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Vol.4. No.1. October - December 2010

Writing Competitions



SLQ Short Story Competition (October 2010)

Judge's Report


By Ivor Hartmann


This was my first time judging a writing competition and I found it a highly engaging and demanding experience. Not that I am a stranger to judging fiction works, but having to choose three winners and three highly commended works from a pool of so many stories was a certainly a new experience for me.

In first place was ‘The Scream’, which gained my attention because of its distinctive style, dark humour, and mostly its one way ticket into the depth of madness very artfully portrayed. It had great lines like “Freedom tastes like burnt coffee and soggy toast”, and “The signs are clearer than a pool of melted diamonds.” Each one cataloguing the protagonist spiralling ever downwards, or upwards depending on how skewed your point of view may be. As certainly by the end of the story, you are left somewhat infected and wondering about your own sanity and what exactly is sanity anyway?

In second place was ‘Mayday’ that took anthropomorphic fiction to a new level for me. Solidly based in a good construction that predicated the story, it then went on to offer new insights into a realm of being what very few writers venture into with such a great level of detail and careful thought. The story left me recalling a saying; 'the chance of being born human is that of a turtle popping its head through a yoke floating in the middle of an ocean’.

In third place was ‘A Way with the Kids’ a cracking suspense/horror story with a good plot line, good characterisations and a very nice twist three quarters in that led to a great conclusion. This story certainly could be the seed of a fantastic novel if pursued further in greater depth.

Next up were the three highly commended stories. ‘A Crown of Burrs’, which nicely delved into the world of being a child, where days seem like years and the imagination knows no bounds and seeps readily into reality. ‘Love at First Site’ took a great look at social networking as it relates to real-world dating and romance, with a superb twist at the end. ‘The Green Gators’ peered over the rich golfing green divide into the desperate lives of the caddies and golf ball stealers behind the scenes.

Being an editor/publisher for three years solid now means I have seen an ocean of submissions flow under my bridge and catching my interest is no easy task. Therefore, interesting ideas, themes and writing styles were the aspects that wooed me to make a final choice. To all those who did I congratulate you, and definitely think you have a future in creative writing.

Not that I’d recommend creative writing or any other art to anyone, unless their passion for it runs very deep; deep enough to sustain them through the agony of it all. For career, creative writing is not for the faint-hearted, and it does seem that it’s not the most talented who are published, but the most determined to be published. Therefore, I hope that this confirmation of your talent leads you on to a great resolve to continue writing and never give up. Take heart in the fact that while the initial writing is a solitary pursuit, publishing is most certainly a team effort.


Ivor Hartmann


Click here for the results.



Current Competitions (January 2011)

Poetry Competition. Enter by 20th December, 2010

Short Story Competition. Enter by 20th December, 2010

Previous Competitions (October 2010)


Judge's Report (Poetry) by Geoff Stevens

Judge's  Report (Short Stories) by Ivor Hartmann




Oct - Dec Home
Essays & Reviews


Writing Competitions

Competitions Index
Judge's Report (Poetry) Oct. '10
Judge's Report (Stories) Oct. '10
Results Oct. '10
Poetry Competition Jan. 2011
Short Story Competition Jan. 2011

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