Tall And True Short Reads

The Winner’s Toast

Episode 45 (7 February 2022)

“And the winner is–” Zoom freezes on my laptop. But I don’t care. From the gallery director’s opening comments in her awards speech, praising this year’s portraits, it’s clear my landscape has not caught the judges’ eyes. Again! However, I’ve learned to channel disappointment into creative energy.


The Winner’s Toast

Show Notes

Season Two: Episode 45 (7 February 2022)

The Winner’s Toast is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/the-winners-toast

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Story Insight

The Winner’s Toast started life as The Winner, my August 2021 entry for Australian Writers’ Centre’s 500-word short story writing competition, Furious Fiction. The brief for August was:

  • The first sentence must contain only four words
  • Something must be shared
  • And it must include the words PAINT, SHIFT, WAVE and TOAST. (Longer variations were acceptable as long as the original spelling was retained.)

Fittingly, the opening sentence came to mind first: “And the winner is–”.

I toyed with the idea of setting my story around a writing competition or a literary awards night. But rather than a writer, I decided to make my protagonist another form of artist, a painter. And this helped me place the words from the brief. (Did you hear them?)

The abrupt ending of the first sentence suggested a Zoom meeting. And offered a device to write the backstory for the artist and awards ceremony. It was also an opportunity to make a statement about the environment. A message the artist shares in his landscapes.

As with the protagonist’s paintings, my Furious Fiction short stories, including this one, have yet to catch the judges’ eyes. However, like our working artist, I’ve learned to “channel disappointment into creative energy”. And so, with a few minor edits and a new title, I “beamed with pride” when sharing this short story on Tall And True.

I hope you enjoyed The Winner’s Toast. You can read all my blog posts, short stories, and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, don’t forget to check your feed or the podcast website, for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing and message with other listeners.

Finally, you can support this podcast by making a regular or one-off donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads produced using Audacity. Thanks to Josh (VoiceOverMaster) Meyer for Audacity recording tips and tricks.

Podcast episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.

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Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

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