2021 Judges’ Comments
Congratulations to our winner Concealed. Merryana Day receives $100 for her story which has been illustrated by Lachlan Creagh and published on our Storylinks website.
The judges were impressed by the control of pace in this story, which kept us on the edge of our seats, and of course, the surprise ending. Merryana has crafted a precise description of the fast-paced action resulting in an exciting thriller. She has shown a keen awareness of how to keep the reader in suspense.
This year we had 140 entries, and we thank each entrant for their stories. They were all of a very high standard, making judging a challenge. However, a few points emerge:
Stories where there is fast-paced action tend to be more entertaining for the reader. Others, in which the writer is reflecting, such as “Time” and “Memories in the Clouds”, are slower and more insightful. The writer must always consider what the desired effect is on the reader: how do I want my reader to react to my story? Laugh, cry, gain an insight? Or am I just writing down my feelings for my own purpose?
The creativity this year was very encouraging. The amazing ideas on show were drawn from science fiction to fantasy to real-world school stories. The judges this year felt privileged to read a range of wonderful ideas and be introduced to some interesting characters: we were very entertained! The technical aspects of writing were also of a high standard, although direct speech is always tricky to punctuate and can affect the meaning and ‘flow’ of a story.
Thank you again to all of our wonderful young writers for participating in this year’s Short Story competition. We hope to see you again next year.