Short Story Competition

We are delighted to announce that the winner of Illuminate Festival’s very first Short Story Competition is Adrian Runacres, and we are doubly delighted to share his winning story! (The choice of theme was either a) Adventure or b) Bring The Light with a 250 word limit). As you will be aware, COVID-19 meant we had to cancel the rest of the event this year, but we hope to return to Godalming on May 8th 2021 with as many of the original line up as possible, plus special additions, so please do join the Kick Arts mailing list over at and follow us on social media.

Thanks so much for all your support over this difficult time, we really appreciate it.

Winning Entry!

“You idiot, that one almost had you over… Head into the waves – you know that!”

I’m tired, the cold is down to my bones and I’m wet.  Soaking wet.  The heavy weight of water in the boat moves with every roll, fighting my efforts to simply keep going.  Each passing second adds to it, wearing me down and making it harder to row.

Suppressing the crowding, raw memories of near disaster I turn my head to peer across the churning water towards the distant shore.  And there… There with a raised hand, beckoning me to safety, is the man in the oilskins.  The man whose fault this is but who is now my only hope.  That bright speck of yellow, my only goal.

The wind drowns out my pitiful cries but his concern is real and it calls to me across the expanse between us.  He’s nearer now than he was and we have a connection.  I’m fighting for my life but I feel him like a magnet, pulling me steadily onward.

“Row, you idiot.  Row.”  I’m shouting to myself now, and it is doing the trick.  Inch by slow, painful inch, the man – and safety – draws nearer…

I collapse, smiling in exhausted relief as he finally reaches out and grasps the painter in his big, secure fist.

“Didn’t you hear me?” He booms. “Your time was up ten minutes ago and there’s a queue waiting!”

Lesson learned.  I’ll never again venture out onto Petersfield boating lake alone.