages you to keep going. We’re really looking forward to the publication of Longcroft School and Sixth Form’s forthcoming anthology I Wrote This While the World Was Ending so that we can read more of Daisy’s work.
Erin Bishop (Landau Forte College)
My friend is ridiculously lucky. She’s got her lucky socks and her lucky shoes, and she’ll find a four-leaf clover faster than you can ask. She’s done it today, pressing the dainty thing into my hands. I’m scared of crushing it. For her, omens are everywhere — a stone from the bank, smooth, a hole through the middle. She goes to peer through.
“Don’t,” I warn, “it’s bad luck. You’ll see something. Old wives’ tale.”
She laughs. “I have enough luck to last me a century.”
She peers through, right at me, and pales. The rock hits the water.
“Let’s go home.”
The judges at Vintage said that this story contains a “full narrative in a very small number of words, building to a very creepy ending – the rock hitting the water which abruptly and menacingly stops the flow of the story. In this story rhythm and structure combine cleverly to give us a disturbing finale.”
Nice! Erin was shortlisted to the 6-Word Story Competition too which just goes to show that she really has the talent, stamina and enthusiasm to do well in writing competitions. More of her writing will be available to read in Landau Forte College’s upcoming anthology Before the Pages Decay, and we’re really looking forward to it.
‘Mary’, Eva Murray, Titus Salt School
Mornings, most of us hate them. Mary didn’t. She would wake you when the world seemed asleep. I know it may sound weird, but it comforted me. I often long for that feeling, the feeling of sheets pulling from my upper body, releasing my warmth out into the crisp morning air; for echoes of her mellowed, tranquil voice seeping into my ears, relaxing my body’s tension. I remember her touch, her hands like radiators, causing all baked goods she would make to fall apart effortlessly before they would even reach your mouth. Mary taught me a lot, even to love mornings.
About Eva’s marvellous piece, the judges at Vintage said, “‘Mary’ evokes a moment, a feeling and a character with brilliant economy. It has an easy-going rhythm and yet it manages to pack a huge amount of detail into a short work. We loved it for its deft use of language, strength of voice and feeling of remembrance.”
Congratulations Eva! We don’t normally have a third place in the 100-Word Story Competition but the judges felt that the character study was so beautiful and intriguing that it could not go unrewarded and so we created a new prized position! We’re really looking forward to seeing more of Eva’s writing in Titus Salt School’s anthology Not Just One Fish, but a Whole Army of Them/Mornings, Most of Us Hate Them.
We want to shout out to all of the school winners whose pieces were shortlisted in this year’s competition too. Thank you all for sharing a small slice of your creative imaginations. Every shortlisted piece will be made into a postcard which we will be sharing to the world very soon!
Book prizes and certificates will be winging their way to all of our national winners and school winners when they return to school. So, for now, they will all simply have to bask in the glory of knowing they won! That shouldn’t be too hard, right?