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Iain and NAWG

Iain has judged the NAWG short story competition. On the right is the advice he gave to potential participants - as published in NAWG’s Link magazine.
As a judge of the open short story category, what will I be looking for? Quite simple - a story with wow factor. I want to read a yarn that dares to be different, oozes originally, that isn’t a wet, limp, retread of all the bland magazine stories I’ve ever seen. Give me escapism. Give me drama. Look beyond the mundane and the ordinary. Be witty be adventurous. If you like, explore dark, meaty themes and deep emotions. Whatever you write about, be bold, be intriguing, be attention grabbing and surprising. Aim for language that is tight and economic - avoid over-blown description or florid, pretentious self-consciously clever word play. Keep it simple. Keep it moving. Never forget that it is a story, not a character sketch or vignette - plot is vital. Dramatic, upsetting, amazing things have to happen to the main character. He or she has to be sucked into the events unfolding and play a significant part in resolving whatever dilemma or crisis has engulfed them. Give yourself time to hone work. I want to see work that is polished. Don’t knock it out in a panic a few days before the closing date.

Iain Pattison’s Own Words On Short Stories

Iain and TVWC One of the Circle’s highlights each year is the Barbara Olive Smith Memorial Trophy which is judged by an external judge who is also asked to provide a critique for each entry. Iain, we are delighted to say, continues to support us by being the person who takes on this onerous task. To give participants an idea of what Iain likes, here are a couple of quotes from an interview he did for The Word Hut web site.
How would you describe your writing style? Quirky and zany (if people still say things like zany) with a drop of satire thrown in. I try to make my stories Spartan, fast paced and exciting while machine gunning as many gags as possible. I love twist endings and always aim for an emotional response from my readers – even if it’s only a loud groan. Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their writing? The late Terry Pratchett. He was a god and I worship his memory. Some people sneeringly dismiss his Discworld books as being simply fantasy or comedy, but he had a spookily insightful understanding of how people really think and act, both as individuals and groups. He said more about the human condition in one chapter than Dickens did in all his works … and got more laughs.
Iain is a full-time author, creative writing tutor and competition judge. His short stories have appeared in numerous women’s magazines, UK and US anthologies, and been broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
EMAILS
© Thames Valley Writers’ Circle
Created with Xara Designer Pro X

Iain and NAWG

Iain has judged the NAWG short story competition. On the right is the advice he gave to potential participants - as published in NAWG’s Link magazine.
As a judge of the open short story category, what will I be looking for? Quite simple - a story with wow factor. I want to read a yarn that dares to be different, oozes originally, that isn’t a wet, limp, retread of all the bland magazine stories I’ve ever seen. Give me escapism. Give me drama. Look beyond the mundane and the ordinary. Be witty be adventurous. If you like, explore dark, meaty themes and deep emotions. Whatever you write about, be bold, be intriguing, be attention grabbing and surprising. Aim for language that is tight and economic - avoid over-blown description or florid, pretentious self-consciously clever word play. Keep it simple. Keep it moving. Never forget that it is a story, not a character sketch or vignette - plot is vital. Dramatic, upsetting, amazing things have to happen to the main character. He or she has to be sucked into the events unfolding and play a significant part in resolving whatever dilemma or crisis has engulfed them. Give yourself time to hone work. I want to see work that is polished. Don’t knock it out in a panic a few days before the closing date.

Iain Pattison’s Own Words On

Short Stories

Iain and TVWC One of the Circle’s highlights each year is the Barbara Olive Smith Memorial Trophy which is judged by an external judge who is also asked to provide a critique for each entry. Iain, we are delighted to say, continues to support us by being the person who takes on this onerous task. To give participants an idea of what Iain likes, here are a couple of quotes from an interview he did for The Word Hut web site.
How would you describe your writing style? Quirky and zany (if people still say things like zany) with a drop of satire thrown in. I try to make my stories Spartan, fast paced and exciting while machine gunning as many gags as possible. I love twist endings and always aim for an emotional response from my readers – even if it’s only a loud groan. Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their writing? The late Terry Pratchett. He was a god and I worship his memory. Some people sneeringly dismiss his Discworld books as being simply fantasy or comedy, but he had a spookily insightful understanding of how people really think and act, both as individuals and groups. He said more about the human condition in one chapter than Dickens did in all his works … and got more laughs.
Iain is a full-time author, creative writing tutor and competition judge. His short stories have appeared in numerous women’s magazines, UK and US anthologies, and been broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
Short Stories
Short Stories