Read the 1st Prize Winner 2024 - Desire Lines by Marc Joan

 Desire Lines by  Marc Joan When Andy’s dad dropped us off it was early, the sun not yet above Carnedd Llewellyn and Foel Fras and the frost still hard. He stopped in a lay-by and waited, engine running, while Andy and I got the gear out of the boot. Rods and reels and keep-nets and folding stools and a lidded tub of maggots. A tackle-box with hooks and floats and packets of lead weights and a pair of pliers to squeeze the split lead beads tight on the line. Sandwiches from Andy’s step-mum. We piled it all on the grass verge. Then we shut the boot and stepped back out of the Audi’s exhaust fumes. Andy’s dad, head out the window, revved the engine, made another not-joke about my black eye, and within seconds was round the corner and out of sight, nothing left of him but distant gear changes. Fainter and fainter.        At school someone said they’d heard Spaz the maths teacher say that Andy’s dad had been driving like a maniac ever since Andy’s mum died. His real mum, that is, not his t

Read the 2nd Prize Winner 2024 - The Sleeve by Julie Evans

 The Sleeve by Julie Evans The tattoo, from a distance, looks like a skin disease. Leprous. There’s no warning bell around his neck, but there’s a gold chain. Very 1970s. Even a few dark chest hairs poking from the top button of his short-sleeved shirt. I’d imagined a boy like the ones Becca was at school with, all hormones and false bravado…or maybe a bit cooler than that, but still awkward. Isn’t everyone awkward at nineteen? But surely he isn’t nineteen. He looks like a man.               Mum, this is Noah.             His handshake is firm, confident.        Pleased to meet you, Mrs Williams.             Emma, please.        I can’t stop looking at that arm. The tattoo disappears into the shirt at the top and ends with a sharp-edged cuff at the wrist. It’s one arm only, and the other just seems to hang there, unadorned, apologetic. The forgotten twin. The asymmetry seems as much of a statement as the tattoo.               I ought to say something.               Welcome, Noah.      

Competition Winners 2024

Competition Winners 2024 We are delighted to announce the winners of this year's Exeter Writers Short Story Competition: 1st Prize - Desire Lines by Marc Joan 2nd Prize - The Sleeve by Julie Evans 3rd Prize - Guardian Angel by Jaime Gill Devon Prize - Trevithick's Miniature Menagerie by Rebecca Shapland (Highly Commended: Battle Cry by Marc Joan) Congratulations to all our winners. The stories will be published one by one over the coming week and watch out for interviews with our winners coming soon. We can now also put names to everyone on our short and long lists, thank you to everyone who entered: Short List: And Only I Remain - Michael Pearson Battle Cry - Marc Joan Desire Lines - Marc Joan Guardian Angel - Jaime Gill Hard Cheese - Keith McGibbon How Langhead Baptist Church Youth Fellowship Won The Holy Spirit All-Scotland Seven-a-Side Trophy - David McVey Rosemary + Cindi - Elaine Gormley  The Portrait - Alex Clissold-Jones The Sleeve - Julie Evans Trevithick's Miniatu