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  • Writer's picturemeredithdownes

The Pop Girls

Recently, I won the 2022 Storylinks Short Story Competition (For Writers 18+) for my young adult story, The Pop Girls. I was excited about this because it means that not only are people getting to read some new writing from me but some of them liked it enough to give it a prize!

I don’t enter as any many short story competitions as I could. Mostly, because it is time away from larger projects. However, I see every one of them as an opportunity to discover a new idea, explore some new characters and reflect on something new about the world. I think some of my best stories were the product of writing for competitions, whether I won or not. Hopefully, one day everyone will get to read some of the others I have on the backburner.

The Pop Girls was written specifically for the Storylinks competition. This year they opened it up to young adult stories. I write across all the ages from pictures books to adult but The Pop Girls was a diverting, new experience for me to try short fiction for young adults. Watch this space because there might be more on the way!

Somebody asked me if The Pop Girls was based on a true event. That’s not how I work. Most things I write are a patchwork of things I observe and feel and hear about or imagine. Where one ends and the others begin, I usually cannot tell. However, navigating difference is something that most people have to deal with during adolescence in an acute way.

All difference runs deep. Scratch the surface of anyone and you’ll find it. That’s also where you’ll find the stories. The characters in The Pop Girls each had their own difference to navigate. Some did it with kindness and some not. Learning kindness is something that we must hope will form a part of everyone’s growing up, one way or another, sooner or later.


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