I just wanted to share my 'almost' good news. I entered my Welsh wartime story into the Phoenix Park short story competition. It didn't get a place, but it was one of those competitions that offer an assessment for $6.00 extra. Well, I have just heard back from Stuart Reedy (my new best friend). Here is a summary of what he said:
It just missed out on being short-listed (yeah! or is that booh?)
He enjoyed the narrative voice
I captured the character's innocence
I used enough detail to create an authentic picture
Metaphors like, a Guy Fawkes without stuffing, gave the character a really unique voice and took the story and event beyond cliche
That I obviously had a good feel for my subject matter (thanks to Doug and Joyce fore their drives around Port Talbot).
Characters are well drawn
Dialogue covered accents and personalities well.
Dear, sweet wonderful man this Stuart Reedy (I could kiss him)!
Here is why it wasn't shortlisted:
The story didn't take off until after page two (ok, so it's only an eight and a half page story).
The early stages were not quite powerful enough to grab the reader.
That's all! Two itty bitty little pages.
I should be able to bust my brains and fix that up - then it's the Bridport for me!