The January competition was judged by novelist and short story writer, Della Galton. The brief was to write 10 New Year’s resolutions in the style of a young adult character.
Just a reminder to all entrants – please could you leave your name OFF the actual story submitted, but make sure it is included in your covering email. Thanks.
And the winners were:
First Place: No snow yet; my spots are worse by Helen Adlam
Second Place: Must Happen – New Year’s Resolutions by Gill Hollands
Third Place: Resolute Rick by John Quinn
Highly Commended: New Year’s Resolutions by Maggie Farran
Highly Commended: New Year’s Eve Resolutions by Mark Eyles
Winners: Mark Eyles, John Quinn, Gill Hollands, Maggie Farran and Helen Adlam
Photo by Alex Carter: firstname.lastname@example.org
First Place: No snow yet; my spots are worse by
‘Nice writing. I liked this one a lot. I felt the voice was authentic and the way the story emerges was subtle but clever.’
New Year’s Resolutions:
- Never give up hoping for snow.
- Stop eating chocolate so my spots get better.
I saw Steve outside the community centre tonight. I was gonna say Hi, but the floodlight in the carpark made my spots look mega, so I kinda muttered and backed off before he got a proper look at me. And it never snowed.
- Actually speak to Steve Gray.
Nat and I hung out in the village and got chips. Steve was there with his mates. Nat showed off, draping herself all over him, so he starts asking her about college and who she fancies. I went home early.
- Ditch friends who can talk to boys and don’t have spots.
So I was really over Nat, but then she asked me to the mall with her so I thought, sure, why not. At the mall she had no make-up on, seriously, she is totally covered in spots. I don’t get it. How come no one noticed???? How come Steve never said anything?? It’s not fair. Still no snow.
- Stop caring what people think of me.
Yeah. I can’t do this. I’m going to rub that one out. If I don’t care what people think of me, then what’s the point? I might as well stop watching Zoella and ditch all the makeup.
- Build a ****king snowman one day.
OMG!!! It snowed today!! Nat and I hung out at the Rec and I caught snowflakes on my tongue. We did snow angels and I couldn’t stop laughing. When I looked up, Steve was standing over me. ‘You’re a total nutter,’ he said. ‘Wanna get a hot chocolate and dry off round mine?’
… I might write the rest of my resolutions later. Been kinda tied up lately …
Second Place: Must Happen: New Year’s Resolutions by Gill Hollands
‘I like the slowly emerging and quite chilling story. Another authentic voice. Well done.’
- Run us to school every day I can. We all need to get fitter and faster. Fitspiration!
- Stop biting my nails or at least ease up. Grow a weapon (useful for school, too.)
- Arm up and practice. Pepper, knife, acid at least. This one holds grudges.
- Make a stash of cash. Sell more stuff? Hide it deep.
- Gear up after school. Hunt out better earners. Good tips in sleazy clubs? Byron’s Bong Deliveries? Can’t be too picky. Ask Dench Darron, he’ll know, if his squad will let me near. Those lame apprenticeships they’re pushing won’t cut it, not for three of us.
- Get advice. (Childline?) Talk to someone, anyway, not the school kid-catcher. Can’t swerve it any more. He’s getting worse.
- Stop him picking on Daisy before he hurts her. There’s ugly in his eyes when he watches her. Can’t just threaten him, can I? Nose still wonky from before. Distraction? Maybe more sleepovers with friends?
- Stop using the headphones to drown them out. Listen and learn. Man up and call the police next time.
- Tell the truth. Don’t cover up for him any more. Open her eyes somehow, make her believe me. Never let her cry alone again.
- Escape free and clear. Start again with no looking back over our shoulders. It’s not like we haven’t done it before. This better be the last time.
Third Place: Resolute Rick by John Quinn
‘Very entertaining. This made me laugh and I loved the characterisation of Rick. Good title too. ’
So, this is Mum’s idea, but I thought I better keep the peace and go along with it, especially after the Xmas we’ve just had! Sometimes I wonder not only why Mum and Dad stay together, why any of us do. Most of the time I don’t reckon anyone living under our roof really likes anyone else under it!
Still, here goes, my New Year Resolutions…
1, Get laid! That was a pretty easy one. If you believe my schoolmates I’m the only virgin left! Not that I believe them, not all of them anyway. Certainly not Slimy George!
2, I refer the Right Honourable Member to my previous resolution. God, 16 years old and the only time I’ve even touched a bra was in Marks and Spencers. Or Mum’s, bringing in the washing, and that doesn’t count!
3, Start revising… exams only a few months away and, according to Dad, my whole life hangs in the balance.
4, Develop a photographic memory? Or learn how to cheat; either would help with resolution number 3!
5, Get a part-time job that doesn’t involve getting soaked and frozen every night delivering bloody newspapers!
6, Start having to shave. I know I get the Gillette GII out once a week, but that’s only to get a cut or nick so I can pretend to my mates that I have to shave regularly. By now I should have hair sprouting out of my face like Desperate Dan!
7, Create world peace and end starvation – it’s compulsory to have something like this in your list… or is that beauty parades?
8, Stop being the last one chosen for a football team at Wednesday afternoon sports – it’s SO humiliating!
9, Ask Rob to ask his girlfriend, Shauna, if her friend, Kerry, might want to go to a film with me.
10, GET LAID!!!!
Highly Commended: New Year Resolutions – by
‘This had an excellent voice. I believed it was a young adult. Actually it reminded me of my 12 year old! Well done.’
- I will try to have a civilised conversation with my Mum, even when she is being annoying. I will look serious and appear to listen when she is telling me boring stories about her day.
- I won’t treat my Dad like a taxi driver all the time, only when I’m really in a hurry or it’s getting dark.
- I will only borrow my sister’s clothes when I’ve asked her first, except her new Top Shop skirt. I’ve got to wear it Emily’s party because Joe will be there.
- I will try not to tease my brother so much. His nose is extraordinarily big and his feet do smell, but I’ll try not to bring that up in an argument.
- I will start to talk to Joe in a normal way. I won’t blush and act like a mute whenever I see him at school.
- I will work hard at school and do my homework. I won’t copy it from Kate so much, even though she always gets brilliant grades.
- I will try to eat more healthily and not snack on junk food, but I’m never going to eat sprouts, even if they are some kind of super food. They are disgusting and are never going to pass my lips.
- I am going to go for a short run before school every day, through the park and along Joe’s road, if I can get out of bed in time. I shall wear my new navy shorts and my sister’s little strappy top.
- I will offer to take our dog, Toby, for a short walk every day, on a similar route to the run.
- I will smile and look happy most of the time except when my family are being particularly annoying.
Highly Commended: New Year’s Eve Resolutions – by
‘This was amusing throughout, and I believed in the voice of the young adult. Well done.’
- Make more friends. Well, at least one more friend. A real friend. Not like last year’s new friend.
- Practice my dancing. Following the improvements I made last year I am clearly impressing everyone. Let’s take it to the next level.
- Have lots of intimate time. Preferably with other people. Of the opposite sex. In private.
- Do not drink until I puke. Drink only until I am mellow.
- Be more careful about photos for Instagram/Snapchat. Especially do not post anything on an account the parents can see. Again.
- At least one steady girlfriend would be good. A new one, not going out with she who I no longer name, for yet another year, just because it is convenient. Though it is convenient…
- Finish college, go to university and get a job. Actually that will probably take longer than a year. Though with my brilliance…
- Work on getting some washboard abs. Need to drink more protein shakes to achieve this. Start eating meat.
- Take up transdental meditation. Get in touch with my inner awesome.
- Be an existentialist.