I jumped at the chance. Me to discover new writing talent? Bring it on!
Now, with all five short stories being just under 1000 words long each, the extracts are quite short. Around 250 words. So a delicious appetiser!
Now, I was planning to not tell you anything about my extract it as, I want you guys to read it and all the others on other people's blogs!. But I've changed my mind! So, my extract is taken from Footprints in the Far Field by Reyah Martin, a short story that explores a mother's all consuming grief after the lost of a baby, explored by the child who is left behind.
If you're curious to read extracts or all five short stories, keep your eyes peeled on BBC.co.uk/ywa or follow the #BBCYWA on all the social media!
Now, over to the short extract to wet your appetite!!!
Footprints in the Far Field
My mother has no sameness. She pulls at days the way you pull at purl stitches, until the rows are tattered and undone, and nothing can be made. People come to see her – old friends and mothers and the doctor – and they are sorry. Sorry for her loss. Sorry for her heart. Sorry for all her broken pieces, shattered like mirrorglass. She thanks them and looks into the rain, the clatter on the windowpane battered about in the gale. They make her tea. She doesn’t drink it. They console her and squeeze her hand, kiss me on the head or put an arm around my shoulder. They smile and say it wasn’t meant to be. One day you will have your little girl but they know it’s not true. They do the things she can’t bear to: take away the cradle, give away the cardigans. Find someone who’ll take a dead baby’s shoes. They have to hold her back, kneading the pillows with their steady mothers’ hands.
They make her bed and help her in, dress and undress her like a doll. Tie her hair back, quick and careless. Their voices are soft. Hushing-shushing lullabies saved for darkness. They take time over the bed sheets, hanging up her dresses, closing the door to keep out the draught. They wait with her all day, a vigil at sunset, faces tight and pitying in the firelight.
- Reyah Martin is 18 years old and is from Glasgow. The pain of losing a baby is explored in ‘Footprints in the Far Field’ from the perspective of the child left behind in this evocative and moving portrayal of a mother’s all-consuming grief. An evocative and profoundly moving story.
- This is the fourth year of the BBC Young Writers’ Award which invites all 14 – 18 year olds living in the United Kingdom to submit short stories of up to 1,000 words. The Award was launched as part of the tenth anniversary celebrations for the BBC National Short Story Award and aims to inspire and encourage the next generation of writers.
- The five shortlisted writers will attend the exclusive BBC Short Story Awards ceremony on 2 October 2018 at Cambridge University, when the winner will be announced live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and they will have the chance to meet high-profile authors, publishers, agents and broadcasters at the award ceremony.
- The winning story will be available on the Radio 1 website after the award ceremony on Tuesday 2 October, and will be available to download on the Life Hacks podcast from Sunday 7 October at 6pm. The winner will also receive a personalised mentoring session with an author to enhance their writing skills.
- Follow the BBC Young Writer’s Award 2018 on Twitter: #BBCYWA #shortstories @BBCR1