My real birthday cake!

Hello lovely peeps and thank you so much for all the wonderful good wishes for my birthday and most importantly for your generosity in crafting all the forty word stories.

I now have the pleasure of announcing the winners from the following shortlist.


(in no particular order)

Ed Hickey: The woman took the chalk…

Anne Tyler Lord: Seize. Chains…

Darla: “He thrusts his fists…”

Lady Scribbles: A ghost agreed to be photographed..

Roma Diaz: Entering the raucous party…

Helen Williams: Cold to his aching bones…

Rebecca: As the red mist cleared…

Jane Travers: Her toes curl around the lip…

Barbara Scully: Excited chirping from the nest…

I really wanted to say in a heartfelt way and honestly that there was little to distinguish the final entrants from each other and that I loved so many of the entries. In the end I went with those that struck me on first reading and also lingered longest. I chose Anne as the winner because her piece resonated on many levels including its structure. Well done to you all and thanks again for participating! Can the winners please email me their addresses in order to receive your prizes. Email alison@brierwell dot com


Anne Tyler Lord

Runners up

Helen Budgey

Ed Hickey


First entrant prize:

Barbara Scully

Winning entries

Anne Tyler Lord:

Chains and shackle the monsters, so
Screams of terror subside, as
Breaks and sun evaporates horrors of regret, revealing
Children in cages and all whine turned to wine, as
Wishes are granted by magic serpentine.

Helen Budgey

Cold to his aching bones. Body juddering, fingers and toes numb. Daggers of icy air piercing his lungs, breath ripped away by the freezing blizzard. Behind him, a warm sleeping bag. But today he was going to reach the summit.

Ed Hickey

The woman took the chalk and began to write her life’s story on the wall. The chalk wore down to a nub, then vanished, her work unfinished; she sighed. But in the box were more sticks for her to use.


“He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.”

The stuttering boy’s vocal exercise ran through the nervous man’s mind like a mantra. He could do this. He knew his presentation. He needed the promotion.

8 thoughts on “THE FORTY WORD – Winners

  1. Sharon Wells

    Congratulations to Anne. I’m Alison’s sister and will be making your prize. What colours would you like your prize journal book cover to be?

    Anyone else interested in ordering one can contact me at to discuss size, colour, price and delivery etc.

  2. Alison,

    Thanks you so much. I am deeply humbled. There are great entries in your contest and I enjoyed reading them all. You indeed had a hard choice.

    Congrats to everyone – we all won because we love Alison and wanted to do something special for her birthday!!

  3. Pingback: Beautiful Felt Art for Writers | Don't Fence Me In

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