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Stylist's microfiction competition

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Following its massive success last year, we recently announced that we would be running our second ever microfiction competition.

Inspired by the short stories featured in a recent issue of Stylist, we invited readers to try their hand at penning a work of microficiton (the art of telling a story, complete with gripping plot and jump-off-the-page characters, in as few words as possible) for the chance to win a creative writing course at the London School of Journalism.

Running over five days, readers were asked to pen no more than 100 words based on a different image each day, and post their piece of microficition into the comments section of a web page. A daily winner was selected by the Stylist editorial team (you can read each of the daily winning entries at the links below), and author Helen Walsh was then tasked with selecting an overall winner.

We are thrilled to announce that winner as Lucy Oliver, author of day four's Six Pivotal Journeys. Speaking about her decision, judge Helen said, "The overall effect of words and imagery was deeply moving. The fact that she managed to convey so much feeling and narrative in so little space and add even more depth and beauty to an already beautiful image marked her out as the clear winner for me. I wish her every success in her own pivotal journey."

Read the winning entry below:

Six Pivotal Journeys by Lucy Oliver

8:00 from Penzance. Two adult singles. Eyes meet, hands touch, warm. Sweet scent of kiosk coffee. 11.00 to Heathrow. Two adult singles. Hot yellow sun, fruit sangria. Love in narrow hotel beds. 1.00 to Oxford. Two adult returns. Smart suits, hands clasped. Pink confetti in brown hair. 3.00 to Kings Cross. One single, one return. Flat shoes, hands gripped, excitement. Broderie Anglaise dress over swollen stomach. 9.00 from Victoria. One return, one platform ticket. Howling child, hands in pockets. Musk of unfamiliar perfume, scowl of guilt. 11.30 to Penzance. One adult single, one child single. Hands clutched, suitcase dragged. Tears.

About our judge

Helen Walsh is the author of Go To Sleep, her third novel. Her first novel, Brass, was published in 2004 and was the winner of a Betty Trask Prize. Her second novel, Once Upon a Time in England, was the winner of a Somerset Maugham Prize. Helen will select an ultimate winner from the five daily winners.

About the prize

The overall winner will win a distance learning creative writing course of their choosing from the London School of Journalism. The LSJ has been teaching journalism and creative writing for nearly 90 years. They provide journalism courses, freelance classes and creative writing courses by distance learning, and as evening classes, short day-time courses and postgraduate diploma courses.

All microfiction competitions are now closed - many thanks to all who entered! You can still read all of the entries - including the winners - at the links below...

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