I'm absolutely delighted to have won the recent multi-story short story competition! I heard the news the other day but wanted to be sure I really was the winner before mentioning it here - some of us never quite lose that disbelief about our success. Well, it is now announced on the website, together with the judge's report, and if you wish you can even read it here.
This is a very different kind of story from those I've had published before and I really enjoyed exploring the darker protagonist and subject. It's also set in 1937, which allowed me to use some of my study background. Although the prize money is generous and very welcome for a working writer, I'm even more grateful that this particular adjudicator completely understood the elements of the story that I really hoped to portray - so many thanks indeed to him for his much appreciate comments!
The other point a few people might find interesting is that The Artist's Wife was inspired by a painting I saw many years ago in the Art Gallery in Glasgow, although I've completely fictionalised the image in the portrait but used the date in which it was painted as inspiration. Art, music, poetry and nature often inspire me and I'll certainly pay even more attention to those in future. It's also a lesson to me in taking time to redraft a story more than once!
I do hope all those who write short stories will be inspired to enter the next multi-story competition which closes at the end of June!