Back to Contest Results

Judges' report. There were fewer entries in the fourth First Chapter and Synopsis contest, but those that were received were of a high standard. There was a considerable variation in theme and audience and, as usual, it was difficult to choose a single winner.

In the end, two prizes were awarded; one for children's fiction, and one for general fiction.


The winners are - Angela Somerset for her intricately plotted multi-character drama "Postcards from Abroad" and Kerry Davies for her character/adventure story "Shelly's Last Stand".

Both winners deal with character, and the effect others have on its development. Both open strongly, with a good "hook" to draw the reader in.

"Postcards from Abroad" shows the influence Doris, a one-time outcast at school, has on the lives of her classmates. The fascinating thing is that Doris has this effect in absentia. It is the idea, or perhaps the ideal of Doris that ostensibly shapes attitudes and events.

"Shelly's Last Stand" shows how Shelly, desperate to be liked and accepted by the "in" group at school, leads an ill-fated expedition in the bush, and how she later deals with betrayal from her companions.

In every case, the chapters entered in this competition were better crafted than their accompanying synopses. The two winners were no exception. However, the synopses are included so the judges can see how the first chapters devolve into plots, so, as long as the storyline is made reasonably clear,  the problems are disregarded.

In consideration of this, the next contest, (which closes on October 30th), will be open to short stories as well as first chapters.

 Back to the contest