The Writ­ing Dead 2

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Promotion -

Af­ter the phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess of the first Writ­ing Dead zom­bie short story com­pe­ti­tion, we’ve teamed up with Simon & Schus­ter and Zom- B au­thor Dar­ren Shan again for a fol­low- up. This time we upped the ante a bit – as be­fore, the sto­ries had to be about zom­bies and couldn’t ex­ceed 1,500 words, but as an ex­tra chal­lenge, ev­ery story had to in­clude Christ­mas tree lights as a prop, and a zom­bie in a Santa out­fit.

Loads of you en­tered again, with sto­ries rang­ing from the down­right scary to the screw­ball and weird. The SFX team read them all be­fore hand­ing a short­list of five over to Dar­ren for the fi­nal judg­ing. He picked “The Big Guy” by Emma Wood­cock. “All of the sto­ries were well writ­ten, but this one tugged at my heart­strings,” says Dar­ren. “It mas­ter­fully pulled me in, in­trigu­ing me with its mys­te­ri­ous open­ing, be­fore grad­u­ally re­veal­ing what is truly hap­pen­ing, and leav­ing me with a sense of great pity for the main char­ac­ter by the end. It’s very dif­fi­cult to do all that in such a short story, to pack in true sur­prise and emo­tion, so as strong as the other en­tries were, this was the clear stand- out for me. I’ll never think of the Big Guy in quite the same way again…”

Emma wins a signed set of nine Zom- B books, as pub­lished by Simon & Schus­ter, a freaky

Zom- B Baby statue, and the hon­our of hav­ing her story printed here. The four other short­listed story writ­ers will each re­ceive a signed set of books. Zom- B: Bride, the lat­est story in the saga, is on sale now.

Dar ren Shan.

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