EDitorial ± 30-May-2013

Hay Hay Hay

I go in for these things. These things being the occasional short story competition. Only those short stories are getting shorter and shorter what with the rise of "flash fiction", micro-tales of 1000 words or less. Sometimes a lot less indeed.

Towards the end of April I saw mention online of a contest being run by the New Welsh Review, a literary magazine over in that there Wales. They said:

NWR welcomes entries of microfiction stories (under 100 words) for its new competition to be judged by Cynan Jones.

NWR is excited to announce a new microfiction competition, Flash In the Pen, which encourages authors to turn their minds to writing a story of 100 words. The competition is to help celebrate the forthcoming 100th edition of NWR, which will be published this summer on 25th May. Closing dates for entries is 10 May 2013.

Now, imagine being invited to the Hay-on-Wye book festival to collect your prize: wouldn't that be something? Dream on.

As per the tardy norm, I left it late, hacking away at my tale on the night itself to get it down to that pesky 100 word limit. Which, I then saw, was also meant to include the title. Not wishing to prune my title, which I liked, that was another three words to chop out. Anyway, I did it -- well done, me -- and went to bed.

A week or so later, working from home, my mobile went off. Is that Ed? Hi, it's the New Welsh Review here. I'm delighted to tell you you've won 3rd prize in our Flash In The Pen writing competition. Would you like to come to our NWR100 launch party at Hay-on-Wye to collect your prize?

Oh yes!

So, it turns out that Hay is not somewhere in the Cotswolds, as I thought, but over the border (just) in Wales. Nonetheless, myself and G. drove over there on Tuesday 28th May and, despite the generally atrocious wet weather, enjoyed a lovely reception in The Summer House. There were nibbly bites, sparkly drinks and Welsh spoken. Hey, that's Simon Armitage! Kudos, by the way, to Roz Goddard who won with her "Dressing" story: go read the judge's notes if you fancy.

Part of the prize for the top three is publication of our stories -- inc. mine, "Any Reasonable Time" -- in the September issue of the mag, NWR101. Now, that'll be a fine thing to see.