Winner Announcement: The Lucky Numbers Award

The winner announcement this week was inspired by Lavinia Simson’s 10 Seconds


The number of stories on the shortlist


The number of authors on the shortlist. John Falconer was among them, an author who has been plying his trade hither and tither through the second half of 2016. As we draw towards the end of the year, will he start to carve out path to victory? Foreign Beaches contemplated bigger things than this, and won over several of our judges:

I loved, loved, loved this piece! The never-ending questions and theories on life is something I explore a lot in my own writing and reading through this I was thinking – yes! A sorrowfully nonchalant tale and character that was told with the same even tone that gave to feeling of acceptance. This, I felt, enhanced the truths of your narrator. Great job.

Five, incidentally, is the number of judges we used on this award.


Four seasons have passed since we last saw Ash Warren with Der Loffel. He’s returned to the fold, and we’re all the better for it. In typical Warren style, we find that Hexagram 64 draws on the Japanese ‘fortune telling’ of the I-ching for its number-ness.

You pour a glass of wine and sit at the big rosewood desk and unfold a square of black silk upon it. Then from a little jade box you take the three antique silver coins and hold them in your hand while you form the words in your mind.

Shall I divorce her?


They say three is a lucky number. Mhairi Campbell’s debut, the obsessive The Rhythm, is concerned with the power (and luck) of numbers. It’s been a couple of months since we’ve seen Mhairi around, not since Another Girl, Another Day way back for the Everything Is Everything Award. Campbell drew praise from the judges in her softmore effort, with the judges remarking:

A powerful piece of writing.


I loved how accurately you portrayed the OCD tick of counting – it just drew me in completely. The idea that not following through with these impulses having disastrous consequences was also very intriguing.


That’s the number of stories newcomers Lavinia Simson had on this week’s shortlist. Splitting the difference with two nuanced tales of numbers in life. 10 Seconds encapsulated the end of one life in a creative and compelling fashion, with one judge remarking:

10 Seconds to live, feel joy and excitement and then a life is over. A very powerful story that was enhanced by the second play-by-play. The pace was perfect and I enjoyed the omniscient narrator popping into different characters’ thoughts.

While Two In The Morning looked at a connection that transcended our linear time. Here’s an excerpt:

“Why are you always talking about him?” he said one day.

“I don’t,” Amy protested.

“You do, you just don’t realize. It’s always what Jackson did, said, Jackson is so funny,” her husband said, getting in her face.

“We work together, that’s all.”

“I want you to quit.”


There can only be one winner. While there’s been plenty of new faces and prodigal sons on this week’s shortlist, our winner is one of NiTH’s most consistent authors. Congratulations to Sophie L Macdonald, who secured victory by several points with her Fibon-awesome Glitch:

People laughed at them at the time—we were all still talking about intelligent design versus a chain of happy accidents. They said that intelligent design was not impossible, but perhaps the gods were not the sort we think of up in Heaven, but us—people—in a parallel universe ahead of our own timeline.

Congratulations Sophie and well done to everyone involved. Up next, the final episode in our WOLVES Serial Award.