Results - Slush Pile Challenge April 2015

This challenge was set by Julia Churchill of A M Heath. 


 A story asks and answers these questions: Who is this person, what is it they want and how do they achieve it?
I'm looking for a DNA fragment. I'd like to read a paragraph or two in the voice of your main character about what it is they want most in the world and why. It doesn't need to give much away, or it can give it all. 

We received a whopping over 15 entries and we sent them all to Julia anonymously. Normally judges are sent only 15 entries randomly chosen - but Julia agreed to read all of the entries.

Here's what Julia said about the nuggets of DNA fragment that were sent to her.

There were some beautifully written samples, but they didn't give much away about the character. 

I was looking for insight on who they are and what they are searching for.

And in fact, my winner, Quicksand, doesn't give much away, and that's why I like it. 

It's subtle, and asks questions.

What is the relationship like? Is he controlling? He certainly sounds in control. 

Why are they going to see each other only one more time? 

She thinks of him as soon as she wakes. Her first act is to check her phone for his message. Her first plan is to work out how she can get to him. 

There's a lot packed in here about the excitement of falling in love, and I think we'll all recognise this feeling of one person pulling into focus.

Congratulations to Jennifer Burkinshaw for penning an intriguing DNA fragment of her character and impressing Julia.

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition. We all know how difficult it is to capture your character in a short passage. Good luck and keep entering more competitions. The next one is in July 2015.

Chitra has published over 20 books in Singapore, UK, USA and India. She loves writing picture books and retelling folktales. Her picture book Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market was released in India in November 2014 and she is currently working on a 7+ book for Walker Books. 

You can find out more at Chitra is a member of the Words & Pictures' editorial team, managing The Slush Pile Challenge for Writers.


  1. Well done, Jennifer! And thank you to Julia, too :-)

  2. Thank you Julia for fitting this in in your busy schedule. Congratulations to Jennifer.


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