February: Theme - Deadline

Winning Entry:

Every bone in his body told him this was the killer. But the 24 hours were up. He had to let him go. "Good luck, detective," he said as he left, smiling.

By Adam Millward   

 

Our February competition had the theme of "Deadline" and our winner with this entry is Adam Millward. Winner Adam MillwardAdam, from London has the very cool job of being an editor at Guinness World Records. Previously a runner-up in a Txtlit competition, Adam has dabbled in many genres of writing including short stories, serials, magazine features and poetry. He's also featured in many publications including The Guardian, Women's Weekly, World of Animals and Writing Magazine. He enjoys a variety of hobbies too including hiking, learning Spanish and pub quizzes. Adam tells us that he loves the challenge of writing microfiction for Txtlit, and is absolutely thrilled with the win.

Wow, we certainly got the theme right for our February competition. We had loads of really high quality entries that approached the theme from all kinds of angles. This made judging really difficult and there were at least an additional six or seven entries to those shown here that were in contention to win. Sorry if you're not featured but please, everyone out there, keep up the good work. We settled on Adam Millward's entry as the winner for it's classic story telling style. It's not a new plot, but it's one that is revitalised by the Txtlit format, which also keeps us guessing until the end. The story opens with a great hook. We're immediately confronted by someone believed to be a killer so we're desperate to find out more. Next we're introduced to the deadline, the 24 hours. We're still not sure what it means though. What is this time limit for? And now he has to be let go. Good punchy language here giving the whole story a strong rhythm. And now the reveal. In the use of the word "Detective" the whole story makes sense and we understand that a prisoner has been held for questioning but the Detective, our narrator, hasn't managed to wring out a confession. As the alleged murderer leaves, smiling, we are left to decide if he was actually the killer or not. We're given just enough to doubt it even though we want to believe.

 

Other shortlisted entries:

So I've done it again. Spell checked and on time. No stamp or envelope these days. Attach, press send, then sit back and wait...The silence is deafening.

By Ros Goodway    


Slept in, kids late to school. Missed train, won't make meetings on time. Rush for the next, no time for news. Missed deadlines, missed death on the line.

Awaiting Author's details  


I feel so sick. A dreadful procrastinator, I've had months to confront this moment, but now it's just too late. "I do," I say, and the ring slides on.

By Vicky Tovell

 

And one we felt we had to shortlist...

 

Finished at last, it was a sure winner. As she went to press send, she  noticed the date, the 1st already. Her best ever Txtlit  entry down the drain.

By Val Fish

 

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