Mannings Pit Saki

 Full details 

Hector Hugh Munro
1870 - 1916

The Friends of Manning's Pit  Saki Short Story Competition

Who was Saki, why was he special and what has this to do with Manning's Pit?


Saki is the pen name of Hector Hugh Munro. a short story writer who could be said to bridge the gap between Oscar Wilde and Roald Dahl.  His stories were mainly written while he lived in London, but much of his inspiration came from his childhood in the North Devon village of Pilton.

Why Saki Matters

"Saki is the acknowledged master of the short story. His writing is elegant, economical, and witty, its tone worldly, flippant irreverence delivered in astringent exchanges and epigrams more neat, pointed, and poised even than Wilde's. The deadpan narrative voice allows for the unsentimental recitation of horrors and the comically grotesque, and the generation of guilty laughter at some very un-pc statements. " 
Dr Sandie Byrne, author of The Unbearable Saki

Manning's Pit

 The Manning's Pit fields can be seen from the upstairs window of Saki's childhood home. The intervening field has become a housing estate, and Manning's Pit is the last part left of the countryside that he loved.  From his boyhood searching for birds nests in the local hedgerows to his poignant last essay about the Birds of the Western Front, it was a love for nature and wild things that defined Saki.

Following on from the Inaugural Manning's Pit Poetry Competition,
this Short Story competition is the next literary venture for the Friends of Manning's Pit.

        The Competition

Write a short story of no more than 3000 words

It doesn't have to be in the style of Saki, or about Manning's Pit, but it needs to have a spark of originality or wit, and something relevant to the countryside and its wildlife.

The Competition Judges are

James Lovelock

Sir Richard Eyre

Peter Christie

1st  £500  

 2nd  £200     3rd  £100


Story length: 3000 words maximum

The entry fee is £5 for one story (or £12 for three.)

How to enter

Closing date June 30th 2021

"The great polecat-ferret made its way down to a small brook at the foot of the garden, drank for a moment, then crossed a little plank bridge and was lost to sight in the bushes. Such was the passing of Shredni Vashtar."

From the story Shredni Vashtar, by H. H. Munro

Bradiford Water is the small river that goes through Manning's Pit, crossed with little plank bridges in Hector Munro's childhood. Benjamin Manning, after whom the fields are named, would have been known by the Munro family, from the local church, his butchers' shops, his political activities and his numerous quarrels commented on in the local newspapers.

Please note: Copyright of the stories remains with their authors. Stories must be entirely your own work. We reserve the right to publish the stories on our website or in any publicity to raise awareness of Saki's legacy and to preserve Manning’s Pit.


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