West Coast Eisteddfod Online Competitions - And The Winners Are.......
We reproduce below the adjudications for the 2013 West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition ( Peter Thabit Jones ) and Short Story Competition ( Lloyd Jones ). We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our contestants for the many excellent submissions we received this year. Watch this space for exciting announcements about the 2014 competitions!!
To our winners ...congratulations/Llongyfarchiadau!!!
Peter Thabit Jones
I enjoyed reading all the submissions and I would like to thank those who submitted to the 2013 americymru poetry competition. I read and re-read all the poems and I ended up with work by: Jolen Whitworth, Zane Gregory Newitt, Anna Voelker, Leah Angstman, Darrell Lindsay, Paul Steffan Jones, and Dawn Schout.
The 2013 americymru poetry competition winner isSimply Beginning by Anna Voelker. I found all of Annas poems offered a fresh and most interesting poetic voice. Simply Beginning kept calling me back to its directness, its unsentimental but effective way of gaining and sustaining ones attention. I thought of Robert Frosts careful casualness and I particularly liked its disarming conciseness.
Many thanks to those of you who entered this year's competition. The standard was generally high and I enjoyed reading your stories. So here's my verdict:
The Mustache Tree by NRoseJ is a charming children's story, and if the illustrations had also been done by the author this entry would have been a strong contender. I like the idea of the Storybird website which "curates artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspires writers of any age to turn those images into fresh stories."
I know it shouldn't make any difference, but the professional-looking artwork does skew the scenario so I'm afraid that NRoseJ will have to go without a prize.
Some of you have written stories from the viewpoint of an animal or a plant. This is notoriously difficult to carry off, and way out of favour in the modern world. Sorry, but I'm not a fan; this sort of fiction has to be short, sharp, and either very funny or deeply ironic. It's a matter of fashion, and this time I'm with the majority: anthropomorphism, also known as furry fandom, may be fine on TV but it's a no-no in modern literature.
Literary choice is so subjective and biased, so I'll be brief. My shortlist included (in no particular order):
Leaky Waters a strong story muddied by a curious ending, which I found too hectic and improbable.
Chiaroscuro a well-written mood piece.
An Extremely Stormy Night vigorous and lively, but let down by some untidy writing.
Ministry of Loss Kafkaesque and nicely pitched, but rather formulaic.
For me, the end choice was between Chiaroscuro and Ministry of Loss. The first is rounded and complete, while the latter feels like the beginning of a book rather than a complete short story. On that basis I award Gaynor Madoc Leonard the main prize for Chiaroscuro, while urging Paul Steffan Jones to develop his story in an original way, since he includes some nice touches.
If you have any negative feelings towards me after reading this adjudication feel free to take it out on Ceri, who's younger and fitter than I am (and definitely up for it). If you really do insist on sorting it out with me personally my address is The Ruin, Bardsey Island, Wales.
As we still say in Abergwyngregyn ta-ra for now, del.