top of page
Night Works

KSP Writers Centre

Night Works

Judge’s Report 2018

I believe the short story genre is the hardest one to master,

especially when given a specific themed subject. 1500 words, or

500 words for the junior category, is a tiny number of words in

which to create an entire balanced story. One that has a clear

beginning, middle and end. One which captures the essence of the

theme, and gives the reader well-developed characters they can

picture in their mind.

I do a lot of contest judging, and blind judged contests are my

favourite. There’s no outside influence. No cover art, no publisher

logo, no author name. The story has to stand on its own merits.

The entries come to me with only the story title and a code

number. To add an extra layer of anonymity, I ask that no one post

their intention to enter the contest to any of my social media, or

tell me personally. I always have a great time judging the Ghost

Story Contest, and I thank KSP for giving me the opportunity.

Anyone who writes a story is an author, and any author knows

that sending your story out into the world to be judged is one of

the scariest things you can possibly do. I’d like to applaud each

and every one of our authors here tonight. The winners, the

finalists, the entrants and all of those who thought about entering

this year’s Ghost Story, but didn’t. I hope you’ll build up your own

courage by next year.

In conclusion, you should all be very proud of your achievements.

This year’s theme, night, was open to interpretation, as long as

the piece contained significant elements of eeriness/ spookiness 

and a clear connection to the theme. ‘Night’ could be interpreted

literally (i.e. a story based during night-time) or metaphorically (a

character has a dark mental outlook on life). I have to say, a lot of

authors took that last part to heart, and caused me more than a

few sleepless nights during the reading process! As judge, I took

into consideration the grammar and punctuation of each entrant,

but it also came down to the ‘feel’ of the story. A story isn’t just

about each comma and full stop. It needs character and creativity.

All the entries were spooky and fit the theme. All our writers

deserve our congratulations for being brave enough to enter.

bottom of page