‘Write 10, Win 10’ 2021

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.


WINNER (£10)

10th January. One mince pie left. It must be love.

Rebecca Kinnarney


SHORTLIST

Letters unearthed. “Dad’s dead, you said.” “Sorry, love” Mum whispered.

Laura Besley


Childhood friend. Shared bed, dreams. Got married. Discovered a stranger.

Mandira Pattnaik


we sailed amongst the unnamed latitudes trading words for home

William Davis


Fumble for glasses, lamp. Open door to crickets singing summer.

Jessica Klimesh


Explorar: Explore / Exploit – An isthmus in ink – In Brazil landlessness

Ruth Callaghan do Valle


He emptied drawers, dispatched belongings. Every space revealed her face.

Susy Churchill


In bulging bags of homemade food, I found her heart.

Linda Sejung Park


Blue Light. Human gone. Empty bowl. Cat affronted. Now alone.

Rita Lazaro


“Look,” said grandfather, “endless worlds await.” He opened the book.

Gunnar De Winter


Judges’ notes:

  • 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.