April: Theme - A Second Chance

Second chance Second chance

Winning Entry:

Having served his time in jail, he now had this second Chance. How his wife's face lit up with cruel delight as he read out the words 'Speeding Fine £15'.

By Sim Smailes

Congratulations to Sim Smailes who wins our "Second Chance" themes April competition with this entry. Originally from Yorkshire, Sim now lives in Essex with his wife Sarah and family of five (largely deaf) cats. Currently working as a primary school teacher, Sim tells us that he loves writing short stories and poems in his spare time.  He has had some success with his writing but the dream is still to have a book published one day. He goes on to say how very glad to have discovered Txtlit because the competitions keep the grey cells ticking over and really make you think about every word that you write. Why don't you help others discover Txtlit by liking our Facebook page.

We thought that our April competition theme of "A Second Chance" would encourage some deep and serious stories full of moral messages. It appears though that many of you were in a very jovial mood and the vast majority of the entries we received for April took a light hearted approach. We don't mind of course. So long as there is a clear link to the theme then you can write about whatever you want. The winning entry from Sim Smailes is a great humorous story that has made excellent use of an element we all know to help tell the tale. Knowing what the theme is, we can immediately relate to someone having served their time in jail and, having paid their debt to society, are given a second chance. We're given a clue as to what's coming from the capital letter 'C' for Chance. The description of the wife's face lighting up in cruel delight is a deliciously succinct phrase that says so much in so few words. It really hits home though when we reach the twist, for which we find ourselves almost pausing in anticipation, knowing that it will reveal all. It took a couple of seconds, but realising where you had heard that phrase, 'Speeding Fine £15' before, brought everything together. Monopoly, obviously. Sim Smailes's entry wasn't the only one with a Monopoly theme but it did bring about the biggest smile.

Other shortlisted entries:
In Eden they wondered what it would be like had God not given their forefathers a second chance. Mortality and imperfection seemed unimaginable luxuries.

By Miriam Kizilbash

Palms sweating, he peered nervously down the alley. One shot left. Footsteps. He took careful aim. The sound of thunder. A fall. He grinned. "Spare!"

By Chad Elliot

Nervously Alex entered the hospital. He prayed the operation would go well. Nervously, Alex left the hospital; she knew she'd been given a second chance.

By Loretta Hegarty



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