Hi, my name is Emily, a final year BA English student and I am part of the long-listing team for this year’s Fresher Writing competition. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been flipping through the pages of some incredible short stories and first 500 words of novels that showcase writers’ talents from across the globe. There have been stories exploring everything from talking trees, to marital relationships, criminal mysteries to the classic happy ending. As a final year thinking about my career aspirations, it’s been great to gain a little more understanding about how a competition like this works. With a desire to work in the publishing industry, being able to read such a mixture of texts has been a fantastic opportunity! At our weekly meetings, the team have discussed the power and originality of the plot, writing style, creation of a distinctive voice and characterisation as well as issues such as suitability for the audience, everything that can make a story worthy of going into the shortlist, all under the supervision of professionals. It has been intriguing to see the variety of entries we’ve received but the best thing for me about a story is whether it immerses me in another person’s world and makes me want to read on. If I find myself flicking over the page in a rush to read what happens next, then it’s a great story for me!
I look forward to reading the next batch of stories so you can all enjoy them too in Fresher’s next compendium!