Hal’s Ladder won the Mystery Women Crime Story competition in March 2011. The first sentence was provided: ‘Poor Hal. I knew him well – like a brother …’ The story had to be under 1000 words and crime. This was the first real monetary prize Sue won for a short story and it set her on the road she’s still walking. Find it here.
Sue Dawes’ flash fiction ‘The Undertaking’ has now been published in the Museum of Walking’s Winter Chill anthology. The idea for ‘The Undertaking’ came after Sue read a fascinating internet article about the life of a mortician, which then led to further research and the question: ‘What if?’ which is always a great place to start a story. It began as a much longer piece about a man who could only find love in death and was then reduced to flash fiction. The challenge was balancing the uncomfortable description of the studio and mortuary procedures, whilst leaving enough details of the crime for it to work.
The prompt was to write a flash fiction, under 100 words with a twist. The Facebook page and details of the next competition can be found here.
‘Before the Fall’ is a short story by Sue Dawes about an old man whose pride gets in the way of his health. This story has had many forms, before finally finding a home in an anthology by Pure Slush Books, an independent Australian publisher.
Sue’s story ‘The out’, won second place in the April edition of the Writers’ Forum (out now). The judge described it as ‘a chilling tale of a woman torn by past loyalties and present dread.’ Originally shortlisted for a local crime competition, and with a year of drawer time, Sue rewrote it extensively before submitting. There’s a lot to be said for distancing yourself from a piece of writing in order to be able to look at your work critically. It also helps to have a judge that understands what you’ve tried to do.
Sue’s flash fiction appears in Pure Slush, the ‘Envy‘ edition.
“The twins reacted differently. I thought they’d be identical. / from No more Wonderland by Sue Dawes.
Sibling rivalry in under 300 words.