Short Story Competition – The Winners

The results are in! 

We asked you to submit a short story, no more than 500 words, to win some fabulous prizes in our writing competition. Our winners have been selected and you can read the stories below! We want to thank everyone for their submissions and congratulate the winners. The entries were all outstanding and it was a tough decision for our judges to make.

ACL’s Choice was chosen by a range of English & Creative Writing tutors from ACL Essex. The Author’s Choice was selected by local Author Liz Trenow.

Liz is a best selling historical fiction author. Her debut, The Last Telegram was nominated for a national award and The Forgotten Seamstress reached the top twenty in the New York Times and USA Today best seller lists. For most of her working life she has been a journalist for local and regional newspapers, and also in radio and television.

ACL’s Choice

“I wrote The ‘Hold-up’ initially as an attempt at ‘flash fiction’ and from the outset my aim was to generate pace and atmosphere in the narrative. My influence for the story came from American movies which I love like Wild at Heart and Badlands. I decided to use it for the ACL 500-Word Story Competition as I thought it could fit the bill.

I have done two writing courses previously with ACL Colchester, both of which I found very helpful in allowing me to develop my writing skills. My first course was a few years ago. The tutor then was Dot Swartz and it was an initial creative writing course. More recently I took a course on how to progress your novel with Emma Kittle-Pey.”

Author’s Choice

“Great news that I’ve won the Author’s Choice.  I am totally made up!  I’ve attended a few Creative Writing courses now, which have allowed me to explore my love of writing further.  I discover new things and take inspiration away with me from each lesson.  My tutor has been so supportive and encouraged me to believe in myself.  She helped me understand that writing has no limits, anyone can do it at any age.  My story shows how not being open to progress can sometimes have unexpected repercussions.”

People’s Choice

“This was based on our garden pond that my Dad created especially for me as I love nature and looking at books on animals. I can often be found down the garden watching the creatures living in the pond, particularly frogs and newts. This has helped keep me calm during the lockdown. Winning has inspired me to write more stories.”

If you are interested in turning your ideas into readable and interesting fiction, view our creative writing courses.