"Winter" was the theme for our January Txtlit competition, and our winner is freelance writer and children's author, Jennifer Moore from Ivybridge in Devon. A previous winner of both the Commonwealth Short Story competition and the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest Jennifer's short fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of publications on both sides of the Atlantic, including The Guardian, Mslexia, The First Line and Short Fiction.
We kicked off 2017 with the theme "Winter" for our January competition. With January being the middle of winter we thought there would be plenty to inspire you just by looking out of your window. It seemed to do the trick and we had a good number of entries, many incorporating snow, despite there not being much around this year. We also had a number of entries that were based around a nuclear winter so taking the theme somewhere more sinister and dark. However we didn't have any entries that were based on winter sports, or winter holidays which may have been a missed opportunity. Jennifer Moore's story won it for us because it was a good piece of fun but incorporates some elements that really make a Txtlit story. A great lead sentence; short and snappy but still hooks us in. Great use of simple language to help portray the protagonist. "Young 'uns" says so much about who is telling the story in an almost subliminal way. As the story continues we find ourselves involved in a scene of chaos and carnage described in just a few words. Finally our narrator is revealed as a snowman; everything makes sense and we see the humour of the story. Good creative writing.
Other shortlisted entries:
As I closed the door I admired the untouched white blanket carpeting the ground. "OUCH!" I was too slow to outwit it's devious glistening ally though.
By Nicola White
A shard of ice fell silently, rolled downhill in snow, gathered momentum, created a giant snowball, crushed him against the wall. Cause of death? Winter.
By Sim Smailes
Spring is barren. Summer harvests are a distant memory. Autumn winds blow only ash. Still we exist, rueing the day the Cold War became a nuclear winter.
Also by Sim Smailes