Code red

20 Nov

The gremlins have multiplied – meaning that we’re unable to continue the 247tales competition for 2013. Thank you to everyone who took part this year!

We hope to come back in Spring 2014 with a brand new set of mini-masterpiece challenges.

Breaking news

13 Sep

Due to gremlins in the system we are unable to run the September 247tales competition. We’re really sorry about this but will be back with the October competition. Winners and runners-up from The Star competition will be announced then. 

A stellar theme for August’s competition!

9 Aug

The theme for August 2013 is The Star. We can’t wait to see your entries! Normal guidelines apply as stated here.

Here’s a brilliant author story for inspiration:

The Star by Helen Douglas by Helen Douglas (August 2013)

Everyone else is looking at the sky. I’m looking at the corner of Pond Street, waiting for Ben. He always comes at seven, his skateboard tucked under one arm.

He doesn’t know I exist.

It’s been eight weeks since the last ship left for the new world. Ben’s girlfriend is on one of them.
There aren’t many of us left. We have new rituals, new superstitions. We wake early, opening our curtains to check the sunrise. At sundown we gather in parks to watch the red rays of sunset scorch the sky.

The children come out first. They spin on the roundabout, kick back on the swings, their eyes fixed on the sky. The last to come are the old folks. They bring buckets of popcorn and sit on park benches as though they’re at the movies, watching some blockbuster rather than the dying days of our sun.

Ben appears then. He pauses, not heading to the half-pipe as usual. Instead he flops into the swing next to mine.

“Hey,” he says.

I try to keep my voice steady. “Hey.”

We swing in silence.

“Do you know which star they’re heading towards?” I ask, eventually.

He points. “That one.”

“I wonder how they are.”

His hand brushes against mine. “I don’t see the point of thinking about the people that left us behind. Do you?’ He smiles.

Nobody knows how long we have left. Months? Days maybe.

But right now, I have everything I could ever want.

Winning story announced for July

9 Aug

We have a winner for July’s competition: The School! Many congratulations to the talented Lotte Neil. You can read the winning entry here, and the runners up here.

Here’s how our judges described Lotte’s story:

“Lotte’s story was a brilliant one-sided conversation, that we are sure many kids at school experience. Her story had a believable voice that dripped with hidden threats and menace. Very cleverly done.” 

Well done to all that entered!

The School by Emerald Fennell – July 2013 author story

19 Jul

Things have been hectic at 247 towers this month, but the competition for July is very much open and we’d love to see your entries!

Check out this month’s author story for inspiration:

The School by Emerald Fennell (July 2013)

The School wasn’t really a school exactly, was it, Paul? No. It was more of a…experience. Sorry, ‘an experience’. Thanks, Paul. Paul was always better at grammar that I was, and as I say, The School didn’t really teach us things like that, they didn’t really bother with all that spelling and arithmetic malarkey. Classes were a lot more unusual than that. If ‘unusual’ covers it. No, no geography for us, though they did teach us to use a compass, of course, couldn’t have done half our homework without the compass. And anatomy too, no point killing something if you don’t know which bits you can eat! And of course there was the darker stuff… well, I don’t need to tell you, do I? You know what happened.

I didn’t know Jimmy, actually. He was a few years below. Nice boy, I think, certainly seemed nice a nice lad, anyway. But then, The School did odd things to your perception, we used to joke that they put things in the water. Poor Jimmy. When I read it in the papers, I wasn’t surprised. You weren’t surprised either were you, Paul? I mean, what do you expect really? We were all orphans, we didn’t have anyone to tell us any different, no parents to tell us that it was all wrong, that what they were teaching us there was…well, evil, really, I suppose. Poor Jimmy. He didn’t know any better. He was only doing what he was taught.

Winning story announced for June!

19 Jul

June’s chase themed competition brought in an astonishing crop of fantastic writing!

But only one can win. Our judges said this month, ‘Kieran’s story had real impact and heart at the centre of its theme. It was a chase that we thought many people could relate to and encapsulated a lot of emotion in very few words..’ Well done Kieran! Check out this brilliant tale here.

You can also read the entries of our talented runners-up here. We hope these help inspire another round of nail-biting entries!

The Chase by Elen Caldecott – June 2013 author story

4 Jun

Emir saw Death the second the tall, pale man stepped off the number 52 bus. Exactly as the Psychic had predicted. Sometimes, her tea-leaves were wrong and Emir would be sent on a wild goose chase across London, looking for visions of doom and finding only harassed commuters.

But today, she was right.

Death, in his pinstripe suit, looked like any other businessman who hadn’t seen the sun for a while; if it weren’t for the fact that he hovered a centimetre above the ground. His polished black brogues never touched the pavement.

Emir knew where Death was headed. A girl with a fever, in a flat above the estate agent. The tea-leaves had said ‘the seller of plots’ which was a bit poetic for Emir’s taste, but the directions were clear enough.

Death walked past crawling traffic. Past shop fronts bursting with produce, honey pastries glistened wetly, the scent of ripe tomatoes mingled with fumes.

Emir followed. He hung the Eye of Horus around his neck. The charm his grandmother had given him on the day she explained his mission.

Death stopped at the agent’s door. He reached into his waistcoat pocket and pulled out a key.

‘Hey!’ Emir yelled.

Death’s eyes narrowed. ‘You,’ he sneered.

‘You can’t take her!’ Emir said, more bravely that he felt. The Eye of Horus glowed.

Death stepped back, a look of fury on his face. ‘Keep her. But, I’ve had enough of your interfering. Time to run, Emir, run.’

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