Competitions nos 55A and 55B: results

Humbert Wolfe admits dropping himself in it with the first of these (the judges have been indulging a great deal of mea culpa of late). Having asked for a rhymed poem of not more than 20 lines, beginning ”You too at midnight suddenly awaking’, he has unleashed upon himself ‘ecstasies of sentimentality … if all the broken hearts among Week-end Review competitors were placed in a row, the last Trumpet would be instantly blown’. One competitor, Isabel Radcliffe, is told she nearly won but was ‘a little too Talbot Baines Reed’ (Reed was a Boys’ Own Paper writer, whose output included The Fifth Form At St. Dominic’s). Another competitor writes ‘with vigour’ of ‘Mary Stuart to Darnley’ (sic), but is not chosen. He is T.E.Casson.

The winners are Issachar and S.:

WR Comp 55

With all due respect to 1930s competitors, contemporary equivalents could have done 55B in their sleep. A short story of 300 – yes, 300! and the point is that that’s a lot! – words is asked for, which has to include the words solipsism, ludo, sundials, morticians, and ectoplasm. That’s five words. A modern version would ask for ten specified words in a total of 150 , or else within 16 lines. The winners are G.M.Gloag and H.C.M., the latter having had the ‘notion of working it in by crosswords’. Competitors looking back will recognise this as verging on cheating …

WR Comp 55a

WR Comp 55b

It is with a mixture of regret and a certain sense of inevitability that I report that one competitor alleged to have written a ‘neat’ story but of having made it ‘too easy’ by choosing a conversation with a philosophy tutor, is T.E.Casson.


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