For the past twenty four hours a team of talented, highly trained monkeys has been busy collating the votes. All that remains is to announce the winner. Congratulations to:

Dharval Mehta

Dharval’s submission impressed us during the short list phase. The judges were also enamoured, with every judge assigning Beach Vacation points from their 3,2,1 pool.

Judges cited a lack of readership interaction as the only bad mark against an otherwise excellent submission. This really was a close tournament, with each of the other five entrants only a few points at most from Dharval’s score.

In no particular order, here’s some feedback from the judges on each of the other five submissions.

The Visitor by Helen Rose Schneider

The Visitor made the short list with its strong imagery. We are always keen to reward works that boldly challenge viewpoints. For a writer who is literally just starting out, Helen has a strong, assured voice, one she would do well to cultivate. The judges main concern was that the story was sometimes difficult to follow. Perhaps another go round the editorial phase. We look forward to seeing Schneider develop as a writer, and look forward to future submissions.

So It Begins by Jason Fink.

Jason’s story is a breeze to read, an important criteria for making the short list. The judges felt that it was a great concept that perhaps needed slightly better execution. Some had trouble with the internal voice of the protagonist being so mature given his age (readers included), others thought it was appropriate. The ending also split opinion. Overall another strong submission from Fink, who is surely not far away from his first win.

Suicidal Screams by Holly Riordan

Since we received Holly’s submission there has been some fairly intense debate over it. Some of us loved the story. It is honest, challenging and raw yet manages to avoid being a diatribe. Others felt it was melodramatic. Perhaps that’s not a bad thing though, given the types of fiction gaining traction these days. There will always be a market for the emotionally charged voice. We hope Holly doesn’t forget that as she continues to write and improve.

Pool Parties In Venice by Tashiina Buswa

Another great submission, and very popular amongst the readership. We loved the title, and we loved the presence of multiple characters, something not every writer can pull off in under 1000 words. The judges thought that the message behind the story could have been expressed better. That’s not to criticise the message itself, but to encourage Tashiina to explore the greyer areas of her characters motivations. ‘More sympathy for the teacher, please.’ one judge was heard to remark. That said, we applaud her direction, and hope she continues to tackle important social themes as a writer.

The Interview by Cassie Kosarek

The Interview came very close to taking out the award. The judges admired the subtle treatment of the theme, and the use of contrast through the story, something that shows confidence from the writer. The piece was heavy on narration, where perhaps the judges wanted to see the the characters ‘speak for themselves.’ Overall though, we are sure Cassie is proud of her submission, and its reception amongst the readership.


A big thank you to all our entrants. The ROSA was our first ‘big’ award and it was great to see such quality submissions coming through.  All our short list are eligible for the MAYAN INVITATIONAL later in the month, so we’re hoping for big things from all of them in the near future.


– The Ed