Congratulations to Tyler Gates for his short story The Raven And The Sword, which has won the April short story competition (theme: conflict between close friends).
In The Raven And The Sword, Tyler really got into the mind-sets of his characters and situated their conflict in its historical setting in a manner that integrated a lot of detail into a story that has immediacy and strong momentum, with the characters and their conflict at the forefront.
The temptation for a lot of fiction writers is to either bog down their story with a lot of superfluous details, in an attempt to give the impression that the plot arises out of the setting and characters, or to focus on a plot-heavy approach to their story, failing to give the impression that what happens in the story has an organic relation to the setting and characters in a coherent story-world.
By making the various elements of his story detailed enough but also relevant enough to the main conflict, and showing this to us through the narration of a main character with a sense of purpose; both mentally (through an internal goal) and physically (through an external goal), Tyler has created an immersive experience in which a conflict meaningful to the characters plays out. This establishes a basis for readers to care about the characters and what happens in the story.
You can connect with Tyler Gates on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/WritingwithTyler
Thank you to the other shortlisted writers and to everyone who entered a story.
The April short story competition is one in a series of three monthly short story competitions running in April, May and June. So anyone who missed out on being shortlisted for April still has a chance to enter for May and/or June.
The fan fiction competitions for The Life and Times of Chester Lewis and for Possessing Freedom are also open to entries of 2000-4000 word stories until August 31. Each has a first prize of $2000 and entry costs $10 if you pay your entry before the end of June.
The Australian Literature Review