Amid the year-end chaos I'm happy to announce that the finalists for the short story competition have been selected and mailed to the judges. We'll keep you up to speed with results but for now, the task remains to notify those who'll be going through to the next round, and notifying those who didn't quite make the grade.
There is often a misconception that writing a short story is easy because, well, it's so short. Nothing could be further from the truth. A short story is tricky precisely because you've got fewer words. It needs to grab readers' attention, drag them along for a ride and engage them, then twist the knife with a snappy denouement, all within the space of a few hundred or thousand words.
One must be adept at showing without losing readers with needless exposition. Apart from being conservative in word choice, a clear direction must be cut and considerations taken for the impact each paragraph delivers. Are transitions smooth? Are characteres well developed? Is dialogue succinct? Is the author building suitable tension?
Anyhow, watch this space for further news. We're working hard to put together this collection and hope to offer you a selection of tales that will communicate some of the strangeness and darkness that lurks in the recesses of authors' imaginations.