Just wanted to share my good news with you – I was shortlisted to the final judging stage in the Writing Magazine Crime Story Competition. The winning story (and the shortlist) is in the January 2011 issue of the magazine (just out) and the runner-up’s story will be published on the Writing Magazine website.
No prize or publication for me but I was chuffed because it means I’ve learned something from reading the winning entries over the past months:
- The stories that do well in both Writing Magazine and Writers’ News competitions are very strong on character.
- The reader is taken right inside the mind of the protagonist.
- Other characters are few and minor.
- There is often little or no ‘action’ in the story.
Writing Magazine competitions manager, Richard Bell, reinforced this emphasis on character in the magazine’s Competition Special, earlier this year, when he said, “We have seen several excellent stories in which the main character simply undergoes an attitudinal shift; they are shown changing their opinion about something. That is not an earth shattering event, but it can be enough to provide a storyline. “