Saturday, 4 May 2013

Crime Results with Catherine Smith: 22 April 2013

On Monday 22 April we gathered to hear the results of our most recent competition – writing a short crime story.  Our judge, Catherine Smith, had judged competitions for the group before. She now teaches Creative Writing for New Writing South, based in Brighton, and also for the Arvon Foundation. Catherine told the group that the entries were of a high standard, and that we had some talented writers among our membership. She was impressed with our appetite for bloodthirsty tales! A good crime story needs strong, believable characters, a plot that moves along briskly, and an effective use of setting and location.
     Having commented on all the entries, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, Catherine singled out three for special commendation: ‘A Respectable Death’, by Stephen Martin, ‘The Silent Assassin’ by Marcus Towner, and ‘A Place of Annihilation’ by Mike Walsh.  She then moved on to the four winners. In fourth place was Eileen Masters with ‘This is where I dies’, a gripping monologue story based on a real Old Bailey case.  John Vallender was third with ‘No comment’, a tightly plotted and gripping account of a domestic murder. In second place was Jill Fricker with ‘Tweeting from Pretoria’, an unusual story set in contemporary South Africa, with overtones of Jack and the Beanstalk.  In first place was Steph Gaunt, with ‘A kitten vanishes’.  Steph’s story was about an older woman, a wronged wife attempting to take revenge on her husband and his new family, and Catherine was impressed with its emotional depth as well as the quality of the writing.
     In addition to the competition results, members were told that the title of the 2013 group animal themed anthology was, by popular vote, ‘Animal Writes’.  Thanks were expressed to Roz Balp, who thought of the idea.

1 comment:

  1. We are looking for an English Author/writer who would be prepared to come to Northern France for a few days in May or June in order to do workshops with groups of people in village libraries. Thank you very much. Jane