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Shortlist - Chalk Circle Short Story Competition 2020

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

We are excited to announce our shortlist for the Chalk Circle Short Story Competition 2020.

Thank you to everyone who entered our inaugural short story competition and many congratulations to our twelve shortlisted writers whose names and stories are listed below.

The final winners, decided by our judge Vanessa Gebbie, will be announced on 14 November 2020.

'Most of us won’t change the world with the homespun stories we create during these uncertain times but that doesn’t mean our writing isn’t worth sharing.’ This was our challenge to short story writers during lockdown earlier this year, resulting in 340 entries - including 50 from overseas. A fantastic response which surpassed all our expectations.

Heart-searching, thought provoking, exciting - the stories we received tackled a diversity of subjects and settings. ‘Dystopian nightmare’, ‘absurdist humour’, celebrations of ‘what you love, or have discovered, and fear to lose’: we asked for it all and were gifted in return with some wonderful writing.

A special thank you to our reading panel; with so many fascinating stories to choose from, arriving at the final shortlist was a daunting task, leading to more than a few animated zoom discussions! Thanks also to our competition secretary, who ensured the anonymity of the process with each story being read ‘blind’.


Emily Jane Bell Chick

Peter Court Diesel

Mara Dougall The Matter

Saffire Joriades-Israel Pocket Money Pickings

Carolyn McPherson Zungueira

Amy McWilliams The Uninvited Guests

Michael Morell Death of Nebula

Ali Said Both at Once

Josie Turner Well Water

Tom Watling Always Something to do on a Saturday

Barbara Weeks Bread & Peaches

Catherine Whitmore Teacups are for Girls

Look out next month for news of the final winners, together with Vanessa Gebbie's judge's report and an insight into what she looks for in a successful short story.


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