In January I had the privilege of being allowed to create a short story competition for Needle in the Hay (NiTH).

NiTH runs short story competitions regularly (mostly weekly), with a mixture of stand-alone and serial awards.

I had never written a competition brief before, but knew it had to be the kind of award I would most want to enter. I love playing with the idea of an unreliable narrator, so decided to make that the focus of the competition, and created The First Rule of Nabokov Award, in which entrants had 1000 words with which to deceive the reader.

I’m happy to report that people not only entered (!), but that eleven writers were shortlisted by a panel of judges. You can read their stories here.

The best part about writing an award was getting to read the shortlisted entries! It’s always fascinating to see how people interpret a prompt differently, and these stories represent a wide range of genres and styles.

Can’t wait to see which one wins! Have a read of the shortlist, and let me know which your favourites were. (Note – I am not a judge, and have no say over who wins.)