Trophy talk

Fiction competitors looking for a first result of the year as a confidence booster generally have to be patient. The final competitions of the previous year are unlikely to announce results at least until about now, and the first of the new year’s competitions won’t be anywhere near just yet. So registering the first success in March is not as scanty as it might sound, and mine arrived the other day when the results of the latest and last Five Stop Story competition were announced –  ‘Me Too’, a plaintive plea by a wife and mother for some Christmas things to happen and some Christmas things not to happen, wins an ‘honourable mention’ and, with it, publication on the Five Stop site.

Five Stop Story has been around for a while, and it’s an interesting and well-organised site, running quarterly competitions and using a points system to compile a results table. The pieces are always faithfully presented and the site has accumulated an enormous amount of material. However, I can well imagine the workload which it has placed on Ruth Heald, Sangeetha Sinde Tee and Andrew Campbell-Kearsay, who are all established writers with creative demands of their own, and it must have proved very difficult to keep such a demanding site going. Everyone who’s contributed to the site should feel grateful for the opportunities it has provided, and I would wish the organisers all success with whatever they’ve decided to do next.

A new kid, or more precisely site, on the block,, offering a Virtual Writers’ Group, a Virtual Readers’ Group, recommended resources etc., organisers Gina, Mark and Tony, and although Tony is the only one of them I know, his own contribution to keeping fiction competitions alive has been considerable enough to recommend the site in itself.

Alliterati Issue 14 – – has been delayed with production difficulties, and we’ve all been there with that one, but it will now emerge on March 8th and will have my ‘Daniel in Pictures’ in it, about two sixth form friends and an illicit affair. It’s quite a long piece, almost 5000 words, but it’s worth a read, if I say so myself and shouldn’t, as is the whole magazine, which can now be bought as a print production as well as an e-zine. Most writers look to have their work well presented and in good company, and Alliterati satisfies both requirements.

The sun’s coming out in Devon quite frequently now, and temperatures of 15 degrees are forecast for the weekend. Spring may not have sprung, but at least it’s springing. Hopefully.  


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