An entire Tale in 100 words. Exactly
International Competition winner announced
The JM Wilson Memorial Literary Dinner on October 3rd, the 187th anniversary of his death, took place this week in Berwick.
For the first time, the annual challenge to produce a Tale in exactly 100 words was thrown open to the public, and attracted entries from across the world, including Australia, the USA, Greece, South Africa and Iran. The entertainment included a humourous rendition of one of the most amusing Tales, “Kate Kennedy; Or, The Maid Of Innerkepple” including a feisty buxom heroine, a Borders feud, and more than enough quaffing. The audience participated in a reading of the poem ‘Beans and bacon’ which was the inspiration for the menu and the dinner.
As the culmination of the evening, shortlisted entries to the competition were read and performed, and the overall winner announced. The competition entries were judged blind, with the judges having no knowledge of the identities of the authors, and the eventual winner, despite fierce competition, was revealed as a local Northumbrian writer, Mrs Caroline Neal.
Project Director Andrew Ayre praised the high standard of entries, saying “Although we expected the number of entries to increase as a result of offering a prize, the judges were hard worked to deal with the volume of consistently high standard entries and arrive at a shortlist. Entries were moving, humorous, dramatic, ghostly, and sad. After some fierce debate the panel eventually selected a Tale which reflects a very human experience described with a poignant and lyrical quality which still manages to leave room for the reader to create their own interpretation as the Tale ends. We are now looking forward to next year’s competition being even more successful.”
Winning entry for 2022.
My Hand in Yours
The moment I saw you, I knew it was love, deep, uncontrollable, exquisite.
Looking into your dark, ink-blue eyes, I was captured, enraptured and enslaved for all time.
When my hand first held yours, your skin, tender and soft as morning new petals, my heart no longer my own.
Our lives forever tangled, entwined. Our life adventures, overwhelming and unique. Our happiness and bond never waning.
Now we are back to where first we met, your hand holding mine, strong, focussed, and calm.
Our love unbreakable, unforgettable, continuing for all eternity.
Time for me to go now my daughter.
©Caroline Neal 2022. All Rights Reserved
Other Shortlisted entries
Lucky Black Cat
I didn’t intend to kick my black cat as he ran in front of me. He didn’t intend to give out the most awful scream and scare a passing old lady. She didn’t intend to throw her stick across the road. The driver of the car didn’t intend to swerve to avoid the stick and crash into next door’s garden. He certainly didn’t intend to kill my neighbour, with whom I was having a bitter legal disagreement. But that’s what happened.
So it’s right what they say about black cats; they do bring good luck if they cross your path.
©Dr Bob Turvey 2022. All Rights Reserved
2021 To Do
1. Find new boyfriend
2. Ditch Alistair
3. Kill Mum
4. Frame Alistair
5. Move somewhere warm with inheritance and new beau
6. Destroy evidence
1. Dating Gerry. Gorgeous.
2. You wouldn’t, he said. Watch me, I said.
3. Smothered. A kindness, at her age.
4. Plenty of Alistair clues left for police. They bought it.
5. Cyprus is lovely. Houses are cheap. I’ve always wanted a sea view.
6. All sorted.
7. Paphos is banging!
January 2023 update
6. Didn’t destroy this list. Fuck!
7. No parties in Holloway. Or sea view.
© Jane Sleight 2022. All Rights Reserved
Tom and Dick
Dick was the best window cleaner in Northumberland, so thorough, took his time with every window. The only thing that puzzled me was that he always came after dark.
Then last month he said he couldn’t use the ladder any more so was switching to a Reach and Wash system, so did I know that he could attach a camera to the pole to make sure he got into every nook and cranny?
I said I did. I kinda regretted that though when he was had up for being a peeping tom. But my windows were so very, very clean.
© Jackie Latham 2022. All Rights Reserved