Thank you to everyone who made the Launch Night of the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition a success. One member who deserves a mention is Anne Funnel who kindly brought along her collection of porcelain Van-Dal shoes for our interest, including a large and decorative, shop window display piece.
With guests and presentations, food and drink aplenty we had ourselves what in old fashioned parlance could be described as “a gay old time”.
With Frances & Michael Holmes getting proceedings started with their “History of the Norwich Shoemaking Industry”, old times was the theme. A pity more of us didn’t attempt a verse or two of “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”, but to be fair the wine hadn’t yet started flowing.
Next up, a word or two on behalf of our sponsor, from Simon Goodman. Simon’s grandfather was one of the founders of Van-Dal Shoes. Simon is now retired but happily gives talks about his family heritage. He was particularly appreciative of Norwich Writers’ Circle asking Van-Dal Shoes to sponsor this year’s open competition, since his mother was a biographer and member of the East Anglian Writers. In addition to regailing us with his stories, he also brought along his treasured and historic Chain of Office of the Norwich Footware Manufacturers’ Association.
It may not have escaped your notice that we have an additional page on this site: Unthank School. The School is the brainchild of last year’s adjudicator, Ashley Stokes. He too was there on Tuesday evening, announcing an EXCLUSIVE 15% DISCOUNT OFFER to Norwich Writers’ Circle members when enrolling on Unthank School courses. This is very generous of Ashley and we hope many members wanting to benefit from personalised tuition in their chosen genre will take it up.
And so lastly to this year’s competition. This year, best selling author Rachel Hore is adjudicating for us. Here for those who wanted to join us on the night but couldn’t, are Rachel’s extended guidelines. She will be looking for:-
- A sense of narrative. The story needs to be going somewhere. Make your stories dramatised rather than described.
- Good structure. No complex plotting. Instead use small shifts in perspective.
- A feel for the characters – ordinary people made distinctive. Illuminate an aspect of their lives written in a fresh way.
- Maybe a twist at the end.
- Avoid cliches and make imaginative use of the “shoes” theme
Happy writing one and all.