May: Theme - Wasted

Winning Entry:

I'm sorry Ma. The bevvy was flowin' too easily and I was out of it. Don't cry, I'll see you soon. And don't worry, I don't feel the cold in here at all.

By  Wendy Collins   


May's competition was won by Wendy Collins of Penicuik, just south of Edinburgh.   Winner Wendy Collins 37 year old Wendy has two sons and runs a business with her mum providing bookkeeping and administration support to businesses.  This is Wendy's first entry into a Txtlit competition; she admits to always being nervous at entering anything she writes into competitions but she is delighted with this win as well as being massively surprised. It's certainly inspired her to enter more.

The theme for the May Txtlit writing competition was 'wasted'. Whilst we did have some exceptions, the vast majority of entries told stories about a waste of life, talent or opportunity. Taking this approach clearly enabled you to include emotional and moral elements to make your stories more engaging and relatable for the reader. Wendy Collins's winning story does this brilliantly was presented from a solid, first person viewpoint. We learn a lot from the opening line. The protagonist is apologising to his (we've assumed the gender) mother for something he has done or regrets. By using "Ma" to address his mother we learn about their relationship, his probable social status and to some degree, where in the country he comes from. It also neatly keeps the character count down. Next we learn what has happened but we are only given just enough information to draw our own conclusions. Again, the words used give us further insight into our character. As the story moves to conclusion we are led to empathise with the main character through an air of sadness coupled with hopeless optimism. The final sentence reveals all and this now looks like a letter written from prison. The connection to the wasted theme is expertly understated.


Other shortlisted entries:

She'd write poetry in the dust. Her fantasy life outside her cell. Footsteps would come down the stairs. She would have to wipe away her dreams.

By Rebecca Barnett  

She was gone. Those deep, soulful, violet eyes stared blankly. Empty now. Wasted beauty. Wasted youth. Cancer holds no prisoners. She was six.

Awaiting Author's details  

It was his last chance, from another's sacrifice, he would not waste it. But she had gone for good this time. Surely his new liver could cope with one...

By Yvonne Lang 




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