We’re lucky enough to have Eileen Merriman judging the Takahē Short Story Competition 2017. Novels aside, her short fiction has been widely published and commended, and appears with prodigious frequency in the Sunday Star-Times Competition, among others. Of course we want to know exactly how she does it.
“The first draft is crap,” she said in a recent interview. It’s something she learned early on in her writing career. See? I told you we were lucky to have her. She knows exactly how much hard work will be going into all the entries to this year’s competition.
If you’re after inspiration for your Takahē entry, read Eileen’s second-placed Bath Flash Fiction Award story, This Is How They Drown. It’s unmissable for its summer-fresh prose and mastery of tension. And don’t miss Artichoke Tears right here in Takahē, for its innovative structure and enduring bittersweetness.
Or, if you’re brewing fresh coffee and stretching your back before launching into another draft before the November 30th deadline, take heart. As Eileen says, “Writing is like anything – you need to put in the hours.”
Thanks to those of you who’ve already submitted a story or two to our 2017 Short Story Competition. And to those of you who haven’t yet entered, a wonderful way to spend the coming weekend would be writing a winning story, or, if you have one that you prepared earlier, honing and editing it to make it your best ever. In other words get writing! I’m looking forward to an avalanche of entries in the coming weeks. You have until November 30th but why wait until the deadline? Look at our competition page for more information and you can find a story written by our judge, Eileen Merriman, in our current on-line issue.
Thank you to all the fiction writers who shared your work with Jane and myself for our upcoming issue – it was a privilege to be able to read so many varied stories from writers we know well, and those who have sent work to takahē for the first time.
Varied voices and themes told stories about relationships with family, community and the world, spanning from rural New Zealand to Italy and the United States. The stories we selected connected with us no matter their location or characters. We look forward to sharing them with you in December
Thanks to everyone who has recently sent stories to us. It was great to have such a good response to our call for submissions. Rachel and I have enjoyed reading them. But now we are in the process of deciding which ones to take for December, so anything that arrives after today (Thursday 14th Sep) will be considered for April 2018.
But not to worry if you’re about to complete a story which you were hoping to submit. Our short fiction competition is open! So do consider sending in an entry or, better still, entries for that. Someone has to win the competition, why not you?
At the end of this week, Rachel and I will be starting the process of selecting stories for our next print issue. Writers, you have a few days to polish that piece you’ve been working on. Once it’s as good as it can be. let us have it! Remember stories should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. We look forward to reading your work.