My historical short story, ‘Boudicca’s Revenge’, which was shortlisted for the Legendary Women Competition, has been published in this Essex Creative Writing Anthology. It was my first attempt at creative historical fiction and the short story, initially 2000 words, was reduced to just over 500 for the competition. If nothing else, it showed me how many words can be edited out and yet the story remain the same. Boudicca is now judged a heroine but she was a soldier and thought nothing of massacring whole towns. I don’t think her strength or actions would be considered quite so affectionately in the modern world.
Mind the Gap by Sue Dawes was published in ‘New writing’ in Mslexia. The judge said: ‘Mind the Gap’ managed to say so much about the taboos surrounding the empty nest syndrome in little more than 1000 words. From the first sentence (I will pull the construction apart, twig by twig so they cannot return) I felt I was in the arms of a brave and confident artist. Each platitude and assumption about the bereft mother (‘you’ll be lonely, what will you do’ ‘But what if they want to come home’) is matched by the exhilaration of a mother liberated from the selflessness of raising three boys.
Mentioned in a study about motherhood
A ‘Drabble’ is a 100 word story, generally science fiction.
Like a Haiku, the best Drabbles have a twist at the end. The best way to approach writing a Drabble is to write a longer story, with the usual beginning, middle and end and pare it down (with a cleaver rather than a filleting knife). And finally, invest in (or bookmark) a thesaurus. It will help you to reduce your word count and yet allow you to say so much more.