Introducing the Judges: Bodies


Hello readers.  Pleased to announce that Sarah Cedeno, from Animal (A “beast” of a literary magazine, we hear) will be judging the Bodies themed prize.  We can give you the low down on Sarah in a second but, before we do, let’s just quickly remind ourselves that we have two themes currently still open for submissions: Escape and Faith.  Reminded?  Me too.  Great.

Anyway, you want to know about Sarah.  She’s the Fiction Editor at Animal, as well as being the Editor-In-Chief at The Pitkin Review.  The other great thing is she’s also a writer with a string of credits.  You can find out more about her (and, let’s face it, why wouldn’t you) on her blog…  including her ambivalent attitude towards wine, sleeping habits, and a cryptic suggestion that she may be a able to travel through time, inhabiting other people’s bodies like that guy in Quantuum Leap.  I’m not sure we have any info about the dog, so we’re guessing she might have borrowed it for the photo shoot.  The only thing we can say for sure is that it is not Scamp, The Red Line’s very own fictional hero dog who prevented the end of the world last year.

Anyway, Sarah’s going to be laying down the law on your writing shortly, if you made it to the short-list.  If not, have another go!  We offer her our thanks and wish her well.

Bodies: Short List Announced


You have been patient with us, so it’s now time to reward that patience.  We have whittled the short list down to five stories that are now available here.

We have some honourable mentions as well this time.  Karen Lin, previously short listed for the Power issue, wrote a stomach-turning account of a young woman turned into sushi, although we felt that this was a bit graphic without much of a story around it to justify the horror.  Gill Tennant, Atar Hadari, and Barbara Biles also wrote solid stories that made it onto our long list but just lacked something special to really set them apart.

I hope that you enjoy the five stories that we did pick.  As always the names of the judges will be up on the site before too long, and in about six weeks we will announce a winner from the selection that we have made.

Money: Winner Announced


After deliberating in separate rooms of their own home, the LaBounty family, publishers of numerous working class fiction titles (including Workers Write!), have selected the winner of the Red Line: Money issue.  Their feedback is contained in the latest Issuu reader version of the magazine, along with the stories, and the usual Editorial guff.  That would be here.

It was a pretty stand out winner as far as they were concerned, so congratulations to Gwendolen Walker.

Next Theme: Faith


The deadline for Bodies has now passed.  I’m afraid we won’t be reading anything received after midnight on the 28th Feb (GMT).  Delighted to see we have more submissions than ever before, so we’ll be getting back to you with a short list and some judges shortly.  We are also very chuffed that have received the name of the winner for the Money issue, and will be collating the feedback and stories for publication on the site this coming weekend.

In the meantime we are still accepting for Escape, and can announce our next theme: Faith.

What do you have faith in?  God/Allah, your parents, a political system, the love of your partner or friends, or maybe nothing at all?  Faith is a fundamental part of why we do what we do and almost every action we make demands that we have faith in something; you wouldn’t sit down if you didn’t have faith that there was a chair there, and faith that it would support your weight.  Unless you are a professional clown, or sitting on the floor, I suppose… But hopefully you get the point.  We are looking for stories that examine belief in something, as well as the positive and negative consequences that might arise from that belief.  You have until the end of June to get in your stories of up to 3,500 words.

As always, please make sure you pay attention to the submission guidelines here.

Best of the Year 2013


BOTY 2013 Cover

It is with a great sense of satisfaction that we can announce that our Best of the Year 2013 Edition is now available to read and download for free on our Issues page.  The 2013 Edition contains all of the winning stories from the first six themed competitions as well as six Editor’s picks.  Gradually we have sieved around three hundred stories received in 2013 down to twelve.

It is readable, as always, in Issuu.  Also, we have provided a link where you can download the 2013 Edition for FREE in a PDF format.  After that you can do whatever you like with it, as long as you keep it in it’s original format.  Just click on the image to access our Issues page, or select it from the menu at the top of the site.

We hope that you enjoy it.

Money Short List Announced


Thank you all for your patience.  We are delighted to announce that we have now whittled the ever-increasing number of stories down to six for this issue.  David LaBounty sits poised, ready to direct his thumb upwards for approval, or downward for an early death on the colosseum floor.  You can join him in praise or condemnation by reading the stories here.

In the meantime, rest assured we are beavering away on the best of 2013 issue for general consumption in the next couple of weeks.  Like the competition it will be FREE and you can download in pdf and distribute to as many people as you like.  Or not.  It’s entirely up to you.  See what we did there?

In the meantime Bodies and Escape are the current open issues, so if you didn’t make it onto the Money short list you’ve got one and three months respectively to meet the next challenges.

Introducing the Judges: Money

Two boys reading outdoors

The deadline is past and the short-list will be up soon, but in the meantime we can take a look at the judges of the Money themed issue.

For the Money theme we thought it to have an editor who specializes in nurturing and publishing working class fiction.  So we will be turning to, David LaBounty, the editor of Workers Write! for analysis.  Founded in 2005, Workers Write! is an annual literary journal that collects the stories and poems about jobs that define who we are as individuals and communities. For almost ten years, Workers Write! has been an important voice in working class literature.  We are looking forward to introducing a bit of a working class angle on our Money themed stories.

David LaBounty is an editor by day and a playwright by night. His plays have appeared on stages both large and small, and with his wife, Robin, he runs Blue Cubicle Press, home of the literary magazines The First Line, Workers Write!, and Overtime.

Urban Fiction: Winner Announced


The end of our first year is drawing close, so it’s time to announce our last winner of 2013.  The Urban issue, in all it’s glory, including feedback from Eric The Judge and the name of our ultimate winner, is available on the issues page.

Submissions for Money are now closed and the short-list will be announced before the end of January.  In the meantime we still have two themes open, Bodies and Escape.  You can find everything you want to know about the submissions process here.

Second Theme of 2014: Escape


We’re giving you a bit more time to get your stories to us in twenty-fourteen.  Otherwise everything remains the same, with a short-list chosen by us followed by a different group of mystery judges stepping in to award a fifty-pound prize for the best short story.  The second theme of the new year will be Escape.  The questions that immediately spring to mind are “what are you escaping from?” and “how are you going to do it”?  It might be a family Christmas that you need to escape from, and you might do it by leaving some clothes on a beach to fake your own death.  Or is that just me?

It could be a prison, a relationship, an addiction, a job, or any number things that can be felt to confine.  Still, don’t let those suggestions confine you either; break free and create your own short story, with your own narrative and ideas, on the theme of Escape.

The submissions guidelines will be in their usual place here, and don’t forget that we are still accepting submissions for Money and Bodies.

Urban Fiction: Short-list Announced


It’s a shorter short-list for this theme.  There were some notable entries that did not make it.  Rhuar Dean’s story The Beach was a brilliantly observed depiction of a tense culture clash on a Dubai beach, but took a little too long to establish a narrator who played no part in the action.  Siobhan O’Tierney’s story The Searchers had a touching and ambiguous relationship at it’s close but, again, we felt that the story took too long to get going, and contained too much exposition in the early sections.  We enjoyed them both, but felt we had to work a little too hard to get to the core of the story.

What we did include we think represents a range of approaches to the topic, and the best stories.  We have two writers from England, one from Scotland, one from America, and one from Ireland.  Shockingly, after the Canadian domination of this competition, there are no Canadians on the list.  We don’t generally check the location of short-listed authors until it has been decided, so this was as much a surprise to us as anyone.

You can access the short-listed stories here.

Rowan Martin has written about where she lives in “Govanhell” which will pretty much reinforce everyone’s prejudices about life in Glasgow.  We can only assume that she must have killed people to survive, so thought it prudent to include her.  And we liked her story.

Then we have Richard Lakin and Andrew Hanson giving two very different visions of English urban life.  Richard’s choice of subject matter and principle characters sold it for us, as this was a world we felt we had never read about before.  For Andrew we really enjoyed the setting and some of the flourishes.

Daire O’Driscoll’s story reminded us of an Irish Borges, and was one of the most distinctive pieces that we received.  Last, and not least, Some Go Dancing by Michael Davis was a great character study and slice of life piece.  Having just finished reading Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son for the second time, this certainly struck a chord with one of our number.

Congratulations to you for getting this far, and good luck to all of you.

That said, our opinion is now irrelevant.  It is over to Eric Westerlind to execute or reprieve our authors.  Go, Eric!