April Competition Historical Fiction – Judge’s Report

APRILCOMPETITION – Historical Fiction

Judged by Robin Lamplough

 Once again I was impressed by the quality and variety of the entries.  Competitors were willing and clearly able to explore a range of approaches and styles without losing sight of the stated requirements of the competition. The few entrants who neglected to consider these requirements made it impossible, in spite of their undoubted skills, to be considered for places.   In a minority of entries, however, a lack of precision in the use of words detracted from the fundamental strength of the story.

1st PLACE:    Da Capo.  A historical love-story: skilfully constructed and well developed. The cello and its broken bow provide a recurring theme and a powerful symbol of the enduring bond between the lovers, unbroken even by death.

2ND PLACE:  Every Picture Tells a Story. A very satisfying yet unassuming account of a family album which records generations of growth and progress against a background of dramatic world events.  The neat turn-about in the final paragraph, suggesting that the days of family albums are over, makes a powerful and unexpected conclusion.

3rd PLACE:   The Postcard. A well-conceived and skilfully constructed tale which ends satisfyingly in the air. The change from arrogance to desperate need in the British officer is well conveyed, as is the enigmatic behaviour of the Boer woman who has two vital encounters with him.

Robin Lamplough