Bay Tales Christmas Short Story Winners

We had an amazing response to our second annual Christmas Short Story Competition. Our judging panel, consisting of Lesley Kara, Lauren North, Derek Farrell and Louise Mangos convened on Sunday and we discussed the entries long and hard before ultimately deciding on our winner and two honourable mentions.

It wasn’t easy – the strength of stories submitted were of a very high standard, but eventually after a bit of arguing, fighting, threats and…well, let’s just say it got as heated as mulled wine… we decided on our 2021 story.


God Rest Ye – Edward Barnfield 

What our judging panel said:

  • “This is strong. Definitely Christmas. Good dialogue and scene setting. Nicely drawn characters in short space.”
  • “I immediately engaged with this multitude of characters, a challenge to write in a story so short. I could easily visualize this scene in the pub. The dialogue is great, reminiscent of a Graham Swift novel.”
  • “Really enjoyed this story. Great ending. Really well written.”
  • “ABSOLUTE GENIUS! Small, quiet, tense, and then BANG!”

Read Edward’s winning entry by clicking on the link below.

God Rest Ye – Edward Barnfield

Not all Christmas reunions are festive frolics…


James Ellson –

Roisin’s Christmas Party

What our judging panel said:

  • “Kept me in suspense to the very end. An original story. Bold use of second-person. Very distinctive voice. Clever ending. The story took me somewhere I wasn’t expecting. Christmas theme threaded through nicely.”
  • “This is amazingly tight, tense writing.”
  • “Great story which actually gets better and better as it proceeds. The voice and the milieu are really fresh and the punchline is wonderfully dark and yet has a strange sort of optimism to it.”

Roisin’s Christmas Party – James Ellson

Not all surprise parties are welcome..

Caron McKinlay – Maude

What our judging panel said:

  • “I liked the premise and although I was pretty sure (redacted)… I liked the use of (redacted) and the (redacted)”
  • “I liked the fact that this tale took an unexpected turn, perhaps believing that (redacted)”
  • “A disturbing story with a clever twist.”
  • “Brilliantly written. Loved the twist!!!”
  • “BRILLIANT. Dark, tightly drawn, and with a lovely twist that I did not see coming. Bravo to this writer – I can think of nothing I would change in this story.”

Maude – Caron Mckinlay

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished…

Thank you to our judges, and to ALL our competition entrants – we were so impressed with the quality of stories we received and wish you all a Merry Christmas, and the very best of luck with your writing in 2022!

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