This volume contains the prize-winning short stories written for the Waterloo Festival Writing Competitions of 2018, 2019 and 2020.

  1. Can you say why each story deserved to be a winner?
  2. Do you have a favourite story in the collection and why?
  3. How does each story tackle the theme?
  4. Do you get a good sense of time and / or place from the stories? How does the writer achieve this?
  5. Is there evidence of the writer using their senses to write? What do we see that appeals to our sight hearing, feeling, taste or smell?
  6. Are the characters likeable and / or believable? Are they rounded? Do you have any favourites in this collection? Why do you like these particular ones?
  7. Which texts have the best stories? What causes the pace and tension?
  8. Are there any contemporary issues raised? Are there any messages for the 21st century?
  9. Would you describe any of the stories as “literary”? Why, and what do you understand this expression to mean?
  10. What makes the stories authentic – if indeed they are?