Hector Hugh Munro
1870 - 1916
of Manning's Pit Saki Short
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. "
Sandie Byrne, author of The
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
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.
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
£200 3rd £100
3000 words maximum
The entry fee is £5 for one story
(or £12 for three.)
How to enter
Closing date June 30th 2021
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.
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.