Thursday, 18 March 2010


Recently I talked about short story and flash fiction writing and you may remember that Vanessa Gebbie kindly offered a copy of Short Circuit to the winner of a competition.

Well, we have a winner!

Vanessa asked you to give, in no more than 50 words, "most creative/engaging way" of telling her why you wanted "to write a short story that is more than just a yarn." And there was such a lovely variety of entries. I do just love how the creative brain attacks the same task in such different ways.

Anyway, Vanessa judged the entries and came up with Kristy Price as the winner - well done, Kristy! Vanessa said she'd enjoyed reading them all but that this one stood out for her.
"I picked this one for several reasons.  Importantly, it says something about the power that short fiction has, to 'get to' the reader. The 'punch' that a good short story can deliver. Also, it is a story in itself and that made me smile. I thought it was done very well - a moment of change, a pivot, it has movement, a change in position. The dialogue is simple, easy, well done. No unnecessaries. Nice!!"
Kristy has given me permission to print her entry here:

“I’m just calling to say sorry.”
“Are you crying?”
“That’s not like you.”
“I just read this story and it kind of got to me. Made me think about things...”
“I'm surprised you had time for reading.”
“It was just this short thing.”
“...Okay. Come over.”
So, Kristy chose to turn her entry into a flash story - and she wasn't the only one to do so, but she captured Vanessa's attention and enjoyment, which is what we all try to do when we write.

Now, you know me: I never let a competition or incident go by without extracting a learning point... So, here goes.

There's an analogy between this competition decision and several writing-related things: the acceptance of a book by a publisher; the allocation of literary awards for published work; and the reading choices and comments of readers. The thing that connects them all is the high degree of subjectivity going on when a choice is made by any reader. It's inevitable, right and mysterious. Vanessa was the expert judge and this was her choice. A different reader might have made a different choice. Personally, I loved Kristy's entry, too, but the point is that you all entered, not knowing what the intended reader wanted. That's a very difficult and daunting task.

Getting published is easier than winning a competition IF you focus very clearly on your intended readers (assuming that there are enough of them and that you've judged them right). And you should know your reader because you should know what he or she reads and therefore likes. In other words, you should know what your own book is like and to whom it should appeal.

So, well done again to Kristy and good luck to all of us in snaring readers!


Jesse Owen said...

Congratulations Kristy :)

mindmap1 said...

Well done Kristy!

Clare said...

Well done, Kristy - that's a wonderfully original response to the question.

Jemi Fraser said...

Nicely done Kristy! Congrats :)

Glynis said...

Congratulations to Kirsty!

Kristy Price said...

Thanks for your kind words everyone, it's great to feel so supported.


Sally Zigmond said...

Great story, Kristy. It ticks all the boxes. Well done!

Spider Griffin said...

Congrats also to Kristy.


Anonymous said...

What a great response! Well done, Kristy!

Lindsey Petersen

Old Kitty said...


Well done Kristy!!!!

Great read too!

Take care