Sunday, December 22, 2013

Shortlisted for Mardibooks short story competition

Winners announced

Hello Nkiacha Atemnkeng
Thank you for applying for Short Story Competition. We really appreciate the time you put into your application.
The judges have now selected the winners and they've been published on the brief page. We wanted to let you know that the judges were particularly impressed with your work and felt it displayed real talent - so congratulations on making the shortlist.
We hope this will encourage you to apply for future IdeasTap briefs - we always have new additions to our Opportunities page, so keep an eye out.

Dear Short Story Writer,

Thanks for entering the Mardibooks and Ideas Tap short-story competition.
As I am sure you are aware, we had almost five hundred entries and the standard was very high.

However, although you didn’t make the final cut of 37 for the two book collections, your effort was highly regarded enough to be separated out for some constructive feedback from our main writer and judge Martin Godleman.  He has below given some feedback to you which we hope will be of use in your writing in the year ahead.

Mardibooks Feedback:

Story: Football Without A Ball
Written by: Nkiacha Atemnkeng

Dear Nkiacha,

Thank you for your entry.

As you’ll know, writing doesn’t come nearly as naturally to writers as people think, and often requires the kind of dedication that makes you sometimes wonder if it’s all worth it. Let me assure you that it is.

Before I talk about your story, I want to encourage you to keep up the writing and make a plea for you to enter our competition next year. We now have you on our recommended writers’ database, so if you are interested in attempting anything more ambitious such as a collection of short stories, a novel or some drama, please drop us a line. We acknowledge the high quality of your writing and would like you to keep at it. The next one may be the magical moment that gets you published.

As for your entry for the 2013 short story competition, what a magnificent title. I found myself speculating as to how this title might apply itself metaphorically to its subject matter. Really did, Which was as good a start as any story can have. A good title.

And it's no wonder that you write amazing stories. What a crazy job you have.

I'm not sure you mean 'slut' as a verb, incidentally. But I kind of know what you mean. It is a beautifully crafted story, right into the solar plexis of the school it describes. It has the slight sense of private language about it, which is as liberating as it is infuriating. And I love this story! But then I love football, so maybe I'm not the person to offer criticism. My conclusion is that if you could have worked a little more deftly on the metaphor, then this would have been sublime. As it is, it is merely a very clever and neat evocation of what it is about football that relates people to each other from the team member to the out and out genius. This really was a very closely run thing. I would say, take what you have, and take the story a bit more into the boys' lives and away from that game.

Thank you for letting me read your work.

Best wishes and good luck with your writing,

Martin Godleman