Around this time last year most of us in the Bristol Women Writers group were polishing our entries for the new Bristol Short Story Prize and so we were disappointed when none of us made it to the short list.
Still, having recently acquired (thanks, Louise!) a copy of the winners’ anthology, it is good to see that more than half of the winners are local writers or have Bristol connections, and I’ve enjoyed all of the short list, (with the possible exception of the poem – sorry, it may be brilliant, but how did it qualify exactly?)
Despite not being a Bristolian (except by adoption) – and never having been to Brean! – my absolute favourite is Going down Brean, by Rebecca Watts. It’s an utterly delightful evocation of a childhood trip to the seaside and will resonate with anyone who has ever been desperate to get on that bus to the beach or deliberated over how to spend pocket money in the beach shop. The detail and the characterisation are brilliant and the story proves once for all that short fiction can be totally satisfying without dealing with death, disease or the macabre. There isn’t even a ‘twist in the tail’. It doesn’t need one.
Best of all, there is to be a Bristol Short Story prize 2009, so time to get writing again. Non-writers could do worse than visit the website just for the great images of Bristol in the header.