Blog Archives

2018 Feature Writing Competition Shortlist

April 23rd 2018

COMPETITION SHORTLIST: The THRESHOLDS International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition is now in its seventh year – celebrating all that the short story form has to offer and awarding one deserving essayist the top prize of £500…

Don’t You?

April 19th 2017

In this essay, shortlisted for the 2017 THRESHOLDS International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition, MORGAN OMOTOYE is reminded of the power of the short story in Jennifer Egan’s ‘Why China?’: ‘While reading ‘Why China?’ I was a sad-sack stock trader, a sculptor, a globe trotting criminal, an ‘Asian woman in a collegiate headband’ and a twelve-year-old girl. Egan’s skill lies in presenting the immediacy of these lives in moments of duress and transformation. While I read there were no walls, no borders, no barriers between what these characters made me feel and think. I was me and also not only me…’

Beings Charged With Violence

April 17th 2017

In this essay, shortlisted for the 2017 THRESHOLDS International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition, SEAN BAKER finds the ‘country noir’ in Daniel Woodrell’s collection The Outlaw Album: ‘Daniel Woodrell could be said to be America’s best-kept secret, its greatest writer no one has ever heard of. Tell anyone that your favourite writer is Daniel Woodrell, and you are met with a blank face … But mention WINTER’S BONE to most people and you get an “Ohhhh” of recognition as they recall the 2010 Oscar-nominated film starring Jennifer Lawrence pre-Hunger Games mega-fame. Point out that it’s actually based on a Daniel Woodrell novel of the same name and their faces register something approaching interest and a promise to check out the book…’

Under the Plexiglass Ceiling

April 20th 2016

In this essay, shortlisted for the 2016 Feature Writing Competition, JONATHAN PINNOCK and his ‘mentor’ discuss the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges: ‘In all my years of reading critiques of Borges’s work, I have yet to come across a single piece of straight prose. Without exception, every single writer has, for better or worse, succumbed to the siren call of pastiche…’

An Epiphany in the Company of Alice Munro

April 13th 2016

MARY O’DONNELL, runner-up in the 2016 Feature Writing Competition, experiences a change of heart after reading Alice Munro’s ‘Family Furnishings’: ‘At times, I have struggled with what I regarded as tonally monotonous accounts of life in southwestern Ontario, where the author grew up … But, finally, ‘Family Furnishings’ has embedded itself after several readings like a ring shank masonry nail in a particularly unyielding piece of wood (me)…’

2016 Competition Winner

April 8th 2016

FIRST PLACE: ‘The Iron Which Pierces the Heart’ by ALEX COULTON – the winning essay in the 2016 THRESHOLDS International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition…

2016 International Feature Writing Competition Shortlist

April 1st 2016

The THRESHOLDS International Feature Writing Competition is now in its fifth year – celebrating all that the short story form has to offer and awarding one deserving essayist the top prize of £500…

From One’s Own Perspective

June 22nd 2015

SUSMITA BHATTACHARYA makes a connection with ‘Rowing to Eden’ by Amy Bloom: ‘What makes me connect to this particular story is the absence of any sentimentality or bleakness. This is a study of human relationships in the face of problems. There is a coldness of facts, and yet the tongue-in-cheek observations of the cancer patient and her carers often produce a mental chuckle…’

Rediscovering the Deep South

June 17th 2015

RICHARD BUXTON, runner-up in the 2015 Thresholds Competition, rediscovers the American South through the stories of Tim Gautreaux’s collection Waiting for the Evening News: ‘These stories are replete with his love and understanding of his home…’

Nothing is the way it used to be, yet everything is like before

June 15th 2015

DAN POWELL, runner-up in the Thresholds Competition, considers the themes of Norwegian author Kjell Askildsen’s short stories: ‘The map of Askildsen’s fictional world is adorned with warnings: here be minimalism, repetition, variation and precise, stark prose. His stories, like his sentences, allow no clutter…’

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