Reply To: Monthly comp – July 2019

About Forums Den of Writers Monthly Competition Monthly comp – July 2019 Reply To: Monthly comp – July 2019


I didn’t have any specific criteria in mind by which to judge this; just expected to choose the one which moved me most, in much the same way as Vicki Feaver’s poetry moves me. Which was a BIG mistake. Because each and every entry was thought-provoking in a subtly different way.

But definitely NOT a mistake for the pleasure each one brought me, very much deserving of at least a brief comment.

Libby’s multi-layered tale of military duress I took as WWI, a favourite period of mine. It reminded me – in mood at least – of Rebecca West’s ‘The return of the soldier’.

John’s was cleverly constructed domestic noir, the resonance and the power of it only apparent at the end (and thus demanding a re-read).

Baz’s reference to Goon places this in yet another world. The tale rests on a lot of unspoken history – all the more intriguing for that – and the reference to the cut of a suit . was fascinating.

Athelstone delivered an instant brutal punch. And went on punching. A tongue-in- cheek (I hope) by-passing of estate agents.

Daedalus thought big. Very big. Required a bit of Googling to find out just how big. And realise just how clever, as well.

Jane’s tale of cyclic inevitability was heart-breaking. I read it three times over in the hope that things would change. Knowing they wouldn’t.

Seagreen used snatches of contrasting imagery like abstract poetry, which allowed me to create my own overall picture. Vividly contrasting phrases such as ‘Silence flutters down on the wings of crows’ against the brutal tooth embedded in the wall. And not nonsense at all.

Janette’s tale of little Annie one of full-on psychological horror, leaving me trying and failing to suspend disbelief, fully taken in by ‘Afternoon had turned ripe and golden’.

Squidge succinctly brings more domestic violence, the gun changing the weight of it, empowering as much as destroying.

Jonathan’s gun … ah. I couldn’t decide how reliable his narrator. ‘For the un-betooled’ held something sly and self-justifying. Yet it might be that he’s driven to it because of being bullied … except ..
… except I think he’s guilty. Of a massacre. Am I right?

GippsGirl provided poetry of a different sort with an enticing opening line, then hammers home the finality of the mistakes that can be made with a gun.

Kate describes the physicality of the gun. Spoke of how ‘the truth of it slices like broken glass on bare feet‘ Of the responsibility of holding a gun. Of what it can do.

So, limiting myself to two honourable mentions: John and Seagreen
And one winner: Kate
Thank you all for participating