With reference to The Hunger Games, A Monster Calls, Harry Potter and The Book Thief, Colette revealed some of the characteristics of successful female characters in teen fiction. There were some interesting questions from the group. If you are thinking of entering the next competition good luck and you might want to consider some of Colette’s top tips on – stereotypical reversal in your story; survival skills of your female protagonist; character development; age and impending independence; fantastical elements of the setting; (internal) conflict; facilitation of the plot; naming your character; back story; insecurities; themes such as bullying; love and loyalty; and whether or not your leading lady should be a stunner or not …

Thanks also to Tony for sharing with us his second placed SAW short story, ‘The Egraine Tapestries’. It was tense and tightly woven.