ABC Prose Pentathalon – 6th Place Final Result

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6th Place Finish Overall

My final entry – Number  21 – “What Women Really Don’t Want” – which you can read here garnered 1 gold and a few silver and bronze nominations but not enough to shoot me up the table.  However I am pleased with the final result and can take pride in knowing that people liked the stories I had written.  

I will shortly post each of my entries up onto the site here along with the number of votes each one received from the judging.  Feel free to post feedback and comments yourself if you wish as I am always keen to gain insight on what people think.

The final table for the pentathalon can be viewed here.  An anthology with all the stories (including mine) will be published in the summer and I will post details on where you can buy it once available.

Writing Paper

Final Outcome – My thoughts and learnings

After holding 4th spot since the second heat I knew it was only a matter of time till I dropped down.  Still, 6th place out of 34 isn’t anything too shabby I suppose and the whole process has shown me once again just how little there is between what people consider a good story and a brilliant story.  Having taken part in the judging process as part of the comp rules, I can safely say I sympathise a little more with festival and competition judges.   

1. There are so many entries to read it is not surprising that you are tempted to just scrap any that do not grab your interest straight away.

2. Time is against you all the time and there simply isn’t enough in the world to allow you to judge each entrant fairly as you cannot give an equal amount of time to each story.

So my hats off to the out and out winner ‘Badpenny’ (also known as Stan) – who raced ahead in the 1st week with a fun story called ‘Darren Makes A Stand’ – (Number 11 in the list) and was never really threatened off the top spot by anyone. I liked all of his stories except for one ‘The Lake of Earth Spirits’ in Heat 4 (you can read it here – Number 4 in the list) – which I just did not get (personal taste or I’m a bit thick).  This just goes to show just how subjective every creative endeavour usually is.

No matter how hard you try to remain objective when judging creativity, at the end of the day it is all…subjective.

Onwards!

About the Author

John is an award winning science fiction, horror and fantasy writer. He is also a public speaker and consultant and has worked with Time to Change - a campaign to end mental health stigma - and for Wellment - an organisation that delivers mental health at work training. He loves science fiction, fantasy and horror stories and novels. His work has appeared in Vector Magazine, Ink Pantry, Sci-Fi Bloggers, The Huffington Post and more. His short fantasy "Thanks for Applying" won an Honourable Mention Award in the Writers of the Future competition in 2017. HIs short horror "By the Boiler's Hand" was longlisted for the 2018 James White Award and won an Honourable Mention in the Writers of the Future competiton the same year. John has spoken at several events including the Nine Worlds Geekfest in London, Bristol Con 2018, and the Moorfields NHS Trust. He has delivered masterclasses on ending mental health stigma in the workplace for Time to Change. He lives with his wife and a pile of books in the UK.

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