Saturday 9th December 2017 proved to be the launch event for the latest anthology of the best short stories from Christopher Fielden’s latest To Hull and Back competition. I attended with Jo – my muse, delight and wife, and we anointed our presence at the Left Bank bar, Bristol, with a nourishing pint of ‘Beast’ ale for me and a sweet sherry for Jo.
All were treated to the recital of 9 short stories, either published within this year’s anthology, or submitted to Talking Tales, a writing initiative run by Stokes Croft Writers who meet fortnightly in the Bristol area.
A fine range of stories we heard too, all well-written and confidently read, stretching the genre of ‘comedy’ in every direction like that explosion in the spaghetti factory. Boy, they were all good, and only 2 of them contained dissolving body organs – just about right, I fancy.
Any delusions I had about being declared Runner-up ( see following link The Turbothrob Triple X– or get Amazon to send you the whole book at Amazon ) were expunged for good having listened to Crystal Jean’s hilarious Bug Boy. A truly worthy winner.
The evening gave the opportunity to meet and speak with other writers and the competition judges, who to a man and woman are both delightful and good looking*
As the call of ‘fix’ resounded the room, I finished a delightful evening by winning one of three short break-time writing exercises by making up an ending for the first half of the following sentence:
Brenda and Michael were just putting up their Christmas tree when……they remembered they were Jehovas Witnesses.
There – hardly comedy gold is it, but enough to earn me a revered ‘Talking Tales’ pin badge, but demonstrate that YOU TOO should write a story and enter the 2018 competition. It is now in an impressive 5th year, with top prize now a defibrillating £1,000, plus the terror of the titular pinion ride to Hull and back on the back of Chris’ moped.
The competition grows, with 359 entries made for 2017 – but you can do it – and even if you don’t win, just think of the massive internal glow you will have when you’ve written your own short story, despite all the misgivings of Mr Bircher, your English master, 1974-1978.
Tempted? I really hope so. For full details, have a look at Chris’ To Hull and Back Competition Page then put a note in your diary to come to the launch event next December and have your own pint of ‘Beast’.
* I’m not just trying to curry favour for the next completion – they are delightful. You can make up your own mind about the good-looking bit when you come to next years launch.