Posted in fabo story, Prizes!, The Winners!

Kathy White’s Judge’s Report – The Winners!

You’ve written up a storm this fortnight. Lucinda’s cat-burgling adventures got 59 of you writing all kinds of imaginable stories – horror, romance, adventure, comedy, gothic, fantasy, science fiction and twisted fairy tales.

People included the theory of dust, pole vaulters, zombie research, and green goo that gave people superpowers. I loved Nezar’s rescue of the laboratory animals. I saw some spectacular dialogue with distinctive voices for individual characters (Amie Tunnicliffe, Leila Dunlop). Others used all of the senses (sight, smell, sound, touch and taste) to make a scene come to life. What I loved more than anything was seeing so many writing styles, which included a mixture of poetic language, beautiful descriptions, funny quips, tension and fast-paced action. Sam Persson’s style made me feel like I was inside Lucinda’s thoughts. Great stuff. A writer’s writing style is as unique as fingerprints – it reveals things about you – and it’s one of the things that makes writing (and reading) so much fun.

Here are some of my favourite bits from this fortnight’s writing challenge.

I loved Ollie Gooch’s humour and writing style: She dived for cover. Hurting her shoulder on a small sharp object that she hoped wasn’t a knife.
“I did that, perhaps, a bit too dramatically,” she thought.

I liked a lot of things that Geena said, but I loved her beginning: The laboratory’s small wooden door slammed shut behind Lucinda which made her gasp in shock. In the middle of the laboratory stood a boy with jet black hair and eyes the color of the vast sea.

This from Rosa Opie: Lucinda rolled herself under the long scientists’ bench, hoping she wouldn’t collide with any developing experiments that were in the middle of her path.

Gianna Lill did a great job at building tension using the senses: Lucinda just stood there numbly and observed as he hacked into a computer and overrode security. A fluorescent blue light flickered on. The cylindrical steel case he’d been trying to open recoiled into the ceiling. The blue light mingled with a vibrant golden beam which protruded from a peculiar flask. Her Granddad quickly pocketed it and gestured for Lucinda to follow.

Beautiful images from Cora Scott: Relief washed over Lucinda like water washing over an umbrella.

And more great use of the senses from Ruby de Beus: Lucinda quickly scanned her surroundings, searching for a nook or cranny to hide. The laboratory was vast, cluttered with dusty machines, cupboards of mysterious entities, empty bottles and flasks. Lucinda could hear dull, heavy footsteps drawing closer and closer. Floorboards creaked and plumes of dust rose into the air and settled down again.

And again from Ruby: His eyes burned with flames of hatred. His hideous face was framed with shaggy dark hair that covered his entire body. A cloak, as black as his soul, fell short of his colossal feet which could have easily belonged to a giant. The Beast, standing before Lucinda’s wardrobe, was the one who took what was hers. And Lucinda…. Well, tonight she was going to get it back.

Kanicha Nualkhair had a beautiful flowing rhythm and a mature style of lyrical, thoughtful writing:
She silently cursed him, already planning her escape. The thundering footsteps neared the door and she was a mouse, scampering away, silently, hidden among the dust bunnies and resting by the floor. She was a dark shadow, so well hidden that no one would see her even if eyes were glancing her way. The dark wood of the floorboard weren’t uttering a sound, keeping silent as if sensing the danger. Slowly, so painfully slowly, the door swung open and light spilled into the hall.

And at the end of Kanicha’s story: “I’ve finally caught you, Lucinda Draconell…” His grin was feral and she thought of a fallen angel. This man indeed had fallen but it was she who had fallen further. She had been betrayed.

A surprising ending from Sarah Meyer: Putting the bright beautiful sapphire in her hand, she wondered why she should give this to the prince. If only she was not so scared of him. Her big brother could be such a bully. (Nice touch to keep that secret until the end).

Emma Denton, Hazel Williams, Rosa Opie and Carmel ‘Uhila had good well-paced, logically connected plots. Well done. Some writers had great beginnings but didn’t manage to piece things together to get to a fitting end. Things need to be logically connected to tell a story, and that’s not as easy as it sounds. Something happens, which causes something else to happen, which leads to something else. These logical connections (or cause and effect) provide the foundations for the plot in your story.

It wasn’t easy choosing winners this time because you all showed so much talent in different ways. However I was particularly impressed by imagery this week so that’s where I’ve decided to award joint senior prizes. Kanicha Nualkhair, you managed to create a lot of tension with your focus on the senses. And Ruby de Beus, there’s a beautiful flow to your writing. Both of you deserve prizes this week.

I’m also giving Ollie Gooch the junior prize for his humorous style of writing and his natural dialogue. It amazes me that you managed to fit your love of soccer into this story

Congratulations to you all and thanks for entertaining me this week. I’m looking forward to where you all go with your writing in the future.

Kanicha, Ruby and Ollie, I will contact you by email over the next few days to discuss your prizes.

Love and literary hugs




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