This competition was all about diversity and imagination. There were happy surprises, quirky relationships, clarity and strength of voice, subtle humour and sensitivity, alongside stories containing exquisite emotional depth and lush other-worldly backdrops. There were twists and turns and mind-bending realities. Characters faced with brutal decisions. Violent changes in attitude.
The 18 stories that will take shape as 'Gem Street: Beyond the Axis' are small works of art, carefully and lovingly crafted by both new and seasoned authors who took the time to write them. They are a gift. A blending of cultures and perception, each one a distinctive observation of life and the world, both real and imagined.
Here we present the Leonard A. Koval Memorial Winners and this year’s ‘Gem Street’ authors:
Satirical, surreal and energetic with a truly unique style:
'The Parish State' by Will Haynes
Disturbing, yet delicately observed and impeccably written:
‘Atlas’ by Manuela Saragosa
An unforgettable voice woven through a gentle and sensitive story:
‘The Rules of Caketin James’ by KM Elkes
Painterly, robust and imaginative:
‘The friends we make’ by Christian Cook
Quirky, touching and creative:
‘Trollsboro, Vermont’ by Elizabeth Eber
Desolate and devastatingly beautiful:
‘We Sea You’ by Georgia Davies
Our Incredible SHORT LIST FINALISTS
'Into The Dark' by Pauline Burgess
'Distances' by Chase White
'Sitting Ducks' by Anita Davie
‘The Tree’ by Isolde Wiebenga
'His Hand, Our Salvation' by Anne Walsh Donnelly
'Followers' by Marc Jones
'Why Tabitha Gold Won't Eat Apples' by Louise Garcia
'High Note' by Paul Burns
'Chance' by Eileen Herbert Goodall
‘Judy’s’ by James Woolf
'Another Day' by Jean Roarty
'A Vintage Year' by Daphne Chappell
Warmest congratulations to you all.
We would also like to acknowledge and thank each writer who entered the competition this time around.
And finally, a large and heartfelt thank you to our Judge: master-story-teller and best-selling author Linda Kavanagh, for her care and assistance in this year’s competition.