Several stories of possible genre interest made the shortlist for the Manchester Writing Competition, announced November 14, 2016.
Judge Nicholas Royle summarizes the stories:
“The God Quetzalcoatl Has Retired and Now Runs a Pub in North Manchester”, Michael Conley: The Mesoamerican god of wind and learning wakes up on the pool table of the Three Arrows pub and decides to stay and run the place.
“Sixteen Feet”, Erinna Mettler: A dog-walker finds a fisherman’s boot washed up on the beach. There’s something inside it. Something off-white, hard and knobbly.
“The Dark Instruments”, Laura Pocock: A man goes to out to his garage in the middle of the night to check on his tools and knives and whatever’s under that tarpaulin.
“Succubus”, Lucy Ribchester: A mechanic is killed in a street fight. The following morning, the taste of tequila in her mouth, Rebecca wakes up in bed next to him.
“The First Hard Rain”, Sophie Wellstood: Rachael joins her ex-husband and his mother to scatter her former father-in-law’s ashes over the M6: “It was his favourite motorway.”
“All This Concrete Beneath Your Feet”, D.W. Wilson: A man and his young son drive down the Alaskan Highway. Motels, diners and Mounties. What are they running from and where will they end up?
The competition, “designed to encourage new work and seek out the best creative writing from across the world,” includes £10,000 prizes and has both poetry and fiction categories. The winners will be honored in a ceremony on November 25, 2016 in Manchester. For the full shortlist, and to read the shortlisted works, see the official website.