08 February, 2011

A Sad Twist in the Tale

I was sad yesterday to read that on only its third showing, the Twisted Tales competition has closed its doors. I came second in the inaugral competition last summer and from the e-mail list I deduced that there were about 50 entries in that round, which is reasonable for a first-timer. But it seems that the number of entries went downhill instead of up from there and they have not been able to cover the prize money.

It's such a shame that people who are willing to run friendly and well-organised competitions have not been able to keep going, but finance is finance and organisers rely on writers entering their competitions as much as we rely on them organising competitions. Perhaps it was overly-ambitious to try running a competition every quarter. Anyway, I was on their website in the first place to check there was nothing in their rules to stop me publishing my short story on this blog as well as it being up on their site. I guess the fact that they've shut down is an answer in itself. So for those of you who haven't read it, When All This is Over can now be found on the "Sample Writing" tab above.


  1. What a shame. I found out about it too late to enter, but from the looks of the site a fair bit of effort had been put into making it look presentable and professional. I suppose it comes down to the amount of promotion the organisers are prepared to do in order to inform people about the competition and encourage them to enter it.

    You'd think in these days of blogs and facebook and freely available competition listing sites like Writing Calendar, it would be a doddle to get word out there. But it all takes time, I suppose, and many of these competitions rely on people giving up their spare time to make it all happen.

    I keep toying with the idea of running a competition but I must admit I usually back off, thinking, 'No way - that sounds like far too much hassle....'

  2. Sad that the Twisted Tale has folded like so many others. On a brighter note, I've just read, 'When All This Is Over' and impressive it is too. I particularly enjoy twist in the tale pieces (reading or writing).
    On the subject of gas and warfare, in the first Gulf War we were seriously worried about the use of nerve gas. Our military has some of the best training and equipment in the world when it comes to NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) warfare, but when you're out there in the hostilities it frightens the honest man. Nerve agent is first recognised by the smell... new mown hay/grass. If you smell it before you noticed the warning signs it means you have a reduced chance. The effects are horrific.
    Onto other things. I have now constantly got two stories on the go so that I'm ready for any competition, but we'll see how long I can keep that up.

  3. Thanks Tom, I'm glad you liked it. It's probably more significant to you from your experience with gas. I just find the character of Hitler so chilling - at some point he was a baby with no pre-conceinved malice in him and somehow he turned out to be a monster. It's frightening how that can happen to someone. When I discovered he'd been gassed in the Great War it gave me chills - he went on to gas millions of people. I felt compelled to write about it.

    There is one impossibility in my story but nobody's noticed it yet (I didn't notice for a while!). I think you probably have to know the history of the war quite well to pick it up.

    I look forward to hearing of your competitions entries!


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