St Edmund’s Short Story Competition 2019

This year there have been some fantastic entries in the 500 words short story competition across the whole of the school.

The fiercest competition was seen in the Junior School, where Mr Pellett had to whittle down the shortlist from over a hundred entries to a mere twenty. From there, Ms Bensberg and I were treated to a number of other worlds (those of magic and those of aliens), historical fiction and impressive imagination, before deciding upon our winners and runners-up.

The Lower school entries were outstanding. One of this year’s runners-up began by questioning our belief in aliens, before a detailed story explaining why we should believe. The other runner-up took inspiration from a holiday to Venice, using description and sentence structure to create a gripping tale of treason. Our winner this year is a Form 3 student who crafted a beautifully sentimental piece about a dog called Max, desperate for friendship.

Our Lower Junior runners-up are Tabatha White (Form 4) and Evan Gallagher (Form 5). The winner is Alexander Strzeminski-Bowden (Form 3).

In the Upper Junior School three entries managed to stand above a talented crowd. Joseph Goodwin, Marcus Crossman and Sam Berry are very talented writers with a penchant for creating tension. All three of these short stories had me worried as their protagonists battled their senses.

The winning entry, however, never let up. After a steady build-up of suspense, supported by impressive description, the cliff-hanger ending made me want to find out more. This year’s winner in Upper Junior School is Marcus Crossman. The runners-up are Joseph and Sam.

All three year groups of Fifth Form submitted engaging and thought-provoking stories – some of which were happy, the majority plagued with the beautifully described pain and anguish of a tormented teenage mind.

It is very much testament to a strong academic school that we need to give out two runners-up prizes to the fifth form. It is also extremely promising for the future that the winners and runners-up are all from the youngest year in the school.

The two runners-up for the 2019 Short story competition are Ella Wheadon and Sienna Cowell.

This year’s winning entry, which you will be able to read in the next publication of The Chronicle, is structurally very clever, including stream of consciousness to great effect. For the story ‘The Darkness’, this year’s prize goes to Josie Head.

There are never quite as many entries from the Sixth Form, but the quality does not suffer as a result. This year’s winner created a character devastatingly chilling in his lack of empathy and his ruthless power. To do so in only 500 words takes an incredible talent. Congratulations to Joseph Burton for his story ‘We Need a New Diplomat’.

Mr Dawson, Senior School Teacher of English and Literacy Coordinator