Strictly for laughs, I entered a competition at the BBC News website to write a Christmas “thank you” letter, with a twist.
The BBC, in association with the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), challenged readers to write, in about 100 words, two thank you letters with opposite meanings. But you had to use the same words in each letter - or words that sound the same - but change the punctuation (and so change the meaning).
This was far trickier than it sounded. Try it if you’re not convinced. I got several headaches while composing my entry.
But, amazingly, my entry was one of five chosen, and you can read it if you like at the BBC Magazine website. Mine is the fourth entry down.
Now all the entries go to the SfEP, which will choose an overall winner.
What they don’t mention is prizes. This seems to be the way things work. My modest successes in the world of literature always tend to come whenever no one is going to send me anything, not even a plaque.
Of course the feeling of success is sufficient compensation, but it would be nice to combine that with a few thousand pounds once in a while. I have a family to feed. I have a rack to fill with bottles of good Italian wine.