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Creative Writing Club students have their short stories published

5 February, 2016

Kings Oxford's Latoya Van Der Meer shares some of the highlights from last term's creative writing programme, including the success of two talented students in a national Spine Chillers short story competition.

At the beginning of the academic year the enrichment activities took off. For the first time we were running a creative writing programme, which after a few weeks had six enthusiastic students following a course that explored plot structure, characterisation, time and place. Through various writing games, and an inspirational visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, students developed their ideas and began to write short tidbits.

In November, the enrichment evening was a great success with the creative writing group having their audience write short six word stories. The students prepared various examples for their audi-ence such as: ‘His stubbornness gave birth to failure’, ‘A potato reincarnated into a tomato’, ‘Under no circumstances let them leave!’ and ‘A kiss, a bite, a death.’ The audience indulged by creating silly examples themselves and we all had a great time.

This takes us to the end of November when an invitation inadvertently fell into my lap for the Spine Chillers short story competition run by the Young Writers Foundation. The task was to write a short horror story limited to 100 words by students under the age of 18. Two of our students, Elene Chivadze and Akerke Makhmud, immediately had ideas and soon came to realise that fitting a story into 100 words is a real challenge. They worked hard at home and we spent some time together to help edit and polish their stories so that they were ready for submission by the deadline of the 24th of December.

Both students are to be congratulated as it has just been announced that they will be published as part of an anthology in Spine Chillers Midnight Madness. This book, containing their short stories, will be published in April and distributed to the British Library and various other libraries around the UK. What an achievement! As the students retain their copyright they have been kind enough to share their stories with us. So without further ado, here they are. Enjoy.

Elevator For The Deceased
by Elene Chivadze

Stepping into the hospital elevator I greeted the woman next to me. She looked up and smiled.
When the doors began to close I saw him. His face seemed familiar. Accusingly, he began to open his robe revealing black sutures across his chest. My sutures. My insides twisted and I gagged. Hast-ily, I took a step back and the elevator began to move. The woman turned to look at me.

‘Tha-a-at was the man I just operated on. His black wristband, it’s for the deceased.’

The woman wasn't taken aback, without fidgeting she lifted up her wrist.

‘Something like this?’

At Night He Comes
by Akerke Makhmud

Sleep beckoned, but was interrupted by a breeze crawling down my neck. An open window? No. My bedroom door creaked. I wanted to roll over but couldn't, feeling his dark eyes boring holes into my back. I started mouthing the words "please leave" over and over again, hugging my knees closer to my chest, but knew that he wouldn't. I tried to convince myself he wasn't there. For a moment things were still, giving me hope. Then his icy hand touched my shoulder, and once again filthy lips whispered shameful things enticing me to let him in.