Short Story Competition 2020

As current restrictions due to Covid-19 prevent us from meeting face to face, adjudicator Peter Caunt presented his written adjudication in four parts.

In the first part Peter described his own writing experience, principally as the author of short stories. In the second, third and fourth parts he set out
• A general note on how he had carried out the adjudication
• Detailed comments on each of the nine entries
• The results

Susan Perkins was named as the winner for her story ‘Happy Birthday’. Joint runners up were Lindsay Trenholme with ‘Watching the Lake’ and Peter Page with ‘Character Formation’.

The following entries were later shared in a group email:

• Ros – ‘One Wedding’ – a story of a wedding dramatically changed by Covid-19 and of the aftermath which sees the husband as the one looking after the babies.
• Peter P – ‘Character Formation’ – an author tugged in different directions by his Personal Tempter and his Guardian Angel moulds a new character who arrived in his imagination formless and fresh from Character School into a short story protagonist
• Maggie – ‘Looking the Part’ – a story of two young people looking for work and the impact their appearance has, with the twist that the boy gets a job at his second interview which will involve him wearing a wig with just the hair style that lost him the first one
• Janet – ‘Cold’ – in wintry weather, an Alpine mountain guide has trouble with a party of American tourist beginners but when things go badly wrong the tourists reveal hidden depths
• Susan – ‘Happy Birthday’ – developed from a piece originally written for the Group’s ‘Six Objects’ evening at the end of May, this is the story of a retired actress preparing for her ninetieth birthday and wondering what had happened to an old flame who had given her a parrot
• Sheila – ‘Doors Opening’ – a woman on honeymoon in Vancouver is surprised to meet a man who she thought of as a former husband who had drowned at sea twenty years earlier but who is now able to assure her that because of an earlier deception their marriage hadn’t been valid
• Caroline – ‘Good Girl’ – set during the Covid-19 epidemic, this is the story of a paramedic who, after a hard day with an uncongenial work partner, has her car stolen as a result of a con trick. Next day, back with her regular partner, she finds herself attending a traffic accident and is faced with a conflict between feelings and duty when she finds that it involves the stolen car
• Lindsay – ‘Watching the Lake’ – a story of the supernatural, well summed-up by Peter Caunt as ‘following the spirit of a woman searching for a companion’, and set in a place of hills, moors, lakes and ponds

Our friendly group meets once a fortnight in the Old Deanery on Minstergate, opposite Ripon Cathedral and is always open to new members from the Ripon area and beyond. Whether your interest is in poetry or prose, novels, short stories, plays, wacky humour, a more analytical style of writing, or just listening for the time being, you're very welcome.

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