Northwrite 2018 Competition – Judges Report


1st Place: A Medical Definition by Sheila Blackburn (Northland)

2nd Place: Danny by Greg Hall (Auckland)

3rd Place: The Promise by Anna Granger (Whanganui)

Highly Commended: Service Station by Stuart Lee (Auckland), and Foggy by Greg Hall (Auckland)

Judges Report

Thank you to everyone who entered the NorthWrite 2018 Short Story Competition. There were 69 entries, of which two were disqualified by the word count and twenty-three more on the first reading for obvious technical and stylistic issues. Another twenty were eliminated in the next reading because, although they were well written overall, they were lacking some components of great storytelling. There were some very good non-fiction stories but these couldn’t compete against the magic of the fiction entries. That took the pile down to twenty-four stories and over several readings these were filtered down to the final five. While we were able to give only three placings, there were two stories that were so close to being placed that we decided to give them both highly commended. These were: Service Station and Foggy.

1st Place: A Medical Definition 

This story offers a powerful, haunting glimpse into the reality of life. Despite the less-than-ideal presentation, the story has a strong narrative voice with fresh, believable characters, effective imagery, fabulous use of techniques and beautiful wording that grabbed both the judges and stayed with us well after the readings.

2nd Place: Danny

This story is a perfect snippet of family dynamics. It is based on a well-constructed, imaginative idea and flows beautifully, with skilfully placed humour, good characterisation, wonderful dialogue and a satisfying ending.

3rd Place: The Promise 

This story is a great example of ‘telling’ mixed with showing. The visual pictures created by the description places the reader firmly in the setting, the characterisation is good, the language used has an enticing rhythm and the ending links to the beginning in a satisfying way.

Thank you, everyone, for your stories. We enjoyed reading them and wish you all the best with your writing in the future.

Diana Menefy & Justine Payen.

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