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Witchy winners all

Congratulations to the winners in the final line-up for the prestigious write-a-witch awards

By Raymond G. TaylorPublished 25 days ago 3 min read
8
The Wicked Witch of the West, played by Margaret Hamilton in the Wizard of Oz

Without further ado, I am delighted to announce the award winners in the write-a-witch challenge. Each of the following six finalists has won a cash prize and an accolade for their brilliant efforts at creating an original new witch character and writing a story or poem around them. That's all there was to it.

Full details of the awards are available here: Write-a-witch awards

Needless to say the quality of these six entries was very high and the job of judging the winners was truly difficult.

Key criteria for judging the awards are listed here

A thousand thanks to all who entered and those who read and commented on the stories

First prize

The overall winner in these awards is Dana Stewart for her entry Hocus focus: a book of love spells for the novice witch. This story had everything. A catchy title matched by an irresistible set up. Strong, original, believable MC who we could all root for, well structured story, well paced, and plenty of emotional impact. Who wouldn't fall for the spell of a bumbling novice witch trying to enchant the love of her life. What could possible go wrong? Everything, apparently, from the moment that lock of hair was snatched from the barber shop. Fun, fantastic, fabulous are just three of the adjectives used to commend this short-story masterpiece.

Congratulations and well done on your prize, Dana, already a top story for October and let's hope you also pick up an award in the Vocal Under a Spell Challenge. Really well done!

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Second prize

Spooky and scary were not requirements of this challenge but Stephanie Hoogstad's The Witch of the Thirteen Crows certainly had its fair share, which helped to establish a strong story and rivetting read. The 'empathy witch' was certainly an original approach and powerful enough to engage the reader in an emotional roller-coaster. Good witch, bad witch? It was hard to tell at first and readers were immediately drawn into the sometimes disturbing narrative with its punchy climax and conclusion. A must-read, if you haven't already done so.

Congratulations, Stephanie, on your well-deserved second place prize.

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Third prize

No ordinary book club gathering, Kayleigh Fraser's The book club is a powerful, reality-based tale of spelling for wrath. No, not love or world peace, but revenge against an abusive husband. Must be read to be believed.

Congratulations, Kayleigh.

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Runner up prizes

In no particular order, the three runner up prizes go to:

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Congratulations to all the winners. Prize monies will be paid as 'tips' over the next few days.

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To enter the challenge, a story had to be posted to any Vocal community and then linked to the write-a-witch awards page. It had to have a witch as the central character and existing entries to the "under a spell" or any other (or no) challenge were accepted. The rules were, in the spirit of the PotC Pirate Code, more guidelines than actual rules. Creativity trumped formality.

Criteria in brief

  • Strong (well-defined in the narrative) central character who is a witch or any kind, any gender, human or not
  • Originality of the main character / protagonist
  • Believability/coherence of the MC (however fantastical they may be)
  • Engaging MC, whether a 'good witch' or a 'bad witch'
  • Well-written, well-structured story (beginning, middle, end, etc.)
  • Literary merit, as such, was not a criterion other than the extent that it contributed to meeting the other criteria
  • Emotional impact was a key criterion as it should be in any artistic endeavour, perhaps the most important measure of artistic success.

I hope you enjoyed the challenge and good luck to all who also entered Under a Spell.

Ray

Challenge
8

About the Creator

Raymond G. Taylor

Author based in Kent, England. A writer of fictional short stories in a wide range of genres, he has been a non-fiction writer since the 1980s. Non-fiction subjects include art, history, technology, business, law, and the human condition.

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Comments (8)

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  • Lamar Wiggins14 days ago

    Awesome!!! Loved your challenge. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish my entry, but will save the draft and eventually turn it into something else.

  • Thank you so much for organising the challenge. I’m so happy to see my name on your top three 🩷 What a wonderful surprise. I look forward to reading the other stories soon (I hope) 😇🤍🙏

  • Chloe Gilholy24 days ago

    Congrats everyone happy mine is up there too.

  • Dana Stewart24 days ago

    Thanks Raymond for a fun challenge and prompt! Always nice to read compliments on my work, so thank you for that too. Looking forward to getting back to my TBR list - NaNoWriMo is getting my full attention this month. Congratulations everyone!

  • Mark Graham24 days ago

    Way to go, y'all!

  • Canuck Scriber24 days ago

    Awesome recognition. Happy to subscribe to your work.

  • Wooohooooo congratulations to all the winners! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Judey Kalchik 24 days ago

    Thank you for this fun challenge- and congratulations to Dana and all the winners!

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