txtlit.co.uk - The UK's Easiest to Enter Writing Competitions

Example Story
She denied stealing the shoes, though witnesses had seen her attempt to secrete the red, shiny stilettos. A victim of fashion, the evidence was patent.
 
November 2014 Competition

November's competition theme is The Source. Who or what & from where is your choice. So long as your story is 154 characters or less, preceded by the word STORY and a space and texted to 82085

December 2014 Competition

December's competition theme will be released at the end of the November. Come back to find out what it will be and to see the results for October.

 

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Competition Results

Results are published Below. Make sure you check back regularly to get the latest competiton news and themes.



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Remember, whilst the act of entring the competitions is easy, writing a compelling story in just 154 characters takes some doing, but it's excellent writing practice and makes for good disciplined writing.

All competitions cost £1 per entry plus the cost of a standard text message from your mobile phone service provider.



July Competition: Theme - Heat Print E-mail

Winning Entry:

The Greek isle lay below me now. I was so high I could kiss the sun. Suddenly there were feathers!!! In the heat of the moment I'd forgotten his warning.


Our congratulations for winning July's Txtlit competition go to Ian Richardson from Carnoustie in Scotland. Ian Rchardson60 year old Ian tells us that news of winning the July competition added an extra glow to his August holiday. He admits to being concerned that the need to strip creative writing to the bone when writing a Txtlit story may have left the reference to Icarus undetectable. Ian has invited all visitors to txtlit.co.uk to read a longer work of his. ‘The Uchronie.’ - is available free at Jukepop Serials - and has, so far, gathered over 500 votes.  Follow this link to find it http://www.jukepopserials.com/home/read/105


Ian has used the now, well established technique when entering a Txtlit competition of using a well known character to partly tell the story. Here, Ian has used the character of Icarus, who escaped from imprisonment with the help of wings of wax and feathers made by his father. Interestingly, this is not the first time that Icarus has been the character of a Txtlit story and this was not the only entry for July's competition that used him as a character. It was how Ian gave us just enough clues to be able to make sense of the story that won us over however. The opening sentence gives us a location, but being high enough to kiss the sun could have a number of different meanings and so urges us to read on to discover more. The third sentence tells us so much in just a few words and changes the mood dramatically. Now we are beginning to understand who we are talking about and what is happening and finally all is confirmed when we realise that our character is Icarus and has forgotten his father's warning not to fly too close to the sun as the heat would melt the wax in his wings. The use of the word 'heat' in the final sentence in a different connotation to the storyline also adds an extra dimension. NB. In awarding this entry the win, we chose to forgive the excessive use of screamers; "!!!".

 

(PS. We received an e-mail from a Txtlit fan who informs us that the use of the three exclamation marks are synonymous with the symbol for The Prince of Wales feathers. A nuance of Ian Richardson's story we clearly missed and about whch we are delighted to be educated.)

 

Other Shortlisted Entries:


Her flesh began to burn as the radiation penetrated her skin. Her body lay naked and abused; a victim of her own addiction. What a price to pay for a tan!

By Emma Hodges


I broke into my son's room, but he was gone. The fit had left just a twisted corpse, a thing bereft of fear and joy but for life's heat fading from flesh.

By Alexander Milne

 

Polyester catches so quickly. I felt the heat of it as I backed into the shadows. The door opened and I heard him swearing as he ran over. This was fun.

By Siobhan Kielty 





 

 
June 2013 Competition: Theme - Time Print E-mail

Winning Entry:

"What have you done to me?" She stared at her mirror, pointing out the wrinkles on her face. The only answer came from the clock behind her: "Tick-Tock."



Well done to 19 year old Adrien De Palmas from Plymouth who wins June's Txtlit competition, the Adrien De-Palmastheme for which was "Time". Adrien is currently studying Economics and Finance at the University of Exeter and says that even though his degree is mainly focused on maths, it's short stories that he really enjoys writing during his spare time. Adrien like reading all sorts of books, but thrillers remain his favourite. And he's a big cinema and music fan.


This was a great competition with some excellent entries. The quality continues to go up and up, both in the writing and in the creativity of the stories. We finally settled on Adrien's story as the winner for June because of it's excellent construction and it's clever linking to the theme. The opening sentence immediatley draws us in. Who is this character and what has happened to her. As we learn she is looking at her own reflection we wonder what fate has befallen her. Is she the victim of an attack or has a cosmetic surgery operation gone horribly wrong? Then we learn of the wrinkles. The response to her question finally comes and we even feel a sense of tension building as we are told that it's a clock that has the answer. Finishing the story with a simple "Tick-Tock" says so much and wraps the story up beatifully. A great story. 


Other Shortlisted Entries:


I won't let her humiliate me again. I'm going to DESTROY her. She won't know what's hit her. 'Time please, ladies.' First, I need to hold serve.

By Anushka Rasiah


Smart phone, papers and laptop secured in a case; He asks her what gift she most would like on his return. She points at his watch,"Just your time Daddy."

By Michelle Minniss  

 

I undo the gold bow. It slips from the crimson. Unwrapped. Timing is all. Tassels sway. I feel the power of my soft flesh enjoying the Art of Burlesque.

By Elaine Marie McKay  

And we thought this one deserved a mention for effort...

Standing here cooking, I reach for the seasoning and ponder this months txtlit theme. But what to write.....erm......erm.....Oh damn I'm out of thyme..

Awaiting author's details



 

 
May 2013 Competition: Theme - Equal Print E-mail

Winning Entry:

Months of training, hours of blood, sweat and tears... A lifetime's dream, shattered by seven words: "Ladies and gentleman, we have a draw..."



Congratulations to Matt Beames who wins our May Txtlit competition which had the theme 'Equal'. Matthew Beames29 year old Matt from Southampton has been writing since he was at school, but has given it a lot more focus in the last couple of years. Having previously been seected twice as a runner up for Txtlit competitons he tells us he was delighted to receive the text to tell him that his May entry had won. Matt finds the Txtlit competitions to be a great way to keep focused on writing, and great practice for efficient and hopefully effective storytelling.  He also writes longer fiction, poetry and plays, and hopes to have some success with these as well.

 

When we set a competition theme, we normally have some idea of the type stories we are going to get. There's a certain predictability in what a theme will inspire you all to write. This was true to some extent to the theme of 'Equal', however we weren't really sure how it would be received. Consequently we had a  very diverse range of plots and ideas, which is exactly what we like to see, so well done us. Matt Beames's entry was chosen as winner based on his quite unique interpretation of the theme, but more so because of the meaning this then adds to his story. Usually, it is drummed into us that we are all born and die equal and that no-one is superior to anyone else; and that this is a good thing. In Matt's story however, being equal isn't good enough and may as well be the same as losing. Matt builds the story nicely as we hear of the toil and sacrifice that our protagonist has to go through to try and reach his lifelong dream. Having this dream shattered, we expect to hear that he has lost, but no. He is joint first. But for someone that has given up so much and for whom the only option is winning, joint first just isn't good enough. It's like a twist without a twist. Nice job.


Other Shortlisted Entries:


Joy at birth. Pain of diagnosis. Powerful parental love. Judged imperfect and labelled costly. Defined disabled; prejudiced eyes; an equally unique child.

By Michelle Minniss  


'Which one shall I take?' the officer demanded. 'Choose..Now'. 'Nooo', she wailed. 'I can't choose. Take them both'. They were dragged away as she sobbed.

By Alison Nuorto  

 

Young Tommy and the Hun soldier lay together in no man's land slowly decaying. Equal in death and equally mourned.

By La-Verne Hamil from Sussex 


 



 

 
April 2013 Competition: Theme - Science Fiction Print E-mail

Winning Entry:

"Go! the Raybok's are attacking." Too late. The laser circled the infamous pattern of the hoof. Red hairs began to sprout. I was becoming one of them.



Science Fiction was the theme for our April Competition and Anna Logan from Salford, Manchester wins Anna Logan it with this entry. 29 year old Anna tells us she was surprised and excited when she found out she'd won. She has entered a few times in the past, but never got anywhere. Anna enjoys writing poems and short stories and she's a big fan of books, movies and music. She started taking creative writing classes a few months ago, so is really happy to see that they are paying off.

 

The number of entries we're getting for competitions has been going down lately, but the standards have definitely been going up. We had some great entries for our April Competition and there were plenty vying to make the shortlist; so our message to you all is please keep up the excellent work and keep entering. A win could be just around the corner. The choice of Anna Logan's entry as winner was heavily influenced by her bravery in her creativity. We don't know who or what the Raybok's are but it's a great alien sounding name, and we clearly know very early on that they are the baddies. As for the "infamous pattern of the hoof", well even Anna may not understand what this means, and she's the author. We certainly don't, but it's science fiction and whatever it is, it sounds scary and spells trouble. The assimilation element maybe isn't totally original, (think the Borg from Star Trek) but as we've said in critiques before, you sometimes need a shortcut, particularly when you've only got 154 characters.


Other Shortlisted Entries:


Thwarted and aghast, he set down the snapping flora, removed his spectacles and said "I owe you an apology, Tarquin. This may not be Earth, after all."

By Dave Harris  


The marksman lines up a shot. Justice had broken its back in the last world order. Here's how society survives. Penalties are paid, respect is maintained.

By Siobhan Kielty   

 

I am everything and nothing. I am the beginning and I will be the end.Though they celebrated the Higgs they do not know to look for me. I will be waiting.

By Erica Jo Kingsley 

 

And this entry from regular entrant Val Fish had us laughing out loud...  

 

A headless torso emerged from the craft, followed by a pair of arms, and legs, and finally a head. ' Do not be afraid,' a voice cried.' I come in pieces.'


 



 

 
March 2013 Competition: Theme - The Fight Print E-mail

Winning Entry:

She fought for togetherness, tirelessly proving her worth, with the fuel of love. Finally her prize emerged: the joy of Motherhood. The adoption battle.



Congratulations to Rebecca Stead from West Yorkshire who wins the March 2013 Txtlit competition Rebecca Steadwith this entry. The theme for the March competition was "The Fight". 19 year old Rebecca is currently studying English and Linguistics at The University of Leeds. She enjoys both reading and writing fiction, with the Txtlit competition being one of the first writing competitions she has entered (and won!). The short nature of flash fiction appealed to Rebecca as it didn't seem too overwhelming at first, however she soon realised the challenge of trying to write in an interesting and concise manner. Ulitimately, Rebecca would like to write fiction books for young people and teenagers, tackling real life issues; the first of which she is currently planning.

 

We were a little disappointed with the relatively low number of entries we received for the March competition. Perhaps the theme of "The Fight" was a little too prescriptive, but it's the tougher competition themes that give you the greatest opportunity to win as there are less entries to compete with. Rebecca Stead's entry was a great interpretation of the theme, telling the story of an individual's fight to become a mother. This can be a battle at the best of times, but Rebecca throws us the added twist that the protagonist is seeking motherhood through adoption. Rebecca has used some wonderful phrases in her story; soundbites almost, that manage to capture the optimism that our character must have. "Fighting for togetherness", "fuelled by love", we can really feel the emotion, and then finally she wins her prize giving us the added bonus of a happy ending.


Other Shortlisted Entries:


Off balance at the point of no return in a manic arm flailing pirouette; a panicked twist, a lurch, one final heave; skates back on ice. Avoided the fall!

By Michaela Barry
   


Starving fox saved by a meal of shrew, found strangled by the cold's cruel grip. Winter's bite is sometimes kind - an unlikely ally in the fight for life.

By Alexander Milne
   

 

One more breath, just one breath left. A deep sigh with a smile. The fight was over. The pain was now gone.

By Tobias Nicholls

  

 



 

 
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