By far one of the laziest entries of the year, outdone only by a 50-word entry which I’m now struggling to find. I entered this into the Fundación César Egido Serrano competition, which offers a whopping $20,000 prize for the winning 100 word entry. This year’s theme: anniversary of the word as a bond to humankind. So, obviously I wrote about farts.

Patterson and I struggle to talk to the kid. His English is bad and our Arabic is non-existent. We tiptoe around each other suspiciously for days in the claustrophobic desert heat until one night we’re packing up for…


I broke a rule with August’s entry. After determinedly trying to avoid entering the same competition twice, I was swayed by an alluring prompt from the big brain behind Zero Flash’s monthly competition. Horror in the 1980’s. How are you going to say ‘no’ to that?

July’s entry has not been published on Medium as it turns out that one’s not actually a competition loser…

“Hi” I say to the shy blonde with the owl-eyed glasses, standing alone in the corner of the room. …


June’s entry was for the Dragonfly Tea Short Story Competition, as part of the annual ultra-swanky Henley Literary Festival. I had to pay a whole £5 to enter and I still didn’t win or become famous. On the other hand, this was arguably one of my best stories of the year. It came from a deeply personal place and was extremely uncomfortable to write. But in a good way. And I’m… actually kind of proud of it.

Maybe I’m learning something from this stupid challenge after all.

Karen went to an aquarium with David, years ago. It was bigger than…


This was another entry I wasn’t completely in love with, although it’s still better, I think, than April’s attempt, the writing of which felt like masturbating with a blunt cheese-grater.

I wrote this, May’s entry, for Storgy’s Exit Earth competition. While I was initially worried I had poorly understood the brief, I have since seen that quite a few entries chose to go for a more pared down, intimate interpretation of the theme, instead of jumping to more explosive, apocalyptic conclusions.

Despite being in good company, given the chance and a halfway decent time-machine, I would actually do a more…


For April, I decided to try to write the longest story I’ve attempted so far, and to combine two disparate themes in a cheeky attempt to enter two short story competitions with… the same story! Those themes were 'Whispers' and ‘Dystopia’.

All in the same month I relocated from Oxford to Seattle for a year, which included finding a new apartment, proving I wasn’t a South African terrorist at the social security office, and working a full time job.

Needless to say, I bit off far more than I could chew and the result is a convoluted, post-apocalyptic regurgitation of…


My loss is your pain. This is my recent submission to the 1000 word challenge competition, which sadly, did not score me the £100 first prize I was gunning for. The challenge was to create a story using ‘Stop!’ as the opening line of dialogue.

The friend I asked to proof this for me seemed to like it a lot, which is nice, but still not quite £100.

“Stop!” she cried, a cake-laden paper plate in one hand, the other dramatically waving a teapot away from her cup. “That’s plenty for me, or I’ll spend the rest of my retirement…


The third story in my ’12 stories in 12 months’ challenge. This is a short fable inspired by some recent reading, and by the following prompt from Creative Writing Ink:

It’s half past eleven when they step out of the apartment and into the corridor. The vacuum of cold air and sudden silence make his breath sound loud as he appraises his partner. She’s older than she appeared inside, in the dim haze trance music, low conversations and cannabis smoke. She’s also stunningly beautiful. …


Fresh cranberries dot the white tablecloth like glossy drops of Hollywood-red nail varnish. Steaming biscuits tempt a nearby boat of thick, rich gravy, and a thin sheath of condensation sends an individual droplet trailing down the champagne bottle that leans jauntily from its custom created silver ice-bucket. The centerpiece, predictably, is a massively plump turkey. Its golden, crispy skin is stretched taut across the succulent flesh beneath.

The spread looks sufficiently spectacular. Most of it is inedible. Some of it is poisonous.

Janet, craned over the turkey, positions dried sprigs of thyme across the platter, trying hard to make them…


“The first one was in Tennessee, which is in the States. Everything starts in the States, it’s like we live eight years in the past. It’s always the guys in the big cities who get stuff first, like new computers, fancy fast food, clothes, shoes, movies, all that stuff. While all we do is just sit around and wait. It gets boring.

And there’s nothing out here either, it’s like the landscape is bored as well. Too bored to even make a mountain, or a nice big lake for swimming. It’s hot as hell here, so somewhere to swim would…


A submission for Writing Forums’ Literary Manoeuvres competition under the theme ‘Wrong House’. I came second in this! The judges said called it ‘rushed and cheesy’. Yes it was, and yes it was.

But still, second. So there.

There’s no room in the drive for the van, so the crew park in the street and carry their equipment onto the property, piece by piece. They take careful steps, like tightrope walkers, picking their way through the soggy piles of newspaper, weather-worn clothes, abandoned toys and wet clusters of garbage.

From the street, the smell is offensive, but as they near…

Jade Mitchell

I enter- and lose- a lot of short story competitions. Trying to enter 12 stories in 12 months. Read my blog here: www.jademitchellwriting.com

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