Short story writing must be the most challenging of all. For the past seven months I’ve been thinking about a tale to enter the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition but it’s always been too short, or too… meh.
With the deadline falling on July 31, I’ve decided to spend the next week scribbling a sub-3,000 word story and submit it. This will be success of a kind. I’ve never entered a short story competition and this one gets entries from all around the world. Last year’s attracted 1,000 entries.
Last year’s winner was called White Socks & Weirdos by Sophie Hampton. This is her all-important intro:
‘Hey, Weirdo. Why do you wear spaz clothes?’ says Lorraine Abbot at playtime, hands on hips. She stares at my woolly tights and Clarks shoes, her eyes as dark and narrow as the coin slot on our gas meter. My legs itch and burn as though she’s put a curse on them.
As you can see, the basic rules of fiction intros have been applied (tension, curiosity) but multiplied by 1,000.
Anyway, I’ve set myself a deadline now, there’s nowt else to do but write!
UPDATE: I’ve just submitted my entry to the competition! The first draft came in at 3,500 words so I spent most of yesterday and today reading and rereading and rereading it; finding things to change each time! Of course, I could spend infinity doing that. In the end I bit the bullet and clicked ‘send’. Best of luck to all of you have submitted a story.
Thank you for your entry for the Sean O’Faolain Competition.
If mine doesn’t get shortlisted I may post it up here.