Scottish Book Trust 500 Words Essay

October

In October, we held our monthly 50 Fiction Competition in association with the Daily Record and we had a huge number of entries inspired by this image.

Author and coloumnist Shari Low sat on the judging panel and, thanks to the high quality of entries, we decided to add a Highly Commended slot for each category.

All-age category winning story by Rachel L. MacAulay:

I awoke feeling surprisingly well-rested. Heading to the kitchen, I smiled for the first time since the hellish ordeal with Max started. I had won. The kids were mine.

But the items on the table stopped me short. They were in Max’s habitual morning arrangement.

Then, I noticed the silence.

All-age category highly commended Cara Mackenzie:

She places everything on the table; ordered, neat.

People will think she's a professional. Together.

Newspaper. Latte.

Empty bag at her feet, timer on her ancient phone to tell her when to leave.

She can pretend it's a meeting, not the launderette.

They don't know she has nowhere to go.

Young Writers category winning story by Bronagh Johnson-Bailey (aged 16):

She's at it again this morning.

"Go get the newspaper for Daddy, dear."

I hesitate, she twitches. When I return she's gently placing his coffee, I drop his paper next to it. Mum and I sit for breakfast in silence. His place is set, his seat remains empty.

Young Writers categoryhighly commended Emily Turner (age 17):

There he goes again. Gazing at that blonde barista instead of getting to work. And he has the nerve to dump me on my face, like I’M the distraction. Still, I’ll be the one reminding him how late he is when he eventually spares me a glance. That’ll teach him.

The 50-Word Fiction Competition

Can you write a story in just 50 words?

Each month we’ll provide a prompt to get you started, but where the story goes from there is entirely up to you.

The competition includes four categories, Adult Writers, All-age Gaelic Writers, Young Writers 5-11 and Young Writer 12-18. The entries will be judged by a panel and the four winning stories will be published on our website two weeks after the closing date.

A prize will be awarded to a writer in each category:

Whether you're a seasoned writer or you've always fancied picking up a pen, why not give it a go?

Need some inspiration or tips? Read our 50 Word Fiction blogs, check out Sophie Cooke's 5 Things for Writing A Short Story and read last month's winners.

March's prompt

Write a story featuring a time traveller.

Image by annca, Pixabay

How to Enter

Entries for our March competition are currently open.Submit your story by Tuesday 27 March 2018 at noon.

- You can submit one entry to one category per month. Please read the terms and conditions carefully before entering.
- To submit your story, please complete the form below. You will receive a confirmation message on screen after submitting. 
- We welcome entries in Scots or Scottish Gaelic for both categories and thank The Gaelic Books Council for their support in judging our entries.
- Please note that we no longer send acknowledgement emails and due to the large number of entries, we are not able to offer individual feedback.

If you have any questions about the competition, please send them to: lynsey.may@scottishbooktrust.com

Submit your entry here:

February's Winners

All-age category winner by Giancarlo Rinaldi:

“Look mum, one hand!” cried Luca, excitedly, the first time he cycled past the family home.

Then, the second time around, he shouted with even greater delight: “Look mum, no hands!”

But, on the third passing, it was the bicycle that spoke.

“Look mum,” it said. “No Luca!”

Gaelic Category winner Iain MacRath:

B' e sgreuch a dhùisg Lachaidh. Bha e na shuain-chadail, a' bruadar mun cheapaire le ìm saillte agus càis’ làidir, tiugh. Fàileadh cularan fhathast air a chiabhagan. Sguir a’ chrith shocair, ruitheamach agus lìon a’ bhasgaid le solas. Rinn Lachaidh leum, a' toirt geall nach rachadh e cuairt baidhsagail a chaoidh tuilleadh.

Translation by the Gaelic Book Council:

A scream woke Lachie. He was sound asleep, dreaming about the sandwich with salted butter and thick, mature cheese. The aroma of cucumber still in his whiskers. The gentle, rhythmic motion stopped and the basket filled with light. Lachie jumped, vowing never again to go on a bike ride.

Young Writers (12-18) category winning story by Lily Stiven, age 15:

The storm chased her, flashing and rumbling, as she sped along the crumbling road. The old bike lurched beneath her and the wheels sent up a spray of cold mud. Grandma had warned her of the selkies' power, yet the stolen coral necklace bounced in her pocket. 

Young Writers (5-11) category winning story by Phoebe Stirrup, age 6:

Mike liked his bike

so he rode it all the way to the moon

But when he got there,

he fell into it because it was cheese

But 3 mice liked it so they licked him free

and he rode all the way back

to the world and landed in a tree.

Image by renategranade0, Pixabay

Read all the previous winning stories here.

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