Wow! What a wonderful treat to read so many fantastic short stories and novel and nonfiction/memoir extracts. On behalf of the entire Circle of Misse Team and competition judges Emily Midorikawa and Emma Sweeney, a big thank you to everyone who entered our 2012 Spring Contest. What a thrill to see so much good writing going on out there.
The contest response was overwhelming, the quality extremely high, and the diversity of style, subject matter and imagination refreshing and inspiring.
Of course, all those superlatives made picking a winner and runners-up a tough task indeed. So much so that we added a couple of runner-up slots to recognize the sheer quantity of exceptional entries. Please see the comments in the box to the right to get an idea of the qualities that made winners and runners-up stand out and the overall standard of entries so high.
Thanks again to all entrants. It was a pleasure to read your work. We encourage everyone to keep at it and continue to push toward your writing goals. Also keep your eyes out for future Circle of Misse contests. We’d love to read your work again. And we’d be absolutely delighted to see you at Misse this year. Remember, those who entered get a 10% discount off any 2012 writing course.
YNWA - Novel
Prize: Stuart wins a free place on "A writer Progresses" in April or May.
Runners-Up - in alphabetical order
Steal This Book - Novel
Subbuteo for the Soul - Memoir
Afterwards - Novel
The Reunion of Lost Parts - Novel
The Marriage of Wai Lyn Mae - Short Story
The Big Dark - Novel
When the Light Changes - Novel
Congratulations to the winner and to all the runners-up. We look forward to working with you at Misse this spring!
The Misse Team on the Quality of Entries
With any competition, the skill level will cover the spectrum. One thing that all entries shared irrespective of their ultimate strengths and weaknesses was an engagement and commitment to the piece from the writer that piqued the interest of the reader. Perhaps the writer had not mastered certain areas of craft, appeared to struggle with certain elements of their narrative, or evidenced some doubt about the idea central to the story, nonetheless, the reader could see the writer actively engaging with these struggles and doubts, trying to wrestle and, at times coax, the narrative into line in order to gain control and tell the story the best they could. Writing coaches and teachers always look for this commitment to problem solving and imaginative thinking in a work-in-progress, but they don’t always find it. We found it in an extraordinary number of the competition entries.
The Judges on the Winner/Runners-up
The judges found that an ‘engaging voice, combined with subtle and complex characterisation’ made the overall winner YNWA, a novel-in-progress, by Stuart Evers a stand-out entry in a tight competition.
Among the runners-up, the judges discovered an extremely high level of narrative control, imagination and playfulness, authenticity in dialogue, and masterful use of tension, emotional engagement and telling details to sustain the readers interest and make them eager to read more.