Writer Jackie Collins has joined the judging panel in our 2020 competition. Jackie leads the popular Grimsby Writers group, and is a key part of the National Lottery funded Lincolnshire Writers programme, supporting leaders of emerging writers groups, helping to improve the writing of new members and work with them towards publication.
Hammond House team member Alex recently spoke to her about what she's looking for from entrants into the short story category.
As a judge, what are you looking for in a short story?
As a judge in this competition I am looking for that very escapism. Teach me something as Samson does. Make me question my understanding of something, a belief an opinion. Give me a different insight into something. Give me something I will remember long after I read it and want to discuss with others. I love strong characters. Good settings. Clear prose.
What advice would you give to people entering the 2020 competition?
Read what the judges say; after all they are going to decide who wins. Look at previous winners of this competition. Use all the wonderful skills you have learned and experience you have gained. Work hard, edit, edit, edit. Read your story out loud to yourself – it is one of the best ways to pick up mistakes. Ask a trusted person to read it and give you honest constructive advice. Check spelling, grammar, typo’s, proof read and there again if possible, ask someone to proof read it. Most of all enjoy writing your story and be proud of it, it will be a great achievement to have written a piece you consider worthy of entering. I wish you every success.
Feeling inspired? Our 2020 competition finishes on the 30th September, so there's still plenty of time to get your entries in. Find out more and enter here.