Whoa, I’m a finalist in a writing competition!

Thanks to a fellow blogger, Mr Pootler, I recently entered a short horror story competition called Twisted50. It’s a brilliant idea (and one that has turned out to be more than just a writing comp) where writers who enter are additionally encouraged to leave feedback on other stories in the competition. The minimum commitment they ask of you is to read and comment on three stories for every one story you enter; I entered two stories so therefore I was obliged to leave feedback on six others. In the end I read and left feedback on nearly 60 stories – and some people way more than that. In truth, I found myself a little caught up in the whole process, which was not only enjoyable and entertaining, but also provided some really useful experience in both giving and receiving feedback, be it good… or not so good.

The upshot of this whole process is that the 50 best stories will make it into a compendium of short horror stories called Twisted (Volume One). From the stuff I’ve read so far, this will be a wonderful book, full of some truly disturbing short stories.

For me personally the goal is not to win this competition — although that would be lovely — but to get one of my stories into the final book.

Having said that, I am happy to announce that I have both of my stories in the final. Of course, when I say ‘final’ I mean the final shortlist of 247 stories. I know this sounds like a lot for a final, but if you consider 50 stories are going into the book, I have a 1-in-5 chance of either story making it into print. Exciting.


There is a second Twisted50 competition coming up, and I wholeheartedly recommend any writer to have a go. I had never written horror before, so it pushed me regarding my genre, and I uncovered a rather dark place in my brain where these stories have been festering. The biggest benefit, however, is feeling part of a community of writers who are all contributing to a larger project.

I will post my stories on the blog in the future, or if you’d like to read them now you can do so here. In the meantime, I shall wait and see what happens as the competition progresses.

Wish me luck.

Thanks for reading.


10 comments on “Whoa, I’m a finalist in a writing competition!

  1. Gaaahaha! I just read those two stories…True Fear scared the crap out of me! I usually don’t like horror at all but I loved those stories! Congrats on the finalist list!

  2. I love horror, I can’t wait to look this competition over, I have a few short stories in the bank collecting dust. Now may be a good time to dust them off. Congrats on your advancement, I hope you get to your goal. As much as I love horror, I have a hard time WRITING horror, because it’s just insanely tricky to nail an ending. Do you share this struggle? Care to give some advice on that type of thing? Ending a story is hard anyway, but something about driving something to resonate with a reader that doesn’t totally bottom them out – something that makes it worth the painful struggle it can sometimes be to read a horror, it’s like pulling teeth for me.

    • gpeynon says:

      I’m ok with endings actually… and beginnings. It’s the stuff in between that I struggle with. I know what you mean, though. I’ve often heard of writers who have the end already crafted and they work to that end (pardon the pun). Seems like a good idea that I might try one day. The thing I loved about this competition was the feedback; you can write a mediocre story with draft one, knowing that the feedback will help you comeback with something much better in draft 2. You get three drafts in all. It’s a brilliant idea.

  3. Mr Pootler says:

    Congratulations! Thoroughly well deserved – good luck getting into the final 50, and glad I could help!

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