100 Word Stories 2016

At last, here’s the answer to the question everyone wants to know: who took out the prizes in our annual short story competition?

100 Word Stories 2016

Congratulations to everyone who entered this year’s contest. We had thousands of entries and, once again, we were thrilled by the quality of your stories. You left us with one problem: how do we pick the winners? Read our final choices below.

1. WINNER: $1000
Lynne Momple
La Lucia, South Africa

Mavis took one end and I the other and together we carefully manoeuvred the old brass bed through the bedroom door and the open verandah doors.
We lifted it over the balustrade into the hands of family waiting below.
Carrying it over the lavender, under the low Albizia branches, then past the roses, they gently put it down in the middle of the freshly mown lawn.
Chantelle carried out the cotton sheets, the embroidered pillows, and finally the multi-coloured blanket her great-grandmother had knitted for me.
Tonight, on her 90th birthday, my mother wants to sleep out under the stars.

“Right from the start, this story establishes an emotional pull on the reader. We thought it had strong visual impact thanks to the rich selection of words. It is a deserving winner.”


2. RUNNER-UP: $250
Maureen Holmes,
Halls Head, Western Australia

We met two weeks ago.
The time had come.
I took him by the hand and led him to my bedroom.
There I proceeded to remove my clothes.
Naked, I looked into his eyes and saw excitement and amusement.
I moved towards the bed, slid under the covers, and patted the space beside me.
His eyes searching my face, he slowly removed his shirt, jeans, then pointed to his jocks: “These?”
I nodded.
He was gorgeous, tall, slim, and all male.
He lifted the sheet and came into my arms.
I was seventy. He was eighty. Life had begun again.

“With short and sharp sentences, the writer has skilfully depicted an intimate and beautiful scene. Not a single word is wasted, and the effect is clear and emotionally uplifting.”


3. WINNER: $1000
Rosalind Palmer,
Moffat Beach, Queensland

The albatross soared over the cliff face, catching the updraft to support his wingspan. Where was his mate? He was late to return this year and he’d felt sure she’d already have a spot for them amongst the craggy rocks. As he glided along, he saw brooding pairs nestling together for warmth and the unmistakable ugliness of an abundantly fluffy newborn chick.
Albatross mate for life so another female simply wouldn’t do. With a heavy heart, he circled to scan the crowded rookery once more. Halfway along, amid the riotous clamour, he suddenly saw her, beautiful as ever, waiting patiently.

“Right from the start this story captures our attention with a simple yet strong visual image. It scores top marks for being able to tell a complete story using an economy of words.”


4. RUNNER-UP: $250
Ritu Hemnani
Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Gope and Meera played together every day.
“Race you to the garden!”
Meera won. “I’m one step ahead!”
Gope chased Meera around the trees.
Then she wept. “We’re moving away.”
Gope’s heart broke. “I will write to you.”
For years they remembered. Then life pulled them apart.
Yet neither one forgot.
“It’s time for you to marry,” Gope’s father said one day. “I have chosen a girl.”
“I hope she’s sweet,” Gope prayed as he led his concealed bride around the holy fire.
Later, he lifted her veil.
“Meera, it’s you!”
“I guess I’m still one step ahead!” Meera grinned.

“This entry tells a complete story, not just a snippet. It conveys a rich tenderness and intimacy that has a lasting impact on the reader.”


5. RUNNER-UP: $250
Clare Knight,
Upper Sturt, South Australia

Dylan watched sadly as his yellow frisbee sailed over the fence.
Jim cursed loudly upon seeing a yellow frisbee flatten his petunias.
“I’ll teach him,” he muttered as he tossed the frisbee straight over the opposite fence.
Mary ducked to avoid being hit in the head by a yellow Frisbee. She stopped to retrieve it and then dropped it gently over the fence into the yard of the kindergarten.
Miss Thompson bent to pick up a frisbee that had landed in the playground.
“Oh, little Dylan loves frisbees!” she exclaimed. “I’ll give it to him when he comes on Monday.”

“This story held our attention by cleverly linking each of the characters to a single scene of action. It is carefully crafted and holds the reader’s interest.”


6. RUNNER-UP: $250
Yee Heng Yeh
Palau Pinang, Malaysia

The skinny little boy sits outside the bakery, face and clothes smudged with dirt. He stares at the grown-ups striding by; the soles of shoes tap and click the sidewalk steadily. They go one way or the other, depending on the time, in a predictable cycle. The boy wonders if they are waiting for something miraculous to break them out of their routines. Maybe Red Stilettos, Brown Leather Loafers and Black Brogues all have secret, unfulfilled dreams. But what does he know, he thinks, while thanking White Flats. This bun that he has just received is miraculous enough for him.

“We were particularly moved by this entry. It portrays a touching and desperate scene in a delicate and dignified manner.”

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