The Costa Short Story Challenge 2013


If you like write, or read and judge, then this is a competition for you.

You’ve probably heard of the Costa Book awards? Overall winner last year was Hilary Mantel. JK Rowling won the best Children’s book section back when it was sponsored by Whitbread. That’s right you remember now, pretty prestigious stuff.

Well last year (2012) they launched a new category for the best short story and very successful it was too. The winner walked away with £3,500. The best thing about this competition compared to others of high value prize and notoriety is that anyone can enter. You don’t need to be previously published; you just need to write a story up to 4,000 words to stand a chance.

On top of that the stories are judged anonymously, so you could be placed higher that established authors, which is exactly what happened last year.  

And for the readers out there, here’s the best bit. From a shortlist of 6 stories that is selected from all the entries by a panel of judges, you get to read all 6 short stories and judge which one you think is best. The one with the most votes from the reading public wins.

I read them all last year and voted on my favourite (‘Don’t try this at home’), Shame it didn’t win. But they were all terrific efforts and enjoyable reads.

The great news is the 2013 shortlist is due to come out any day now. I highly recommend going to the website and having a read. The 2012 entries are currently still there to have a look at if you want to see what last years ones were like to.

More information on this and entering for next years are on the website too.

For some other cracking short stories check out Sudo One’s back catalogue.


Book review of Horns – By The Resident Weeble and The Girl…well, mainly her

It’s Sunday evening, it’s time to snuggle up with a good book…review.  Today’s book is ‘Horns’ by Joe Hill. If you haven’t heard of Joe Hill you will have heard of his father Stephen King, but please don’t let that sway your decision on this book either way.  Joe Hill is very much a notable author in his own right with his own style and his second novel ‘Horns’ is a wonderful example of this.

Both myself and The Girl in my life, have read this book and I believe her account of it to be far more eloquent than mine, so below is and extract of her review of the book. The full book review plus others can be found at her BlogSpot ‘Books I’ve read’. Be warned a lot of her reviews may give away plot points, so only delve in if you’re not bothered by this.


Horns is the story of the aptly named Ignatius Parrish following the brutal murder of Merrin, the love of his life. A year after her death, he gets wasted and visits the place she was killed, near an old disused foundry. He desecrates the shrine that people have made in her memory, and pees all over a plastic Virgin.  Waking up the next morning, his troubles begin having grown a fine pair of horns and apparently acquired various demonic powers. We follow him as he looks for help amongst his friends and family, and they each in turn tell him their deepest darkest desires. Eventually this leads him to find Merrin’s killer, and he goes about extracting his revenge. Read more of this post

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