Tuesday, October 14, 2014

SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY SHORT STORY COMPETITION (AUGUST 2014)–ADJUDICATION REPORT

Administrator’s Note

Please note that this competition was judged blind and the adjudication report was sent in by the Judge with only the titles of the winning and commended poems. I have matched the winners and their poems to make for easier reading.

-      Nnorom Azuonye (14/10/2014)

 

An adjudication report by Brindley Hallam Dennis

 

There were 73 entries, and I knew I was in trouble when my shortlist reached twenty.

        Adding one more to the list would have brought another nineteen in with it, and that didn't help either. What I'm saying is that I enjoyed an awful lot of these stories. In fact, there were only a few – two or three – that I didn't think had something good going for them; and two of those read like well-written articles, but they weren't really short stories. For all you glass half full types out there, you could say, I found a lot of the stories to be lacking that little something that would make them winners!

        It's only in competitions that you have to make these sort of judgements. Otherwise you take your shorts like an espresso, and enjoy them for what they are, in the moment, for you, as you are, at that moment. What's it about? Do you care? How's it written? Does the voice beguile you?

        As I sifted through I began to realise that the stories I wanted to celebrate most were somewhat oblique in form or content; forceful in their tellings, with voices that made me stop and listen; with subjects that caught my interest. The whole range was there: life death; love; comic; tragic; absurd; serious, and the rest. A few took what are becoming contemporary standards, and anything that everyone is talking about is hard to write about without becoming part of the undistinguishable murmur, or cacophony. Two, in my 'Commended' list were, I guessed, by the same author, having the same characters. I'd like to see those as part of a longer fiction – a novel perhaps?

 

Here's my list, in traditionally reversed order:

 

Commended (in no particular order):

 

Till Death Us Do Part by Gareth Shore (Sale)

Fifty-Second Birthday in Bed by Christie Cluett (Bristol)

Odd Boy by Sharon Boyle (East Linton)

It's Seven Letters You Need by Maxine Backus (Grueningen, Switzerland.)

Abide With Me by Maxine Backus (Grueningen, Switzerland.)

 

Highly Commended (in no particular order):

 

For Mike by Geoff Aird (Edinburgh)

Swan Sculpting in Leighton Buzzard by Katie Martin (Cambridge)

Oh How We Danced by Tony Crafter (Knockholt)

 

3rd Prize

The Eternal Knot by John Robinson (Newbury) - Complex, convoluted, philosophical. A conversation between an Old Man and a snake, on the huge subject of sentience – of being alive and knowing it; of being mortal, and knowing that too.

 

2nd Prize

Coffee-Coloured Eyes by Olga Vakruchev (Toronto, Canada) -Slipping into the surreal, but I never doubted this woman's voice, nor her belief in her own story.

 

1st Prize

Killers at Fat Joe's by Tom Serengeti (BERTSHAM , South Africa) – I think I liked the ambition of this most of all: daring to echo Hemingway's title, and story, and do a riff on it. But I liked the spare descriptions and the dialogue too, and the unfolding events, and the characters, and their names, and the ending. I guess I would have liked the pizza too!    

 

BRINDLEY HALLAM DENNIS

 


Sunday, April 27, 2014

SLQ POETRY & SHORT STORY COMPETITIONS MAY 2014, JUDGES: DOMINIC JAMES & CATHERINE EDMUNDS. ENTER NOW.

SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY POETRY COMPETITION

Closing Date: 31-May-2014

For original, previously unpublished poems in English Language, on any subject, in any style up to 50 lines long. This competition is open to all poets regardless of nationality, living anywhere in the world. Judge: Dominic James.

Prizes: £200 (First), £75 (Second), £50 (Third), £20 x 3 (High Commendation).

The winners and commended poems will receive first publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine.

Fees: £4/1, £7/2, £9/3, £11/ 4, £12/5, £16/7, and £22 for 10 poems.

Enter online and pay securely by PayPal or print out an Entry Form for postal entries at:

www.sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/poetry

Or send your poems with a cover note titled ‘Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition May 2014’, together with a cheque/postal order for the applicable payment in favour of SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT to: Sentinel Poetry Movement, Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1AB, United Kingdom

 

 

SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY SHORT STORY COMPETITION

Closing Date: 31-May-2014

For original, previously unpublished short stories in English Language, on any subject, in any style up to 1500 words long. This competition is open to all writers regardless of nationality, living anywhere in the world. Judge: Catherine Edmunds

Prizes: £200 (First), £75 (Second), £50 (Third), £20 x 3 (High Commendation).

The winners and commended stories will receive first publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine.

Fees: £5 per story, £8 for 2, £10 for 3, £12 for 4.

Enter online and pay securely by PayPal or print out an Entry Form for postal entries at:

www.sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/short-stories 

Or send your stories with a cover note titled ‘Sentinel Literary Quarterly Short Story Competition May 2014’, together with a cheque/postal order for the applicable payment in favour of SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT to: Sentinel Poetry Movement, Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1AB, United Kingdom