Writing competition closing dates punctuate the diary of many a creative writer and there’s little more tempting than a four figure 1st prize and the promise of going into print, to get the ideas flowing.
Magic Oxygen Publishing, run by Tracey and Simon West, has just launched a new annual prize for literary excellence in short stories and poetry. It has an impressive prize fund of £1,000 1st, £300 2nd, £100 3rd and two highly commended prizes of £50 in both categories, kindly sponsored by Coolio. The winners and shortlisted entries will also be taken into print.
As well as nurturing fresh literary talent, they also want the contest to help reduce the world’s carbon footprint with a four-pronged approach and one absolutely unique *eco-element:-
- by judging electronically, doing minimal printing, conserving ink and paper
- encouraging entrants to keep submissions on cloud storage, conserving their resources
- producing a print on demand anthology in FSC certified paper and an e-book
- * by planting a tree for every single entry received and building a new classroom at the Kundeni School in Bore, Kenya
For forestry expertise, they’ve teamed up with Ru Hartwell, founding director of Treeflights the first carbon offset planting project of its kind. He’s also actively involved in several other worldwide planting projects, including Size of Wales, Tree-Nation and Carbon Link amongst others.
Ru explains, ‘The Word Forest will be near the Kundeni School in Bore, Kenya. It’s quite dry there so the trees will be drought resistant types like neem, gmelina and casuarina. They’re mostly grown for timber which is used for house building and is in high demand as there’s a an economic boom going on in the coastal resorts. Our forest will allow the Bore community a share in the boom, which needless to say, they are largely excluded from at the moment, partly because there is so little of their original forest left.’
Tracey adds, ‘To the best of our knowledge this is the only competition in the world offering to plant a tree for every entry. Writers need notebooks and notebooks need trees; this is a wonderful way of creating an inspirational legacy and I hope the concept inspires other organisations to set up similar projects.’
Ongoing details about the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize and plans for the Word Forest will be posted on the Magic Oxygen blog.
Competition In Brief:
Short Stories: up to 4,000 words
Poetry: up to 50 lines
Entry fee £5 per submission
Open for worldwide electronic and postal submissions, aged 16+
Closing Date: 30th November 2014