Chudleigh Phoenix Short Story Competition. As I live in Devon I also win the prize for the best local entry as well, so that's a bonus!
My story, Learning to Talk, was one I wrote for a different competition last year. It was the kind of competition which gets tonnes of entries but I was hopeful of getting somewhere with it. I didn't. And, of course, when I looked at my story again I could see a dozen small ways in which it could have been so much better and kicked myself for sending it out too soon. So I spent a little time re-writing and editing my manuscript until I had something I was much happier with - and this is the result. I'm especially pleased because I've written extremely few short stories in the last 18 months and am out of practice to say the least. This was a real struggle for me, but something I felt as if I had to do - partly to stop myself forgetting how to do it completely, and partly just to stay sane in the midst of novel writing!
Learning to Talk is a story about Sarah, whose abuse at the hands of someone more powerful than her brings back difficult memories of childhood secrets. Can she slay both demons at once, or is it too late to ever be anything other than a victim? You can see the full results on the competition website, where you'll also be able to read the winning entries sometime later this month - I'll let you know when!