We’ve only just announced the winner of our short story competition, but I thought you’d like to know a little more… It seems only fair seeing as I’ve already shared a few comments about the rest of the shortlist.
In case you missed it, the winning entry is In the Wendy House by Rosey Darbishire (applause, lots of applause!).
It tells of the inner conflict felt by a mother when looking after her small, boisterous children. It portrays her feelings of isolation and claustrophobia. Her children aren’t particularly interested in the wendy house she bought and furnished for them. She’d hoped they would enjoy being in the small house, giving her some time for herself. But instead, the rejected house becomes her place of refuge – she finds her space in its small confines.
I chose this story because the main character stayed with me long after I’d finished reading. (spoiler alert!) I felt anxious for her and really did want to know what happens next – will she have some sort of breakdown? Will she leave her children? Will she tell them she’s leaving or will she just disappear… ?
Alongside the strong characterisation, this story has a real emotional charge running all the way through it. Rosey tackled a tricky subject, one which I identified with on some level, despite not being a mum myself. She achieved something highly thought-provoking. It also has a definite beginning and a middle and an end – a proper ‘short’ story.
So well done to Rosey! I really loved your story.
You can read In the Wendy House in full on our website.
Warm wishes, Jo