NYC MIDNIGHT SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2018 is a worldwide writing competition where writers are given a Genre, Subject and Character to write an original short story no longer than 2500 words in 8 days.

In the first round I was given the Genre of Fairy tale, a scavenger hunt as the Subject, with a zoo keeper as a character. These competitions are fun, yet intense. Balancing life and fleshing out a story from scratch, that restricts you to a word count, is very challenging. I have now produced THREE amazing stories from these types of challenges. The stories that one can formulate in seconds, with no time to waste, is exhilarating and inspiring to a writer. This was my very first short story competition and I will do it a thousand more times, as my time allows..

To read the full story click on the title below..

The Mythical Safari

*I have made the original version available, that was reviewed by the judges, and will later add the updated version; as I now do not have a word restriction ;)..

Here is what the Judges had to say about my story  THE MYTHICAL SAFARI.


Dear Terri-lyne Gedanitz,

The feedback from the judges on your Short Story Challenge 2018 submission from the first round is below.  We hope you find the feedback helpful and congratulations on rising to the challenge!

”The Mythical Safari” by Terri-lyne Gedanitz –   WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY –

{1597}  I liked the number of mythical creatures you included in your story, and how they interact with each other. Peanut was a cool companion for your narrator and added some humour to the story. I liked that you included the shape-shifting ability which added an extra layer to things.

{1788}  The topographies of the various settings were imaginative and drawn with skill. Readers could easily picture the desert filled with blue sand and the island full of lions. What’s more, the author added delicate touches to the landscapes, such as the “pink strands of furry branches” in the forest. The resolution with the winged lion’s “caring hand” was a touching development. Rather than concentrate on his strength, the author focused on his dear friendship with Pegasus.

{1651}  This has all the elements of a classic fairytale. We’re rooting for Beth to save the Pegasus.


{1597}  There is so much emphasis put on Alex at the beginning of the story; he is really set up as the villain of the piece. All while she was on her journey, I wondered if Alex was following her, or what the confrontation would be like at the end. So to find out that he has already been eaten by the pride with nothing more to it is a bit of a disappointment to the reader. In general I think there need to be more obstacles and challenges for your characters. They seem to move through everything very easily and it’s not very difficult for them to complete their mission. You could raise the stakes in this story much higher.

{1788}  The narrative focuses on an interesting rivalry between the narrator and Alex, but there’s little follow-through in the latter half of the story. To quote page 7, “Alex is nowhere in sight”, even though he’s the antagonist of the plot. Why not utilize him more during the rising action? Why not show the lions attacking him while the narrator watches it happen? The piece emphasizes the differences between a “pure heart” and a malicious heart, but the theme isn’t as potent if the antagonist gets taken care of off the page. Additionally, if Alex isn’t present in the most integral parts of the plot, his malicious influence isn’t as powerful for the reader.  Try to play up the rivalry between the poacher/zookeeper right up until the end. By making Alex a more involved antagonist, the audience will fully understand the ramifications of a greedy heart. The narrator’s ability to shape shift could be pushed farther since it’s a great asset to her. For instance, when she changes into a rabbit, what does she see from that vantage point that she wouldn’t see as a human? When she’s a fairy on page 4, does she lag behind Peanut since she’s smaller or have to deal with forceful winds? Imagine what it’s like to be in each of her different shapes, and the difficulties that might come with them. It’s a wonderful concept, and with some development, it could be even more creative. “The Mystical Safari” contains wonderful settings and makes great use of the assigned subject. Once the author builds up the main rivalry and emphasizes the narrator’s shapeshifter powers, it will be in great condition.

{1651}  The hero’s journey of the protagonist seems a bit too easy. I’d recommend changing the Spinx’s question to something more difficult. Also, why do the merman and the sea-goat trust this human and not the one who came before him (Alex)? We also never have a confrontation with Alex, the poacher; he is easily eaten by the lions. Why does the winged lion trust Beth? Why would the winged lion want to leave his home behind and live at Beth’s zoo?