Amanda's Circus

Story on Mslexia Shortlist

I am thrilled that I have a story on the 2012 Mslexia Short Story Competition shortlist from over 2,000 entries. Tessa Hadley, the judge, found herself leaning towards stories that were ‘centered in one place, in one moment’; a preference that this particular story certainly did not conform to (most of the dramatic action is in flashback) but I thought it a risk worth taking. This story works in its own way and if I rewrote it I’d lose most of the interesting and illuminating features. Perhaps though Tessa’s preferences relate particularly to the fairly short short story (the word limit was 2,500 words and I did have to cut a few words). Maybe a solution is to turn it into something longer. It is gratifying to read in the letter from the Mslexia team that they considered the selected stories to be ‘of a very high standard’.

It is worth saying that, as a friend pointed out to me,  although the editors might have called it a shortlist, it was actually a longlist. It is interesting to note that the 2013 selection process appears to be slightly different and is without a ‘longlist’. As far as one can tell only the stories selected for publication were ‘shortlisted’. A similar situation occurred when I had stories ‘shortlisted’ for the Asham Award, both stories have now been published – one at Cigale Literary Magazine (my first online writing success) and the other at Literary Mama – you can find the stories on my Links page.

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About writing, trickery and a little music