1st—Two Hundred Rand, by Grahame Wilson
2nd—The Guile of Mara, by Julia McInnes
3rd—Frozen Assets, by Gary Kuyper
Highly Commended—Invisible Me, by Jenni Wodrich
There was certainly an interesting variety of stories! The topics were so varied, as was the writing style of each story.
It is important to keep in mind that you are writing for an audience. This is not a self-indulgent exercise to challenge your abilities. You want people to read your story!
Therefore, it is essential to show respect for your reading audience. When it becomes necessary to re-read a sentence in order to try and understand the meaning, there is a problem. While a certain amount of “poetic license” is allowed, the basic rules of grammar, syntax and spelling are important. This was a problem in almost all of the stories. Sentence construction, word order and basic spelling are vitally important, as is punctuation. Very few were able to use the apostrophe correctly and positioning of adverbs was problematic. This became so distracting at times, that the main ideas and the flow of the story became secondary.
These stories were all so imaginative and most had a very clever “twist” at the end. Many endings were unexpected and not at all predictable, which was great. There was generally basic character development which is always tricky when the length of the story is so limited. Some stories tried to include too much detail. There are not enough words in short story writing to create every image thoroughly. One has to rely on the imagination of the reader and supply just enough to keep the interest alive. Thus, it is advisable to limit the number of characters and avoid complex descriptions and situations.
All writers are to be commended. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be part of this interesting project.