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Fabulous Fables - The Results Are In

He is famous for writing classics such as Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - but for his own amusement Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Fables in his own unique style. These little-known tales were published two years after his death in 1894, but their short, pithy format is perfect for the internet age and as a model for today's writers of 'flash fiction'. More than 450 of them have written a modern Fable inspired by Stevenson and entered an international competition sponsored by the Robert Louis Stevenson Club and website . The prize-winners spanned the globe, with the winner from the edge of Sherwood Forest and runners up from the far North of New Zealand and East London.

The winner of the £500 first prize is CB McCall for a Fable entitled The Young Man and the Therapist, chosen by an eminent panel of judges chaired by author and journalist Alan Taylor, along with Nathalie Jaëck, Professor of 19th Century British Literature at the University of Bordeaux-Montaigne, author and editor Rosemary Goring, and Robert-Louis Abrahamson, Emeritus Professor at University of Maryland.

Mr Taylor said: “Even among fans of RLS, of whom there are legions across the globe, the Fables are an unjustly neglected area of his oeuvre. This is a pity because they are beautifully written, invariably intriguing and admirably pithy. The task to find modern equivalents was not an easy one but the response by hundreds of writers who showed an interest, from more than 100 countries, was remarkable and cheering. And, who knows, yet more writers might now be inspired to take up the challenge.”

The RLS Club kindly provided prizes for two runners up. These are Stomach or Soul? by Helen Yuretich and School Clothes by Karis White. Each of the prize winners will also be given a copy of the new book Aesop in the Fog, by the expert on Stevenson’s fabling Robert-Louis Abrahamson. Martin White, the competition organiser said “It’s been exciting to run the competition and see the level of interest it generated. With more than 455 entries drawn from over 5000 people that looked at the competition across some 127 counties, it is pretty impressive. We look forward to publicising the Competition, its winning entries and Stevenson fables throughout the rest of 2022, Scotland’s Year of Stories”.

The winners will be published later this year along with more about the story of the competition itself. The overall winner was dramatically read aloud by Robert Louis Abrahamson at the RLS Conference in Bordeaux. We even had a therapist in the audience who enjoyed it, so it must be good! Overall a worthy winner and a job well done. A worthy addition to Scotland's stories.


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