Winter Competition

December 13, 2010

The Green Turban, Tamara de LempickaThe new WordWatchers short story competition is underway!  And this time it’s a 2,500 word story based on a picture – a great Art Deco portrait:  The Green Turban, Tamara de Lempicka

Competition entries are due at the January meeting.

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John wins!

September 11, 2010


This summer’s hotly anticipated WordWatchers short story competition has come to a close, with John Hoggard’s highly original ‘We Are The Stranded’ taking top slot. Well done, John!

Full results to follow as soon as we’ve figured out the identity of the author who came second – congratulations going to either Abbie or Andrew (who weren’t at the party to reveal the successful author’s identity). Brian came third.

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Wordwatchers Summer 2010 Comp. Results

September 11, 2010

In 3rd Place – Author C aka Brian

In 2nd Place – Author D aka… well we don’t know yet – it’s either Andrew or Abbie – as for various reasons neither could attend.

And In 1st Place <drum roll> Author G aka John aka me aka The most surprised man in the world.

What can I say – having joined WW in May 2007 straight in to a summer competition which I naively thought I might win, the short story competition has turned into a a twice yearly hand-wringing of tortured disappointment.

I’ve always (fatally) tried to cram a 10,000 word story in to the 2,500 word limit, simply because I often let the idea outgrow the limitations and then had to prune viciously, with fatal consequences for my prose.

Oddly though, this particular story was even bigger than that, not on the page, but in my head, scurrying around for a month, sucking up words like a black hole might soak up stellar matter.  Then, because I am dumb, I left myself one night to crank this monster out into an ever tighter limit, 2000 words.  So, I did the only thing I could, I wrote without stopping or thinking and produced 1999 words in two hours, culling, sub-consciously I suppose, before the words hit the page (in the electronic sense), because if they make the page, they scream in protest should you have to snip them off the main branch, promising buds of genius culled for the greater good.

So perhaps, if I leave only two hours, I have developed a knack that I have not previously possessed, to make a 2000 word story convey that it is indeed a 10,000 or even a 100,000 word idea but leave the reader satisfied with their view through the keyhole of the room beyond…

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Who will win…?

September 11, 2010

In just a few hours (from time of writing), the winner of this year’s Wordwatchers Summer Short Story will be announced.

The simple one word theme “Stranded” produced an amazing variety of stories.

Results and pictures of the “summer” (raining as I type) get together will be announced after the event.

Until then a picture from last year’s event to tide you over (and to prove I can add imagery!)

The gang from Wordwatchers - summer 2009

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The Palace of Lost Dreams

Charlotte Betts, 7th Novel has been shortlisted for the RNA 2019 'Best Historical Romantic Novel'.

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‘Forging ahead…’

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WordWatchers is reviewing one full novel a month. By the end of 2017, it will have critiqued 7 novels. 5yrs after she wrote it, Abbie's blog about the process is still very relevant.

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