Amanda's Circus

My story wins the Synaesthesia Magazine Competition


Here’s the link to my story ‘Love and Glitter’, winner of the Synaesthesia Magazine Short Story Competition, along with comments from the judge, Adam Marek, an interview with me (don’t worry, I kept my answers short), lots of ‘nonsensical’ poetry and stunning art. Your brain will fizz and pop as you peruse. The theme of this issue is Nonsense so prepare to be jolted.

Here are my thoughts when I heard I’d won.

What great news! I woke up from a sleep – it was a stormy Saturday afternoon after a long, hard week – to find lots of congratulations in my Inbox. Thank you guys. What a nice way to find out that my story ‘Love and Glitter’ had won the Synaesthesia Magazine competition. The results are here. Huge thanks to the wonderful people at Synaesthesia Mag. – it’s a stunning magazine, take a look at it here and thank you too to the judge, Adam Marek, whose short story collections ‘The Stone Thrower’ and ‘Instruction Manual for Swallowing’ are uniquely brilliant, thought-provoking and funny. If you haven’t already read them, check them out now. I’m proud that my story was picked.

images-5‘Love and Glitter’ is about a woman, Ruby, who works hard to support her family but is knocked back over and over again. Her unemployed husband, Dai, is depressed and sinking away. In short, their horrible circumstances are destroying their relationship.


Financial ruin and its effects on people are what I wanted to write about, but it is a boring subject in my view, and terribly depressing. I’m all too aware that financial traps surround us, step out of line and, well… mostly it’s a subject  I try not to think about. You can blame politicians or banks or poor decisions, but then there’s Luck. Bad luck is doled out by Fate, isn’t it? Bad luck can happen to any of us, can’t it? However, if we think we’re unlucky we’ll more than likely go down. I can’t think of anything much worse than believing you’re unlucky, one of the unlucky ones. We’ve all said something similar to: ‘Oh dear that is rotten luck’ (but maybe it is, maybe it isn’t) or ‘I feel so lucky it hasn’t happened to me’ (well jolly good for you) or ‘I feel so lucky to have a wonderful husband who supports me’ (that is a terrible one) – how about ‘Wrong place at the wrong time, that’s just bad luck’ (a double dose – can that be more unlucky?) So, thinks the bad-time-sufferer, having heard all this and feeling even more isolated, I’m unlucky, what to do? Should I end it all now or endure my disintegrating world tainted by the red gloss of bad luck showering from every open door? Should I tell myself I don’t believe in luck or fight on?

Ruby is a fighter so I scattered some fairy dust and made the real world increasingly less real, surrounded her with escapism, I layered on a handful of stars and some pantomime, and it gradually, very gradually over the course of a year, turned into what it is. I also made Ruby act to save herself and her family but even that…. well, you’ll have to read it. Is it hard-nosed realism?  Perhaps not; it depends on your point of view and how you like your stories told I guess.


I’m thrilled that it’s going to be published in Synaesthesia Magazine soon. I’ll put up a link when it’s live. Thank you again to Synaesthesia Magazine and Adam Marek. I think I’ll try to take more naps.

Here’s a picture, for your amusement, of me escaping behind a scary mask – a Christmas gift from one of my daughters. Thanks Mima, just what I wanted.

mand scary mask

4 Comments to "My story wins the Synaesthesia Magazine Competition"

  1. says:

    Well, well done you. Fabulous. And a great picture / mask 🙂

  2. Craig says:


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About writing, trickery and a little music