There I was, having a browse over Laura Anderson's cyber-gaff, as you do, when I saw she'd entered a competition. Waterstone's What's Your Story? competition to be precise. I hadn't heard of it.
It's challenging people to offer very short stories indeed, limited to 600 characters (that's right - not words, but characters.) Intriguingly, you not only create the words, but can style them onto a cyber-postcard using a basic-but-fun online software suite. The stories then appear online in a gallery, and will be judged.
When I submitted my postcard, featuring a story I'm calling Marbles, there had already been 3754 entries. So the odds are quite poor. But this is one comp where it really isn't about the winning. This was a fantastic exercise.
My first draft of Marbles clocked in at almost three times the number of characters it needed to be. 339 words, 1742 characters. It was then a real challenge to condense it down, without losing the story or the clarity. Whether or not I succeeded is hard to say, but it was great fun and instructive. Marbles finally clocked in at 102 words, 590 characters.
The deadline's tomorrow. Good luck to Laura, and anyone else who's entering.