London Short Story Prize 2015 now open for entries

Managed by London’s writer development organisation Spread the Word, the London Short Story Prize 2015 is now open for entries.

The competition is open to writers over the age of 18 who live in the UK for stories of up to 8000 words that move, excite, enthrall and inspire on a theme and subject matter of your choice. This is the first year the competition is open to all UK residents (previously the competition was open to London residents only). The winner will receive £1000, a Brunel writing desk courtesy of Heal’s and publication via Spread the Word’s Flight Press short story anthology.

The judges

Jon McGregor by Dan Sinclair

Jon McGregor by Dan Sinclair

Jon McGregor writes novels and short stories. His recent books include a short story collection, ‘This Isn’t the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You‘, and his third novel, ‘Even the Dogs‘, which won the IMPAC Dublin Literature Award in 2012. He is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham, where he edits The Letters Page, a literary journal in letters. The Guardian recently named him as one of the Top Ten writers to see live, describing him, faintly, as ‘not the showiest or most showboating of authors.’ Jon lives in Nottingham.

Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry is the author of the short story collections ‘Dark Lies The Island‘ and ‘There Are Little Kingdoms‘ and the novel ‘City Of Bohane‘. His new novel, ‘Beatlebone’, will be published in October ’15. He has won the Impac Dublin City Literary Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature, the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Tin House, the Granta Book of the Irish Short Story and many other journals and anthologies. His work has been translated into sixteen languages. His stage plays have been performed in Ireland and the US, and his radio dramas have been broadcast on RTE and the BBC. He lives in County Sligo.

Elise Dillsworth

Elise Dillsworth

Elise Dillsworth is a literary agent based in London, based at Elise Dillsworth literary agency. Previously she spent thirteen years at Virago Press, an imprint of Little Brown Book Group. As an editor she worked with many bestselling and award-winning authors including Maya Angelou, Lisa Appignanesi, Sarah Dunant, Lyndall Gordon, Linda Grant, Gillian Slovo and Sarah Waters.

How to submit 

This year we are accepting entries online, and there is an £8 fee for each story submitted. The deadline for entries is midday, 1 September 2015. Entries received after this date and time will not be considered. Full guidelines and how to submit can be found here

We’re looking forward to reading your stories.

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London Short Story Festival 2015

The full programme for this year’s London Short Story Festival is now available at lssf.co.uk. With 27 events taking place over the weekend, it’s a short story lover’s heaven.

Guest Festival Director Paul McVeigh has curated a festival featuring 65 excellent writers and speakers that takes place over the weekend of 18 – 21 June at Waterstones Piccadilly.

This year’s lineup includes: Ben Okri, Dame Marina Warner, Kevin Barry, Jon McGregor, Laura van den Berg, D W Wilson, Deborah Levy, Helen Simpson, Joe Dunthorne, Diriye Osman, Toby Litt, Niven Govinden, Krys Lee, Adam Marek, Tania Hershman, Nikesh Shukla, Nii Awiykwei Parkes, Alison Moore, May-Lan Tan, Lynn Coady, Cathy Galvin, Ethel Rohan, Cynan Jones, Francesca Rhydderch, Stuart Evers, Salena Godden, KJ Orr, SJ Naudé, Alex Preston, Rachel Trezise and many, many more.

Spend some focused time honing your writing craft with short story masters Ben Okri, Toby Litt, Ethel Rohan and Lynn Coady in a masterclass (D W Wilson and Laura van den Berg masterclasses have sold out).

The programme of talks and readings is diverse and dynamic, providing opportunities to hear inspiring authors read from and discuss their work in panels.

Pop into the Spread the Word Writers’ Space on Saturday to take part in free activities to inspire and expand your short story writing practice and knowledge of the publishing landscape.

Once again Spread the Word is delighted to offer the Free Ticket Scheme, providing opportunities for short story writers and lovers on low incomes to apply to attend festival events. All paid-for events are available on the Free Ticket Scheme. Applications are open until May 11, midday and applicants will find out the result of their application the week beginning May 18.

We look forward to seeing many Short Stoppers at this year’s festival,  and keep in touch on Twitter: @lssfest and Facebook: facebook.com/londonshortstoryfestival

London Short Story Festival logo 2015

London Short Story Festival 2015

Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg

Photo by David Hartley/REX Shutterstock (3032799n) Novelist and poet Ben Okri The Woodstock Literary Festival, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, Britain - 20 Sep 2013

Photo by David Hartley/REX Shutterstock

London Short Story Prize – deadline 19 September 2014

Spread the Word

Spread the Word are launching the London Short Story Prize 2014 for short story writers resident in London.

The Prize will go to a short story of up to 8000 words on any theme that judges Jackie Kay and Cathy Galvin choose.
There is no fee for entering the competition.
The deadline for the competition is midday, 19 September 2014.
Take a look at the Spread the Word website for full Prize information:

http://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/resources/view/london-short-story-prize-2014-now-open-for-entries

 

London Short Story Festival, Waterstones Piccadilly, June 20 – 22

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Hello Short Stops.

By now you’ve hopefully seen or heard of the London Short Story Festival, June 20 – 22nd in association with Waterstones Piccadilly that we’ve been putting together with the passion and specialist knowledge of our guest Festival Director, Paul McVeigh. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a bit about how the Festival came to be from Spread the Word’s perspective.

As London’s writer development organisation, we are always in touch with creative writers of all forms. In particular, our offer for short story writers that includes specialist workshops (for example in the past year with Katy Darby and Adam Marek) are always oversubscribed. Last year our short story prize, won by Clare Sita Fisher for her remarkable tale, Living it Edgeways enabled us to publish our first anthology Edgeways through our publishing imprint, Flight Press.

We were asked by our good friends at IdeasTap to provide feedback for short story writers six times a year. The first brief has just closed, and currently we’re loving reading through all the entries.

The short story momentum was really invigorating us as individuals and as a team. What we really wanted to do was to offer something even more invigorating for short story writers everywhere. And there we were, after murmuring about it for a number of months (or really, years), on a dark rainy day in our cosy offices in Deptford, deciding to go forth and make it happen.

Waterstones Piccadilly is a great venue for this, being the biggest bookshop in Europe, and we are delighted to bring the festival to the beating heart of the book industry.

We’re all writers and passionate readers in the Spread the Word team. For example – Paul Sherreard is a poet, Eva is a short story writer and I’m a playwright dabbling in short stories. Lucy reads, it seems to me by the rate she is sat in front of another title, by osmosis. We’ve worked with Paul McVeigh for a number of years – he’s been our Writer at Large, ran workshops for us and attended some of our specialist writing workshops. His role as Festival Director has enabled him to curate a programme of writers that uses his extensive networks and specialist knowledge of the short story world.

One of the first short story writers that came Paul’s mind for his wish list was Claire Keegan and by jove she’s brilliantly doing three events during the weekend. Add Jackie Kay, Helen Simpson, AL Kennedy, Adam Marek, Jacob Ross, Colin Barrett…and so many more. We hope there’s something for every short story newcomer or lover.

There’s a free ‘Writers’ Space’ too. Litro Magazine, Comma Press and English Pen will give mini-workshops and the wonderful Vanessa Gebbie and Lisa Blower will be on hand to run writing exercises with you. You can still catch the UK exclusive lecture and masterclass from Claire Keegan on ‘How Fiction Works’.

Speakers’ Corner sees a brilliant collection of short story writers reading a story for free at the entrance of Waterstones during the Saturday and Sunday. Speakers’ Corner will enable short stories to echo across the whole bookshop and showcase readings from brilliant British and Irish writers.

We’ll launch our London Short Story Prize to give writers something to aim for, judged this year by Jackie Kay and Word Factory’s Cathy Galvin. Salt Publishing will be there to launch their Best of British Short Stories anthology too with a reading from, among others, London Book Award winner, Stuart Evers.

People often ask who are the best short story writers in the world? Who are the best we’ve ever seen? So often the focus is on American authors. Being a London festival, we have been thinking throughout developing the festival programme, not only who may be considered to be the best British short story writers, but what could be the best British short story ever written? I’m really excited by the idea of people voting for something that isn’t political or covered in sequins and advertising. What would you vote for? Maybe take a look at this blog post on The Guardian by Paul McVeigh to see what stories people are nominating.

If you vote you could also win a Spread the Word Laureate Friend membership and see your favourite story read out by writer and actress Stella Duffy at the close of the Festival. Cast your vote here: www.lssf.co.uk

I hope Short Stoppers will be there to help us make it a huge success and light a new torch for Short Story readers and writers.

Laura Kenwright, Audience Development Manager, Spread the Word

Join the London Short Story Festival conversation @LSSFest / #LSSF / Facebook.com/londonshortstoryfestival