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Welcome to 5 photo story... our free entry short story competition for authors hoping for a publishing breakthrough


5 photo story Discussion Board:

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Feedback for stories featuring in 43 'L' Plates

Which story best links the five pictures...? Your votes were as follows:
Finlay's Fury ... 37%
The Great Inebriato ... 18%
The L-Diner ... 18%
Screaming ... 15%
Snowflakes ... 12%

17.3.08, Claire: Great Inebriato - I really enjoyed the comedy of this story and, having young children myself, I can relate to the stress of throwing children's parties!

18.3.08, Jayne: Screaming - Of all the entries, I felt that this one used the pictures in the most unique way, blending them into the story seamlessly.

18.3.08, Martyn: Snowflakes - Another very high standard of stories. My favourite however, has to be Snowflakes. It woke memories in me I thought I'd lost forever.

18.3.08, Jill: L-Diner - well done (pun intended? - Ed) incorporating the elements, and also capturing a mood that can be difficult to find.

20.3.08, Cath: Great Inebriato - linked the photos together well with nightmare-like black humour.

20.3.08, Maarit: Snowflakes - Although L-Diner is the best for linking the pictures, Snowflakes really pulls the reader deeply in and the words of the story flow so beautifully. Also the mood stays with you even when the story has finished.

20.3.08, Shirley: L-Diner - It held my interest from beginning to end and I liked the twist at the end.

21.3.08, onespeed: L-Diner - Incorporated all elements in an amusing and entertaining way. Fun to read and well crafted.

24.3.08, Jet: L-Diner - Although it's a close call between Screaming and L-Diner, I personally feel that L-Diner was the most cohesive, well written story of the bunch. It created the kind of characters you've met in real life, and delivered a plot that, while a bit too simple, didn't carry the pretentious overtones of some of the other entries. Screaming was a great idea with a good twist, I just thought the writing was a bit weak, and the time period jumps could have been better/clearer. Overall a good batch of entries!

25.3.08, Emmy: Great Inebriato - Excellently written, tying it all in seamlessly. Fantastic.

28.3.08, Ruth: Snowflakes - Beautifully written and invokes vivid memories.

31.3.08, Cheryl: Finlay's Fury - Am gobsmacked that this has not had a mention, but anyway it gets my vote.

31.3.08, Named voter, no comments: L-Diner

31.3.08, El Tigre: Finlay's Fury - Brings back fond (!) memories of a night on the town in Magaluf (Mallorca) sitting at a street bar watching what seemed like scores of hen parties stagger past in various states of undress and inebriety.

31.3.08, Pat: Finlay's Fury - I would like to vote for Finlay's Fury as the story which made best use of the five items, with a character who really came to life.

1.4.08, Harveykitten: Finlay's Fury - I think Finlay's Fury is much the best story. It combines the five elements imaginatively and unexpectedly and the voice is strong and original. Excellent ending.

1.4.08, JacquiRed: Finlay's Fury - I am torn between Finlay's Fury and Snowflakes. Snowflakes had a beautiful simplicity to it. That said I loved the hard edges to Finlay's Fury and the originality of the story, this made it my winner.

2.4.08, Caroline: Screaming - Quite haunting and well written and making good use of the pictures. I'm surprised it has the least votes so far!

2.4.08, Eli: Great Inebriato - I thoroughly enjoyed The Great Inebriato. Very funny and included the picture subjects without them seeming out of place.

2.4.08, Rosanna: Great Inebriato - I’d like to say how much I’ve enjoyed reading this year’s short stories. I was torn between Snowflakes and The Great Inebriato. I loved Snowflakes’ line: ‘"For when it’s melted and gone away," she whispered, but it was for more than that.’ Beautifully understated. However it was so refreshing to have a humorous piece and the conflict between the desperate husband and irate wife in Great Inebriato was delightfully portrayed, and there were also some great lines of dialogue.

5.4.08, Alison: Finlay's Fury - By far and away the best story, colourful characters, a great wee dog and a good ending.

6.4.08, Spiro: Screaming - Was the most accomplished piece of writing with a full story of the relationship and adept manipulation of timelines.

8.4.08, Margaret: Screaming - It linked the photos in an imaginative way and the writer managed to get so much information and emotion into just a few words.

8.4.08, Jo Spain: Finlay's Fury - A very clever beginning and it keeps you guessing for a while just what the main character's problem is going to be. The scene with the drunken hens is excellent and comes alive on the page.

10.4.08, Paul: Great Inebriato - Dark and funny.

11.4.08, Mumbo: Screaming - Has my vote, for a great emotive piece.

14.4.08, Big Ears: Finlay's Fury - Has my vote for sure. The character has a stark authenticity and the 5 items were so skilfully woven into the story that I had to go back and check they were all there. Fantastic and left me wanting to know more about the history of the 2 main characters.

15.4.08, Fiona Black Isle: Finlay's Fury - A stimulating story, well-woven with fabulous clarity. Good story telling. This gets my vote.

15.4.08, Tilly: Finlay's Fury - I was so engrossed in the stories I almost forgot to watch out for the pictures. I felt that they all deserved a mention! I loved the humour in Finlay's Fury and I expect the person who wrote it has travelled a bit on the train and taken in the upholstery - every detail can be useful, it adds to the realism. I like the line 'chaos of childhood' as I think we have all experienced a bit of that. It read well, the reader being me was drawn in and the ending made me laugh - isn't life just like that sometimes. I felt uncomfortable reading Great Inebriato - maybe that was the point. At the end I thought ironically that she was going to end up doing the magician sword trick with scissors and fail miserably, it was a relief when the magician disappeared. Nicely done! I loved the descriptive first sentences of L-Diner: the blur of cars, grimy window and the vibrating salt cellars, and I liked the use of the L here. I could really see the story as I read it. Haven't we all met that person and had to try hard to be nice when you really want to make them wear their meal rather than serve it to them. I thought her character was well defined, with the fact that she gave herself a little 'tip' meaning you don't feel completely sorry for her. Screaming was the saddest of the stories. Once again you were drawn into the story and the irony of them trying to protect her by not allowing her to use the car, only for her to end up worse off. I liked the final paragraph when it is not the daughter screaming but the father (inside). Snowflakes made me smile and was the ideal story to follow Screaming. I liked this sentence: The cold came creeping into the hallway and stroked my face. The descriptions made it perfect to visualize.
My vote: They all so deserve to be in the shortlist but I think it has to be between Finlay's Fury and L-Diner. I suppose the least I could do is pick one so I am going to go for Finlay's Fury: I think the ending clinched it!

19.5.08, Daniel: L-Diner - Both the writing and the story are superb.

2.6.08, Named voter, no comments: Snowflakes

10.6.08, Gill: Finlay's Fury - I LOVE Finlay's Fury - so much packed in, such full characterisation in such a short space, and the events are told in a way that you can feel the lurching of the train, smell the dog and the booze and imagine yourself there. A masterpiece! Definitely gets my vote!

31.7.08, Molly: Finlay's Fury - A delightful and analytical account of the those who catch the bus or train with them. Its dark and seedy underbelly provided great turmoil and depth to the story. It was short but effective and I would love to read more of this author's work.

 

Feedback for stories short-listed in our 2007 5 photo story competition, which have also been published in our 2008 anthology...

2.5.07, Audrey: Special seems to get right into the mind of the child, but leaves you wondering how much he really understands, and whether he's just toying with the his mother and the policeman. The end was a bit of a surprise! Clever stuff.

9.5.07, Jayne: Really enjoyed this one, Special's characterisation was brilliant.

26.7.07, Heatherjane: Special is far and away the best of the short stories. Well written and easy to read, it soon drew me right in. Knowing that each story had to incorporate specific items, this was the only story where I found I wasn't 'looking' or 'waiting' for them to pop up. The 'items' were so well blended into the story, I almost needed to re-read it to make sure they were all there! I look forward to another one from a very talented and thought-provoking writer. Well done!


Feedback for stories featuring in 39 Emergency Exits:

22.6.06, Vee: The end of Storming the Citadel really took me by surprise, in a delightful way. The tone of the entire piece was dark enough to lead me to suspect a much different ending. Good job, writer.

28.6.06, Shelley: "Chameleons" is excellent. It builds up necely to the twist at the end, and not a word is wasted. I also liked "The Job", which again was well put together and in the classic 'twist in the tail' tradition of short story writing. "Losing a Mate" was slower paced, but lyrical and descriptive, producing a different kind of short story altogether. A high standard of work this year! Well done everyone...

11.7.06, Jane: I have to say that all the entries are excellent and I do wish everyone the very best of luck! However, my favourite has to be 'The Meaning of Life'. I felt that this story was well crafted with a good element of humour, which lasted throughout the story, ending with the perfect 'twist' - well done to the author!

24.7.06, Visinker: Meaning of Life. Liked this one. Very clever.

21.8.06, The Talkingcactus: I also liked Chamelons and have scarily heard a friend over 50 say a similar thing about becoming invisible. I'll just stick with the orange hair dye! But I have to say that my favourite was Pat's Code. I thought it was quite punchy and set a good pace. It made me smile in a few places and had some clever twists. I liked the fact that some of the objects weren't used for their obvious purpose.