I am always delighted to receive an anthology containing my work. I still favour print publications – I think this is because of my love of books, and I believe this was a key reason that led me to writing.
It is particularly rewarding when the anthology is compiled of competition winning entries – in this case, the Bedford 2021 competition, consisting of both stories and poems.
This is the competition I won third prize in. It was judged by Patrick McGuinness and his comments on the judging process and results are included. I’ll quote what he says about my story in full:
‘A Gradual Thing, by Diana Powell, uses voice in a sophisticated way – pacing out its revelations and observations, and handling the build-up of a story in a subtle way. There was something poetic about this story, and about the way it chose its words so carefully – never pushing its effects too hard or too loudly, and always trusting the alert reader. The effect was of something serious and thoughtful, but always handled with a good sense of poise and narrative balance.’
Thank you, Prof. McGuinness, for your kind words. I am also going to quote his last remarks about writing in general: ‘If I have any advice for short story writers, it is the same advice I’d give any writer: first learn the rules, then start to bend them.’ One to remember!
Congratulations to the winners, and all other featured writers.
And thank you to the Bedford Competition organizers. The Competition donates to literacy projects, from the proceeds of the entries – an additional ‘plus’ to entering.