2019 November Newsletter

The newsletter available at the November meeting can be downloaded here: NOV 2019

2019 Doris Gooderson Short Story – First Place

Playing by the Rules

By Barbara Young

The coppers came to the house quicker than I expected. A stern, frowny detective with a scraggly beard, wearing a shiny grey suit, and a woman in bulky uniform that made her look fat. I had to go to the station for an “informal chat”. Not sure what they meant but Mam always told us to say nowt to the coppers. They asked her to come with me but she had one of her headaches – she was pissed – so my social worker’s here instead. 

“Rose, could you tell us what happened down by the rockpools?” asks the policewoman with a smile.

I think she’s called Tracy, or maybe Macey, I wasn’t really listening when she told me. She’s trying to make me feel comfortable, make me think she’s my friend. She’s got the same cheesy smirk my social worker uses all the time.  

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2019 Doris Gooderson Short Story – Second Place

Letting Go

by Sam Szanto

Amelia’s crying wakes me. The red eyes of the clock say 12.45. For a couple of minutes, I ignore her in the hope she’ll go back to sleep. She turns up the volume.

‘Don’t you know I have to be up for work in six hours?’ I mutter, dragging myself along our skinny corridor. 

There is an unfamiliar, plastic-y smell. I want to investigate, but Amelia’s cries are growing louder. The neighbours have never complained before but it would bug me to be woken by someone else’s bawling baby: my own is bad enough.

‘When’s this going to stop? I need to get you off the breast; you’re sixteen months… shush, sweetheart, shush….’

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2019 Doris Gooderson Short Story – Third Place

The Ladies          

by Vanessa Horn                 

Rat-a-tat! Rat-a-tat! The Ladies are here again. And it’s different today; I’m down in the hall and Mother’s upstairs. It’s the first time I’ve been this close to them, but I had a feeling they were around our area and my feeling was right – they’re just behind the door.

     The Ladies come every few weeks or so. Not regularly enough to guess exactly which day, though. I’ve never seen them in person, but I always know it’s them at the door; their rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat is different from any other knock I’ve heard. But even when I hear them, I’m never near enough to answer. Until today.

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2018 Anthology Cover Vote

It’s that time of year for the great anthology front cover vote! Make your selection by Saturday 13th April!

Scroll through the potential front cover images, then vote for your favourite at the bottom of the page ….

Approaching Storm

 

Baywatch

 

Beach Hut

 

Criccieth Archway

 

Paddling

 

Puddle

 

Seagull

 

Snowdonia Across The Sea

2018 DG Comp – Third Place

Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition 2018

THIRD

 

 

The Circus of Delight

 

By Glenda Young

 

 

A scarf of red silk drapes over my legs as I work. My stitches are small but no longer invisible as they once used to be. I work quickly, repairing trousers for Freydo and Pav before tonight’s show. If only my fingers could work to repair our tent, but alas I do not have the skill or the material to fix what is needed. The tent continues to leak and lets in much light, even on the darkest of days.

 

I reach to the table to pull yellow silk to my workspace. I mend Freydo’s yellow trousers with red cotton because I have to make do with what I have, not what I would like. I do not notice Freydo approach the open door to my van. He coughs gently to alert me and I look up and smile. I break the red cotton with my teeth and drop the silk to my knee.

“The trousers are ready?” he asks.

“And the tops are almost done. Sit with me, Freydo,” I ask.

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2018 DG Comp – Second Place

Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition 2018

SECOND

 

Quality Time

By Dianne Bown-Wilson

 

Sixty-two minutes:

I glance at my watch counting down the time remaining until, once again, it will be over. Out of the 168 hours in each week this is the only one that matters, each minute as precious as a droplet of water to a parched desert-traveller.

Apart from me, the room is empty. Three easy chairs crouch round a watermarked coffee table and I perch on one, mindlessly ironing my skirt with my sweating palms. Looking around, everything I see is shamelessly functional: cream woodchip walls, cheap floral curtains, and serviceable carpet tiles contribute nothing to homeliness and if it were possible, seem to become even less welcoming week by week. Clearly, whoever designed this space believed that those who have to come here deserve nothing more.

The door opens and Myra’s face appears, creased but comforting like a well-used road map. “Ready, Eva?”

I nod.

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2018 DG Comp – First Place

Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition 2018

FIRST

 

32 Ivy Close

By Janette Owen

 

I feel like the richest man in the world on bright days like this, though others beg to differ. I’ve seen ‘em, wrinklin’ their noses and muttering under their breath while they’re passing by, showing their ignorance. Druggy indeed; vagrant – cheeky beggars. I’ll have them know I have a place of my own and it’s finer than theirs, I bet. There’s wrought iron gates with fancy scrolls, and a flagged path what’s knitted together wi’ moss right up to my place; 32 Ivy Close. You should see the flowers arranged around it, and the pretties that take pride of place on my shelf. If any cared to look, they’d see that they’ve no room to turn their noses up. Still, they can think what they want if they leave me in peace.

Ah, the paper shop. I’ll cross the road while it’s quiet and have a sit down and a read afore I go to see our lass. She’s not been right well, you know, and it’s been too long since I saw her.

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2018 Doris Gooderson Short Story Winners and Longlist

Congratulations to our 2018 winners:

First: 32 Ivy Close by Janette Owen

Second: Quality Time by Dianne Bown-Wilson

Third: The Circus of Delight by Glenda Young

(To read the stories, click on the links.)

Here are the shortlisted stories – congratulations to all those who made it this far!

“Fitting In”

32 Ivy Close

A Leap of Faith

A Novel Experience

Before Midnight Strikes

Broken Chard

Cody’s Escape

Desiccated

Different

Ernest and the Women

Evidently Sylvie 

Exit Strategy

Grass Widow 

I Don’t Have a Wooden Heart

Isle of Song

Lavender and Old Lace

Life Is Full Of Surprises!

Loose Cannon

Loosening Up

Quality Time

Signaling

Taking a U Turn

The Circus of Delight

The Coach Trip

The Inevitable However 

The Maiden’s Garland

The Old Man

The Very Peculiar History of Hamish Anderson

The Will

The World is Silent

Time to Go

Promise of Tomorrow by Jan Davies

Congratulations to Jan Johnstone who’s just self-published her novel, Promise of Tomorrow, under her pseudonym Jan Davies, on Amazon.

Click here to buy a copy.

‘Promise of Tomorrow’ is the story of five generations of the Greenwood family who lived in and around Shropshire’s Coalbrookdale area, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, during the construction of the world’s first iron bridge.
Beginning in 1759, each generation relates the story of their lives and their efforts to better themselves, whilst other family members, friends and enemies, also add their recollections to the ongoing Greenwood saga.
Can this family succeed in bettering themselves against all odds, despite the hardships they encounter at every turn?
This is a story of class inequality, hardship and love as the Greenwood family battles to achieve their dream of the ‘Promise of Tomorrow’.

Congratulations to Janet Johnstone and Gill Guest

Congratulations to both Janet Johnstone and Gill Guest, who’ve both been awarded Highly Commended’s in the YouByYou A Woman I Admire writing competition.

Janet’s entry can be read here: http://www.youbyyou.co.uk/woman-competition-jan.html

And Gill’s entry can be found here: http://www.youbyyou.co.uk/woman-competition-gill.html

2018 Ware Poets Open Poetry Competition

Prizes: £600, £300, £150, and the Ware Sonnet Prize (£150).

 

Anthology for winners and commended poets
(£3.50, post free: pre-ordered).

 

Informal prizegiving at Ware Arts Centre, Friday 6 July 2018.

 

Fee: £4;  4 poems for £12, then £3 per poem (in the same submission).

Length:  up to 50 lines.

Deadline: 30 April 2018

 

Sole judge: John Greening

Entry form available at


http://www.poetrypf.co.uk/comps/ware18.pdf

 

or send SAE to : The Competition Secretary, Ware Poets Competition,

21 Trinity Road, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 7DB

or email: warepoets_competition@hotmail.co.uk

My Friend The Enemy – by Antony Putman

Congratulations to Antony Putman, whose story, My Friend The Enemy, made it to the final four in the recent NAWG competition. You can read his story in full here:

My Friend The Enemy

by Antony Putman © 

 

The river divided our countries.

It was fast flowing for the most part, except for one small area. That was where the island was. The water should be faster, but for some reason, it slowed. That was how, at nine years old, I was able to swim to the island. That was where I first met my ‘friend’.

I reached the shore, a hopefully waterproof bag on my back. It was foolhardy, but how else would I carry food and something to dry myself with?

‘Who are you?’ A voice said above me. Looking up, there stood a boy, not much older than me, and he did not seem to be wet. ‘You swam here?’ He asked. I nodded. He pointed behind him, ‘I used a boat.’

I reached into my bag. Thankfully, the rag I brought along seemed dry. It took about a minute to get my hair mostly dry. Draping the rag over a branch, I walked over to the boy, holding out a hand, ‘My name is Franz.’

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What Makes a Writer?

What makes a Writer ?

by Chris Owen

Process: Drawing Breath

(to stop and look back as if from a high hill to evaluate your work

and decide the way forward)

I would like first to apologise for my non-attendance at last meeting due to circumstances beyond

my control (the spirit was willing but the flesh is weak)

I read something the other day that I would like to share with you all.

Apart from a generally held concept, writers, especially yours truly, can be prone to the following:

‘We cling to the past like a frayed security blanket, haunted by crushing failures rather than approaching each new day as a fresh opportunity to learn, grow and behave differently.’

A simple epithet that is one of those universal truths we choose to reject or ignore until the logic of it becomes overwhelmingly self-evident.

Writing, by definition is about moving forward, into the unknown, where anything can happen.

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Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centre Poetry Competition

This is an international competition to raise money for Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centre http://covrefugee.org/ and Clever Fox Press http://www.cleverfoxpress.com/clever-fox-press which is a charitable publishing venture which seeks to support and raise awareness of child refugees across the world. The competition also seeks to celebrate creativity and building bridges between communities.

First prize is £300, publication on the Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centre website and on Wasafiri’s website http://www.wasafiri.org/ and second prize is £50 and again publication on these two websites. There are also three runners-up prizes. The competition will be judged by Bidisha and Joe Horgan and the deadline is 14th November 2017. Entry is £5 per poem or £10 for 3 poems and poems can be submitted on any theme or topic. The link to the website is www.writeabridge.com and is part of the Coventry Peace Festival.