Winner Announcement: 21C Mega Death Award

Happy holidays everyone.

What an exciting quartet of stories we saw in the 21C Mega Death Award.

I received an email this week encouraging NiTH to keep the single awards going. The writer thought that they were a great introduction to Needle and essential for new authors coming through. It couldn’t be more true.

This week we had two authors on debut, Tarni McCasker soared onto the scene with Aura:

He swooped down lower, leaving the boy to his fractured life for a moment. The book of lives would tell him about the braveries of such a young folk, tell him about his story. He found the page, and was shocked to discover another and another and another. Even the kindest only got two pages at most.

While Samantha Lee stated her intent with Ripples, a story that embodied the spirit of both the award and it’s key influence, the art of Tatsuo Miyajima.

Samantha Lee earned 2 place, a great effort on debut, and only 0.4 points from first place.

Without warning, the boat began to sink. Water flowed in. No escape, no time to think, just water and death’s firm grip restricting the air flow to their lungs. The world wasn’t watching, sitting comfortably behind their tv sets and dinner trays.

Mhairi Campbell has been with us now for a little over a month, and it’s been an exciting journey so far. Mhairi’s prose is always lucid, her characters full of pathos. This time Mhairi brought us The Road Never Ends:

I was shoved onto the ground as people rushed around me and I saw the black covering his face. His eyes, a hard brown, flashed onto me and passed over me. His gun did not touch my head. It found itself embedded in another as I cried out in warning.

Our winner for the 21C Mega Death Award came from the most unlikely of places. Having been in self imposed exile for a year, Ash Warren has recently returned to the scene with his trademark literary fables.

Scroll Down, Don’t Look Up has all the qualities of a modern myth, a course correction in our world perspective that doesn’t so much twist our view as it does unearth those unspoken anxieties and bring them into strange relief:

There’s a slight breeze and, just like that, you are gone. The lights change, something falls, someone moves, the doctor speaks, the brakes fail, the wind changes, a single petal falls and you are gone. Just like that.

Congratulations Ash and well done to everyone who participated. A special thanks to our judges who continue to work hard in providing feedback and scores over the holidays.

With the holiday season fast upon us keep an eye on the following dates:

In 2017 we’ll be making the newschedule a permanent fixture. Shortlists at the start of the week, winner announcements at the end. We’ll also be announcing a new major contest, so keep an eye out for that.

All the best for the holiday season! 

One thought on “Winner Announcement: 21C Mega Death Award

  1. Thanks guys, thats a very nice Christmas present!

    Actually I went online and listened to an interview with Tatsuo Miyajima talking about the concept behind his ‘Megadeath’ project and art in my preparations to write this story. I recommend it watching it. I was strongly impressed by his artistic representation of the nature of impermanence (the way the lights would just turn off, symbolically showing the complete unknowability of death,and also the circular nature of life) which is a very basic concept in classical eastern philosophy.

    Here is the full interview.

    I wish all of you the very best for the new year.

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