A huge thank you to everyone who submitted to our inaugural micro competition. We received 116 entries and thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them. Entries were read anonymously by a panel of four judges.
We were treated to an inspiring mix of discoveries: everything from witches, treasure hunters, weddings, gods and new books to space, presents, mirrors, moons and murderers.
After many hours of deliberation, we are delighted to reveal that the winner is Rebecca Kinnarney. Rebecca’s story stood out for its humour, clever construction and inventive take on the theme.
The following writers made the shortlist: Laura Besley, Mandira Pattnaik, William Davis, Jessica Klimesh, Ruth Callaghan do Valle, Susy Churchill, Linda Sejung Park, Rita Lazaro and Gunnar De Winter. They all managed to tell a full story in ten words, hiding layers of meaning beneath the surface.
You can read our 10 selected stories below.
10th January. One mince pie left. It must be love.
Letters unearthed. “Dad’s dead, you said.” “Sorry, love” Mum whispered.
Childhood friend. Shared bed, dreams. Got married. Discovered a stranger.
we sailed amongst the unnamed latitudes trading words for home
Fumble for glasses, lamp. Open door to crickets singing summer.
Explorar: Explore / Exploit – An isthmus in ink – In Brazil landlessness
Ruth Callaghan do Valle
He emptied drawers, dispatched belongings. Every space revealed her face.
In bulging bags of homemade food, I found her heart.
Linda Sejung Park
Blue Light. Human gone. Empty bowl. Cat affronted. Now alone.
“Look,” said grandfather, “endless worlds await.” He opened the book.
Gunnar De Winter
The quality was exceptionally high. From our longlist of 30, we had a hard time getting down to a shortlist of 10.
The winner and shortlisted entries all told a story. It didn’t matter whether this was a grand tale of adventure or a tiny snapshot of a moment; each one narrated a full story in 10 words.
The best stories adhered closely to the theme, but perhaps approached ‘discovery’ from a less obvious angle.
It was important not to waste any words. Some promising stories that made the longlist were dropped on the basis of a single word that felt forced or out of place.
Clever use of punctuation made some stories stand out. Breaking up the 10 words allowed them to go further.
Writing that blurs genres (prose poems, poetic prose, etc.) is welcome.
Submit up to three pieces of your best brief writing
Paste your work into the body of an email and send it to email@example.com
Include a short third-person bio (under 50 words). Please don’t feel any pressure with this – we choose our favourite photos, poems and stories, not the publication history of the author
Please only submit previously unpublished work, i.e. nothing that has appeared in print or online (including on a personal website or social media)
Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please do make sure to let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere
Please wait for our reply before sending more work. If we publish your writing, please wait at least two issues before submitting again
We will not publish writing or photos that are sexist, racist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or speciesist
We are unlikely to be interested in gratuitous sex or violence
Our response time can be anywhere up to two months. If you haven’t heard back after six weeks, feel free to send us a gentle nudge to check we received your submission.
There is no submission fee. There will never be a submission fee. Art belongs to everyone and financial barriers should not stop people sharing their work.
That said, there are costs involved in running a literary journal. If you would like to support Briefly, please consider making a small donation. We offer expedited responses starting from only £3.
By submitting to Briefly Zine, you are granting us first electronic rights. Copyright reverts to the author upon publication.
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Please note: We select our favourite writing and photography; whether or not you donate will have no impact on the outcome of your submission. We do, however, greatly appreciate any support. Every penny we receive goes directly to running Briefly Write.