We were delighted to welcome writer, editor and poet Andy Croft to be our adjudicator this time round. Despite admitting that he doesn’t write short stories himself, Andy had obviously read a great many in the past and he treated us to a detailed analysis of the eight entries.
Secretary Peter Page received the trophy for ‘Inciting Incident’, a story of flirtation between a woman who thinks her husband is having an affair and a widower she meets on an Arvon playwriting course at The Hurst in Shropshire. (The title is a playwriting term.). Sheila Whitfield’s ‘Hat Tricks’, a story about a 57 year old loner who surprises himself by coming to the aid of a woman whose carrier bag fails in a supermarket car park, was in second place. The title refers to the fact that the protagonist often feels that he is wearing the wrong hat. Third was ‘Fisherman’s Tale’ by Denis Whitaker. A retired fisherman sitting on the harbour wall tells anyone who will listen about his possible encounters with a mermaid. The end of the story implies that the fisherman went to join the sea people after telling his tales for the last time.
After a break for refreshments, the three winners read their stories. Other entries will be given priority at our next Members’ Manuscripts meeting, which will also feature a book sale.