The DALLAS LAWYERS CLUB Short Story Contest saw three writers go head to head on what proved to be a tightly contested competition shortlist. This was, without doubt, a difficult writing prompt. We’ve tried to contact everyone who didn’t make it with what we think is valuable feedback, but if you are looking for something a little more detailed, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.
We’ll kick off this week’s contest winner announcement with feedback from one judge before congratulating our winner.
For this week’s feedback we asked judge Kay what they thought about irony, and if they thought the short stories on this week’s shortlist were capable in their approach to the brief:
“Write a film treatment / synposis / brief about a film in which the characters have no sense of irony.”
Personally I think the brief concept is a little flawed and originally didn’t want to judge on this award. Having “no sense of irony” is subjective. “Being ironic” is a good way of getting out of what you may have really meant.
But then again I can also appreciate that every situation, indeed every person has the potential for contradiction and that is a form of irony.
Interpreting from the brief, which basically name checks Dallas Buyers Club as it’s title, plus having a ‘film company’ be the antagonist, makes it pretty clear what the original irony is, Dallas Lawyers Club, a film about people who can’t access what they want so they seek it out ‘illegally’, suing downloaders who do the exact same thing.
Whether someone can use that for a good short story is another thing.
SNAFU showed us allegorical irony between the individual characters writ large as political and cultural issues. IN COUNTRY had this kind of self depreciating humour as it’s backbone where the two American characters were both fascinated by Paris but the irony is they are only there to make a very American film.
THE PILOT AND THE SCREENWRITER was, well for me at least, my interpretation was that the whole brief was this deeply earnest attempt by the ‘author-within-the-story’ to write something ‘Hollywood’ but ultimately unable to keep their own desires and identity off the script. It was interesting because there is nothing outside of the script, whereas the other stories referenced the script in different ways. That made ‘PILOT’ really open to interpretation I think.
Contest Winner Announcement
Thanks to Judge Kay and all the judges who volunteered this week. If you’d like to join the judging panel send an email to nithwritingcomp (@) gmail.com and let us know, it’s always nice to have fresh minds lending their ideas and opinions.
On to the contest winner announcement
This week’s winner made it past the post by a mere point, but that should speak to the quality of the competition Moir than anything else. Bringing a new spin on the classic romance in Paris, please congratulate Jenny Aspen for her wonderful first time entry, IN COUNTRY.
Jenny showed us some great dialogue and a flowing, easy going narrative style that is well suited to short form writing. Congratulations Jenny and we’ll done to both Joey To and our other first timer this week, Jana Winston. Both authors finished neck and neck only a point behind Jenny.
Coming up next we have the ROMANCING THE STONE short list. Looking forward to what people have come up for that one!
– Talia McBride