Winner now announced - see below.
Visitors were asked to write a short story on modern celebrity. The winner would get star billing on the Steffi site as well as having Andrew Crofts as a mentor to help work up the story into a novel, find an agent, publisher and so on.
Trying to decide which of the competition entries should be on the short list has left me feeling sorry for Cheryl Cole, Dannii Minogue and all the other emotionally drained judges who have to weep their way through reality tv contests. How come Simon Cowell looks so confident and carefree when he is breaking hearts with his highly subjective judgements?
Having read an avalanche of entries, the vast majority of which are extremely good, I am now a complete dithering wreck. The thought of discouraging any budding talent by excluding them from the shortlist simply on the grounds that there were other stories that struck me differently is horrendous, but I know it has to be done. I have received enough rejection letters during forty years of writing, (and listened to enough deafening silences), to know that the initial anger I felt at those low moments stoked the flames required to forge the steel that every freelance writer needs in their soul in order to survive and go on to enjoy the highs when they come.
The other blow of reading these entries is the realisation of just how ferocious the competition is out there. There are so many people with good ideas, so many people who write well, how can we all possibly survive?
I know I have to be strong and make the choices but every decision to put a well written story into the “no” pile is an agony. I have bought myself some precious time by whittling the entries down to a short list of ten, all of which are displayed below in alphabetical order, but maybe all I have done is prolong the agony for all of the entrants as well as myself. I hope not
Competition short list/finalists:
Frozen Assets by Janine Beacham
Muso by Tony Edge
The Mysterious Celebrity by Della Galton
Awards by Phil Kurthausen
Queen of Hart's by Helen Parker
A Spot in the Limelight by Gianna Scannell
King of the Show by Andy Szpuk
Click on the links to read the stories - winner to be announced shortly!