Tom C wins a small first prize at All About Writing then squeezes past Calvin L to win 7Q's Eleventh Frantic Flash, our 15th and Sixteenth First Prize of the Year.
The 11th FF was disappointing in that a number of expected entrants did not file a story and ALL the stories came from Boot Campers. Maybe there's a lesson here for some: Tom wrote three stories to win the £100 prize and produce two more very placeable pieces.
Colin U also hits the prize trail, commend at Leaf and in their next anthology and a second place at New Horizonz
CedricP produced an "Irreverence" piece for 7Q (I can't get people to send in good "irreverence" – are you all so STIFF?)
Lexie is at HISS quarterly, Dave at Duck & Herring.
Not sure if we've already noted TC's "Kangaroo" hit or his story in Fringe or Fleur's hard-luck story. She wrote a cracking story for the FF but missed the cut-off time by a considerable margin. She would have challenged for first place but was disqualified from the comp. It's a good story though and will appear in 7Q5 November December
Sixteen first for the year is OK but it shows that, comparatively we've had a quiet year. Last year's total of 26 Firsts, our best-ever year, looks like staying that way.
That's partly down to me. I've been lazy and not subbed much to comps, and to Lexie Fox who has consciously been aiming pretty high for most of the year.
In the past I've written about the wide "No Man's Land" between being the best of new writers and competing with the New Yorker types. There's a vast distance between winning, say Lichfield or Cadenza and then getting into Paris Review, but what is there BETWEEN these levels? That was one reason I started Seventh Quark, to build a small outpost half-way across the desert.