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Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Guardian summer holiday travel writing competition: the winners are announced!

The Guardian summer holiday travel writing competition winners have been announced and you can read the best 50 stories - five winners and 45 runner-ups - on the paper's website. 1300 stories were submitted. I actually expected they might have received more entries. Perhaps the thought of an editor cutting the stories from 500 to 100 words was too much for some? The winners included Blue Spanish Skies, a tale about hiking in Mallorca, Bathing by Numbers, about a beach holiday in Croatia, and Moor the Merrier, about a boating trip on the Thames. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading the winning stories, I must admit I found the edited entries a tad frustrating to read - sometimes it was as if the narrative was just beginning to engage and then they were cut short (funny about that), while at other times they simply made no sense, as if a chunk was missing from the middle. I can understand why the Guardian wouldn't publish the full pieces in the paper version of the newspaper, but I'm not quite sure what the point was in editing them for the website. I'd love to read them in their entirety. What did you think?

These guys? They're in a back street of the medina in Marrakesh. Arguing over which story they liked best no doubt.


Erica said...

Thanks for mentioning this. I didn't know about the Guardian's summer contest. Will head over and read the winning entries at once!

laradunston said...

HI Erica - yes, the winning entries are very engaging but the others are an interesting read (probably due to the 400 words lost from each one) - let me know what you think!

Erica said...

My favorite is the winning entry from Mallorca in the adventure category. It had a great beginning and ending, the other winning entries also drew me into the story.

Of the other entries I especially liked Join the circus in St Tropez and The Singing Baker in Tuscany, would have loved to read the full stories. Some of the edited entries felt unfinished, jumped from one part to another, as you wrote they made no sense. I don't see the point of editing these stories online either. Other than that, no complains. I enjoyed reading the stories.