Word Factory Seeks Four Writers for Free Mentorship

Word Factory Apprentice Award Application

The National Mentoring Scheme For Short Story Writers

We are seeking four emerging short story writers to be individually mentored by leading authors for FREE as part of our renowned Word Factory Apprentice Award running from July 2019-March 2020.

The chosen writers will be talented, supportive of our inclusive ethos and willing to participate in our activities. They will have access to our events and masterclasses — a programme offering creative inspiration, writer development and collaboration between leading and emerging writers.

SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS WILL ALSO:

  • Be invited to read their work with their mentor at a special Word Factory event in London.
  • Receive free membership to the Society of Authors.
  • Become part of the distinguished Word Factory Apprentice Award alumnae. Previous winners have achieved industry recognition including publication with independent and mainstream publishers such as Salt and Faber; awards and shortlistings including the Guardian BAME prize, Bath Flash Fiction Prize and Wasafiri prize; reviewing for journals and publications including the TLS, Economist and New Statesman and representation by leading literary agents.
  • Be eligible for a series of NEW bursaries to ensure writers from anywhere in England can benefit. We will also consider writers from other parts of the United Kingdom but our bursaries only cover writers resident in England.

The Word Factory Apprentice Award is celebrating its sixth year with a series of partnerships offering additional financial and developmental support to short story writers who live outside London. We would like to thank Arts Council England, who have offered specific funding to strengthen the national reach of the award. We are also delighted that the Northern Writers’Awards and New Writing North, will support a northern short story writer and mentor for the second year — and to be joined this year by Writing West Midlands and their Room 204 Writer Development Programme (supporting a writer from the West Midlands) and Literature Works, the writer development agency for South West England (supporting a writer from the south-west).

How To Apply

We are open to applicants from throughout the UK, and can offer small bursaries to cover the expense of travelling to London and/or meeting your mentor for writers living in England. Please read the following instructions carefully if you are a writer living in the north, the West Midlands or the South-West of England.

The award is offered to talented authors on the way to their first collection of stories or beginning to send work out for publication. In exchange, we look for individuals willing to support other writers and be part of the growing team.

The Word Factory is London based but this is no barrier to working with writers from across the UK. We are committed to opening the award to writers with no access to literary mentorship and from communities who are often excluded. At least one place a year is held open for talented BAME writers.

Please Note: the scheme is not suitable for anyone with novels or collections already published or under contract (self-published and non-fiction books may apply). Also, application is only open to residents of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Bursaries are focussed on writers living in England.

Application is simple:

You will need to send us two files: your best 2,000 word story (or part of a story) and 500 words explaining both what you intend to work on during your mentorship and what skills and commitment you will bring to the Word Factory. In the past, our apprentices have offered some of the following: social media skills; helping us run events; creating a flash fiction prize; supporting the running of festivals. In your letter, please tell us where you live and whether you have a BAME background.

What you do:

  • Use the link below to apply and pay a £10* admin fee.
  • Full details on how to send us your files will be included in your receipt.
  • Lastly, email us your story and supporting letter.

*Please note: there is an admin fee but the year’s mentoring and Word Factory membership is entirely free. Unwaged applicants or those who can’t afford this fee can still apply. Please send your story, covering letter and short explanation of your circumstances direct to Paul McVeigh at paul@thewordfactory.tv

APPLY HERE

 

IMPORTANT – You need to apply separately if:

  • You live in the North of England
  • You live in the West Midlands
  • You live in the South-West

Please look at this BOUNDARIES MAP for the purposes of this award.

If you live in the North of England:

One place is open to a writer living in the North who will also be offered a bursary to attend events in London, developmental support and access to other opportunities near to home. The northern apprentice will also benefit from our new partnership with independent publisher and short story champions, Comma Press, offering our northern winner publishing opportunities on at least four anthology projects over two years. This award also sponsors a northern mentor — this year, Carys Davies.

To apply for the Northern apprentice place, follow this link: www.northernwritersawards.com

Northern Applications

If you live in the West Midlands:

One place is open to a writer living in the West Midlands. In partnership with the Word Factory, Writing West Midlands will select a winner to become a Word Factory Apprentice as part of their Room 204 programme.

To apply for the West Midlands apprentice place, follow this link: www.writingwestmidlands.org and click on Room 204 Writer Development.

West Midlands Applications

If you live in the South-West:

One place is open to a writer living in the Sout-West.

For further information about how to apply via Literature Works and about their work supporting writers in the South West, follow this link: Literature Works Apprentice Application page.

South West Applications

Important Dates:

  • Applications OPEN on November 16th 2018.
    Please follow the separate application process if you live in the North, South-West or West Midlands.
  • Applications CLOSE on February 7th 2019 at 11:30PM.
  • WINNERS INFORMED May 2019.
  • Announcements at the Word Factory and Northern Writers’ Awards June 2019.
  • Mentorship completes March 2020.

Due to the high numbers of applications expected, we will not be contacting you if your application has been unsuccessful. Good luck! Look forward to seeing you in 2019.

The Mentors

Our 2019/209 mentors bring a vast range of experience to the award — plus a passionate commitment to the literary and social values of the Word Factory. We are delighted to announce that they are: Chris Power, Lisa Blower, Leone Ross and Carys Davies.

General applications will be judged by the two founders of the award — Word Factory founder and director Cathy Galvin and associate director Paul McVeigh, and this year they are joined by renowned short story writer Irenosen Okojie. Word Factory will also be involved in the final decision-making with our other partners in the north, south-west and West Midlands.

Sincere thanks to everyone who has supported our scheme to date, most particularly our previous mentors Adam MarekStella DuffyAlex PrestonNicholas Royle; Jacob Ross; Vanessa GebbieProfessor Ailsa CoxAlexei Sayle; Zoe Gilbert; Jarred McGinnis; Nikesh Shukla; Courttia Newland; Tom Lee; K.J.Orr and Jenn Ashworth.

Previous Apprentices

Trusted relationships are vital to the development of a writer. Our apprentices — Rebecca Swirsky, Holly Dawson, Kerstin Twatchmann, Uschi Gatward, Claire Adam, Divya Ghelani, Emily Devane, Melissa Fu, Durre Shawar, Avani Shah, Fergus Evans, Natalia Theodoridou, Georgina Aboud, Farhana Khalique and Sharon Telfer — have all become members of the Word Factory team in addition to winning awards and being published in leading magazines and journals.

The Word Factory Apprentice programme is a truly remarkable award that invites and fosters growth. The Word Factory masterclasses and salons have not only inspired me to improve my own craft but have also challenged me to use writing to connect with others and build understanding. With Zoe Gilbert’s generous mentorship, I have grown so much, taking risks and experimenting with form. I have loved every aspect of the award and highly recommend that aspiring writers apply for 2018. It is a wonderful community and I am so proud to be part of it.

Melissa Fu, 2017 Apprentice, mentored by Zoe Gilbert — in 2017 Melissa was published in The Nottingham Review, The Lonely Crowd, International Literature Showcase and Word Factory online. She was shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Prize and had a Special Mention for Spread the Word’s inaugural Life Writing Prize.

Working with Nikesh has been amazing for both my ego and my word count. With his support and advice, my novel has grown in ways I couldn’t have expected. As for the community – the Word Factory gang have welcomed me with open arms. I’ve found myself a part of a group of readers and writers who cheer each other on, share work, and always have great suggestions for what to read next.

Avani Shah, 2017 Apprentice, mentored by Nikesh Shukla — in 2017 Avani was shortlisted for the Guardian BAME Prize.

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That Killer First page, Dublin, Oct 13

That Killer First Page, Oct 13

Venue: Brooks Hotel, 62 Drury Street, Dublin 2.

Date: Oct 13    Time: 10.30-4.30

Places are limited. This event sold out in Adelaide, Bali, Bath, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Kuala Lumpur, Lancaster, London, Melbourne & Singapore.  

You’ll find out what competition judges and journal editors look for in a short story and how to avoid the rejection pile. You’ll write a short piece and get feedback on that crucial story opening. In a form where every word counts, get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action. You’ll also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.

Focus:
How to get the attention of competition judges and editors
Writing fiction with emotional impact
Writing that killer first page
How to edit your story
Where to send your work

Paul McVeigh’s short fiction has been published in anthologies and journals inc. The Stinging Fly and Faber’s ‘Modern Irish Writing’. Stories have been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5 and Sky Arts TV. He was shortlisted for Irish Short Story of the Year 2017 at the Irish Book Awards. His short story blog shares writing opportunities and advice and gets 40,000 hits a month and has had over 2 million views. He’s interviewed short story masters like Kevin Barry, Elizabeth McCracken and George Saunders for The Irish Times. Paul co-founded the London Short Story Festival and is Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s national centre for excellence in the short story. He is a judge for national and international short story competitions including, in 2018, the Sean O’Faolain Prize, the Edge Hill Prize and the International Dylan Thomas Prize. He is also the current fiction editor at Southword Journal where he recently commissioned Kit de Waal and twice Booker shortlisted Deborah Levy.                                                                                   

“I emerged from the sleepy hamlet of my writing infancy last Saturday and was sky-rocketed, hurricaned, tsunamied, autobahned and g-forced out of my head by Paul McVeigh’s “That Killer First Page” Masterclass at Waterstones, Piccadilly. He’s on top of his game, gives instinctive, constructive criticism and in a few short hours, had conveyed the essence of how to make a story compelling and unputdownable from the first few lines. Get on one of his courses if you can.”

Reviews for his short stories:
“Beautiful and very moving.” Booker shortlisted Alison Moore
“How moving and stunning that story is. It’s so raw and incredibly human.” Costa shortlisted Jess Richards
“(one of) Ireland’s most exciting and talented writers.  Incredibly moving; poignant but utterly real, funny and beautifully observant.” BBC Radio 4
“Paul McVeigh’s story stands out. Funny, moving, poignant. Brilliant.” Metro Newspaper

Paul’s debut novel The Good Son’ won 2 awards and was shortlisted for a further 5.

‘A work of genius…’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Robert Olen Butler

“Both dancing and disquieting, complex and vivid, I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.” Bailey Prize-winner Lisa McInerney The Glorious Heresies                                       ‘

‘A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.’ Donal Ryan

Places are limited to 15

FOR CONCESSIONS PLEASE EMAIL: paulmcveighwriter@live.co.uk

Brooks are offering a special lunch deal – two tapas plus a glass of house wine at €18.50 per person.

PaulMcVeigh short story

Online: Advanced Short Story Clinic

Receive direct feedback from your tutor and fellow course participants with this online correspondence course for advanced short story writers.

Develop your stories over four months. Whether you’re an experienced writer working towards the completion of a manuscript or looking to maintain momentum and sharpen your writing skills, this clinic provides specific feedback for the refinement of your own voice and style.

Participants must have had a short story published OR have already participated in a Writers Victoria Advanced Short Story Clinic to enrol in this course.

Stories of up to 1,500 words due Wednesdays 1 August, 5 September, 10 October and 7 November

About Paul McVeigh

Paul McVeigh’s short fiction has been published in journals and anthologies and been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5, Faber & Faber and Sky Arts. Paul is Director of the London Short Story Festival and Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s national organisation for excellence in the short story. He is also a judge for international short story competitions and prizes including, this year, The Dylan Thomas Prize, The Edge Hill Short Story Prize and The Sean O’Faolain International Short Story Prize. His award-winning debut novel ‘The Good Son’ was published by Salt Publishing in 2015 and his work has been translated into seven languages.

PaulMcVeigh short story

Fiction Workshop with Claire Keegan

Fiction Workshop with Irish writer Claire Keegan
Goldsmiths University, London
April 21 & 22, 2018. 9:30am–5:30pm, both days.

Claire Keegan, internationally acclaimed author and teacher of creative writing, will run a 2 day fiction workshop in London. This weekend will concentrate on works-in-progress submitted by the participants. Manuscripts (novel excerpt or short story of up to 3,000 words) are distributed to every participant and read with care by all. Keegan will spend between 3-5 hours on each text before the workshop begins and then examine and discuss every text with the group.

Discussion will include the structure of a narrative, paragraph structure, time, tension, drama, melodrama, statement, description, suggestion, conflict, character, humour, point of view, place and time. The aim, always, is to help each author with the next draft.
The weekend will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction works, improving their prose and/or helping others to do so, is welcome to attend. While most participants like to submit a manuscript, this is not a requirement.

Tuition £380. To book your place, email ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com – Enquiries welcome.

Claire Keegan has written Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Walk the Blue Fields was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in The Guardian, 2010 and won the Edge Hill Prize. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, then the world’s richest prize for a single story. The stories have been published in Best American Stories, Granta,
The Paris Review and the New Yorker. Keegan also has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

Of Antarctica: “These stories are among the finest stories recently written in English.” The Observer
“Every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.”–Hilary Mantel
“Every single word in the right place and pregnant with double meaning.” – Jeffrey Eugenides, The New York Times
“Perfect short stories” – Anne Enright
“Keegan is a rarity, someone I will always want to read.” – Richard Ford
“The best stories are so textured and so moving, so universal but utterly distinctive, that it’s easy to imagine readers savouring them many years from now and to imagine critics, far in the future, deploying new lofty terms to explain what it is that makes Keegan’s fiction work.” -The New York Times

Word Factory Apprentice Award

WordFactory Logo is seeking four emerging writers to be individually mentored by leading authors, for FREE* as part of our renowned Word Factory Apprentice Award. The chosen writers will be talented, supportive of our inclusive ethos and willing to give their time to participating in our activities. They will have access to the Word Factory events and masterclasses – a programme offering creative inspiration, writer development and a unique community of supportive writers. They will also be invited to read their work with their mentor at a special Word Factory event. They will also be given a year long membership of the Society of Authors with alll the benefits and support of that organisation.

Our apprentice alumnae have achieved industry recognition including publication with independent and mainstream publishers such as Salt and Faber; awards and shortlistings including the Guardian BAME prize, Bath Flash Fiction Prize and Wasafiri prize; reviewing for journals and publications including the TLS, Economist and New Statesman.

The award is offered to talented authors on the way to their first collection of short stories or beginning to send work out for publication. We are committed to the development of our apprentices in the long-term. In exchange, we look for individuals willing to support other writers and be part of the growing team.

The 2018 Word Factory Mentors

Our 2018/19 mentors bring a vast range of experience to the award – plus a passionate commitment to the literary and social values of the Word Factory. We are delighted to announce that they are: BBC National Short Story Award-winner KJ Orr, Courttia Newland, Tom Lee and for the Northern Apprentice, Jenn Ashworth.

Apprenticeship Application 2018

We are seeking four emerging writers to be individually mentored by leading authors, for FREE* as part of our renowned Word Factory Apprentice Award. The chosen writers will be talented, supportive of our inclusive ethos and willing to give their time to participating in our activities.

They will have access to the Word Factory events and masterclasses – a programme offering creative inspiration, writer development and a unique community of supportive writers. They will also be invited to read their work with their mentor at a special Word Factory event. All winners will also receive free membership to the renowned Society of Authors.

Our apprentice alumnae have achieved industry recognition including publication with independent and mainstream publishers such as Salt and Faber; awards and shortlistings including the Guardian BAME prize, Bath Flash Fiction Prize and Wasafiri prize; reviewing for journals and publications including the TLS, Economist and New Statesman.

The award is now in its fifth year and we are delighted to announce a new 2018/19 partnership with the Northern Writers’Awards and New Writing North. One of our four places will be open to a writer living in the North who will also be offered a bursary to attend events in London, developmental support and access to other opportunities offered by New Writing North.

Please follow the link to the map which defines the North for purposes of this award: BOUNDARIES OF THE NORTH. And see www.northernwritersawards.com from November 16 2017 for full details of the Northern Word Factory apprenticeship, eligibility and how to apply.

Applications will be judged by the Word Factory and Sunday Times EFG short story award founder Cathy Galvin and associate director Paul McVeigh, winner of the Polari First Book Prize. The Northern Apprentice applications will be judged through the Northern Writers’ Awards, in consultation with the Word Factory and Jenn Ashworth.

The Word Factory is London based but this is no barrier to working with writers from across the UK. We are committed to opening the award to writers with no access to literary mentorship and from communities who are often excluded.

At least one place a year is held open for talented BAME writers.

Please Note: the scheme is not suitable for anyone with novels or collections already published or under contract (self-published and non-fiction books may apply). Also, application is only open to residents of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Application is simple:

If you DO NOT live in the north of England— you will need to send us two files: your best 2,000 word story (or part of a story) and 500 words explaining both how the scheme will benefit you and what skills and commitment you will bring to the Word Factory. In the past, our apprentices have offered some of the following: social media skills; helping us run events; creating a flash fiction prize; supporting festivals. In your letter please tell us where you live and whether you have a BAME background.

What you do:

Use the link below to apply and pay a £20 admin fee.

Full details on how to send us your files will be included in your receipt.

Lastly, email us your story and supporting letter.

*Unwaged applicants can still apply. Please send your story, covering letter and short explanation of your circumstances direct to Paul McVeigh at paul@thewordfactory.tv

If you live in the North of England:

Follow this link: http://www.northernwritersawards.com

Important Dates:

Applications CLOSE on February 1st 2018.

WINNERS INFORMED May 2018.

Announcements at the Word Factory and Northern Writers’ Awards June 2018.

Mentorship completes March 2019.

Due to the high numbers of applications expected, we will not be contacting you if your application has been unsuccessful. Good luck! Look forward to seeing you in 2018.

Contact for Information.

 

Application Fee:  £20
Deadline: 02/01/2018

UK/Turkey Short Story Competition

UK/Turkey Short Story Competition

The British Council in Turkey aims to build a bridge between Turkish and UK writers, facilitate dialogue between literary professionals in both countries, and create a platform to showcase works by Turkish and British writers to new audiences.

To support this initiative, the British Council is launching a short story competition, on the theme of ‘diversity’, in partnership with two literary institutions: ITEF -Istanbul Tanpınar Literature Festival in Turkey, and Word Factory in the UK.

The winner will have the opportunity to work with Word Factory and The British Council and have their story published on a new British Council digital platform, alongside specially-commissioned stories by established authors from Turkey and the UK. The winning writer will receive £300 and will see their short story translated into Turkish accompanied by a specially commissioned illustration.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Entry is free
  • Writers must be based in the UK, writing in English
  • One story submission per writer
  • Writers must be at least 18 years old, and ‘early-career’ (may have had single stories published on printed or online media, but not a full collection, or novel). Stories should be 1,500 words or less
  • Stories should be broadly themed on the concept of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (though we welcome original and unusual takes on this theme). Please check the British Council website for further information about the British Council’s approach to EDI. 
  • The competition is open to all fiction genres
  • By submitting a story, you agree that it may be edited (with your final approval) by Word Factory prior to publication
  • Submission deadline is midnight 31 December 2017
  • By submitting a story, you agree that you have read and accept the full terms and conditions (see below)

The winner will be chosen by a panel from The British Council and Word Factory and announced by 28 February 2018 on the British Council website.

Please fill out the form and submit your application.

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That Killer First Page – Submitting to Journals and Competitions

That Killer First Page – Lancaster, May 7, 10-4. Tickets and further details here.

You’ll find out what competition judges and journal editors look for in a short story and how to avoid the rejection pile. You’ll write a short piece and get feedback on that crucial story opening. In a form where every word counts, get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action. You’ll also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.

About Paul

Paul McVeigh’s debut novel ‘The Good Son’ is currently Brighton’s City Reads and was shortlisted for the Guardian’s ‘Not the Booker Prize’. His short fiction has been published in journals and anthologies and been commissioned by BBC Radio 4. He has read his work for BBC Radio 5, the International Conference on the Short Story in Vienna, Belfast Book Festival, Wroclaw Short Story Festival and Cork International Short Story Festival the last 2 years. He has represented short stories in the UK for The British Council in Mexico and Turkey.

Paul’s short story blog shares writing opportunities and advice has had over 1 1/4 million hits.

Paul is co-founder of London Short Story Festival and Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s leading short story literary salon. He is also been a reader and judge for national and international short story competitions. Completely Novel says that Paul is one of the 8 resources that will help you write a prize-winning short story.

Reviews for his writing:

“Heartbreaking..gripping” The Guardian

“A work of genius.” Pulizter Prize-winning short story writer Robert Olen Butler.

“Absolutely loved it.” Jackie Kay

“Incredibly moving; poignant but utterly real, funny and beautifully observant.” BBC Radio 4

“Paul McVeigh’s story stands out. Funny, moving, poignant. Brilliant.” Metro Newspaper

Comments for this class:

“Practical, insightful application of knowledge to writing.”
“Fantastic! Practical, targeted advice like this is wonderful!”
“This was my fav course yet! Informative, entertaining, and engaging. Hard to beat!”

This class has sold out in Bath, Belfast, Brighton, Cork, London and Melbourne.

PaulMcVeigh short story