The Walter Swan Short Story Prize (Competition)

The Walter Swan Short Story Prize, run by the Northern Short Story Festival and Leeds Big Bookend in partnership with the Walter Swan Trust, is now open for entries. Judges are Anna Chilvers and Angela Readman.

We are looking for great new short stories. Around twenty selected short stories will be published in our anthology, to be published by Valley Press in May 2018, and three winners will be awarded cash prizes. There is no theme and you do not have to live in the North of England to enter.

“The common themes throughout Walt’s life were kindness, warmth and humour. He was always sociable and had a great talent for friendship. Much of his time was dedicated to others as a family member, friend, teacher and director, and he provided support, encouragement and inspiration in each of these roles. Walt was passionate about creative writing of all genres and, although he was extremely talented in his own right, it is his enthusiasm for the work of others which is the legacy that the Walter Swan Trust now aims to continue.”

1st Prize £200

2nd Prize £100

3rd Prize £50

Enter using our Submittable link here. See the Big Bookend website for further T&Cs.

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The Northern Short Story Festival

“What a brilliant idea – our very own short story festival here in the North! – Avril Joy

It’s frustrating being a writer in the North, sometimes. There’s not much support for writers here – with only one literature development agency covering hundreds of square miles, and London’s interesting-sounding salon events an expensive train ride away, what’s a writer to do?

Wonder no longer – the Northern Short Story Festival is here. The festival, which is the brainchild of writer SJ Bradley and part of Leeds Big Bookend Festival, has an eclectic and appealing programme of events. On Saturday 4th June at Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds, there are workshops ranging from “The Art of Murder” with writers Alison Taft and Anna Chilvers, to Success in Short Story Competitions with Avril Joy, reading events ranging from a Bluemoose Books Reading event with prizewinning author Michael Stewart, to a Q&A with the wonderful Carys Bray, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

There’s even an open mic event, hosted by Jenna Isherwood of Fictions of Every Kind, at which writers will be invited to read stories they’ve written at workshops during the day, and an afterparty at Hyde Park Book Club with flash fiction legend Benjamin Judge and ukulele troupe The Three Amigos.

With prices ranging from £4 to £20 for a day ticket, it’s local, affordable, and exciting! What more could you want?

Fictions of Every Kind: Worlds, 7th Sept, Leeds, Live Lit

Fictions of Every Kind is a non-profit DIY literary social which aims to support & encourage anybody engaged in the lonely act of writing. Our September event is themed “Worlds”. It is a celebration of all things planetary, and a chance for us to consider our position in the universe. (Never let it be said that Fictions is shy to ask the big questions.) Or, alternatively, you can avail yourself of the cheap bar at Wharf Chambers and listen to everybody else’s ideas about life, the universe, and everything.

“I really wonder what gives us the right to attack this poor planet of ours.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Our invited speakers at Worlds will be:

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JACEY BEDFORD is a British writer of science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories who lives behind a desk in an old stone house, high on Yorkshire’s Pennine Hills, with her songwriter husband and a German Shepherd called Eska. (That’s a dog not an actual shepherd from Germany because that would be too surreal.) Her debut book, Empire of Dust, was recently published by DAW as part of a three book deal. The sequel, Crossways, follows in August 2015. The first pair are space operas in the grand tradition. Her third book, Winterwood, a magic pirate fantasy with a cross-dressing captain, a jealous ghost and a sexy wolf shapechanger, is due in February 2016. She’s been a librarian, a postmistress, a rag doll maker and a full-time folk singer, but now she pushes words around for a living. She’s one of the organisers of the annual Milford SF Writers’ Conference in the UK, a peer-to-peer workshopping and discussion week for published writers. She blogs and inhabits facebook and twitter, all of which can be accessed via her website at www.jaceybedford.co.uk.

MARTIN CORNWELL lives in London. From 2006 to 2010 he co-edited the No Quarter, a satirical news website. He now contributes to Quadrapheme, an online literary magazine, and writes fiction. His short stories have been published by Writers Billboard and Every Day Fiction, among others, and his upcoming debut novel is called The Seers.

+ Music from MATTHEW BOURNE

+ Writers’ open mic, at which true stories, flash fiction, short fiction, poetry, and excerpts of larger work will be welcome. Please keep your contribution at 5 minutes or under.

As ever, this is all at the ridiculous, honestly, I don’t know how we do it, bargainous price of £3.

This event is supported by the Leeds Inspired grants scheme.

Please note: Wharf Chambers is a members’ club, and you must be a member in order to attend an event here. Joining costs £1 and takes a minimum of 48 hours to take effect. To join, see www.wharfchambers.org

The Facebook page for this event is here 

Fictions of Every Kind: Relativity, April 14th, Leeds (Live Lit)

Fictions of Every Kind is a regular non-profit literary social, which aims to support & encourage anybody engaged in the lonely act of writing. Our April 14th event is themed ‘Relativity’ and we are very pleased to be bringing two world-class short story writers to Leeds for this event, thanks to a small grant from the Leeds Inspired Grants scheme. And all at the bargain price of £3!

Our invited speakers are:

ZOE LAMBERT Zoe is a short story writer and almost novelist. Her collection, the War Tour, was published in 2012, and her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. Her latest is Beta-Life, by Comma Press. She is currently working on her novel, That Quiet Longing, and she lectures at the University of Lancaster. www.zoelambert.com

AVRIL JOY was born in Somerset, the setting for her first novel, The Sweet Track. Her short fiction has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, including Victoria Hislop’s, The Story: Love, Loss and the Lives of Women: 100 Great Short Stories. She has been shortlisted for a number of prizes including The Bridport, The Manchester Prize for Fiction, and in 2012 she won the inaugural Costa Short Story Award. Her collection of stories, Millie and Bird, Tales of Paradise, is published in 2015 by Iron Press. She blogs regularly about writing and life at www.avriljoy.com, and lives with her partner in County Durham.

+ Writers’ open mic at which fiction, poetry, true stories, flash fiction, and excerpts from larger works, are all welcome. Please keep your contributions at 5 minutes or under, and sign up when you arrive.

+ Music from THESE MEN (indie barbershop quartet)

Our April event is being organised and hosted by Claire, Jenna, and Sarah.

This event is supported by the Leeds City Council Leeds Inspired Grants Scheme.

* Please note: Wharf Chambers is a members’ club, and you must be a member in order to attend an event here. Joining costs £1 and takes a minimum of 48 hours to take effect. To join, go to www.wharfchambers.org

The Facebook events page for this event is here.

Fictions of Every Kind: Help Yourself! (Live Lit event, Leeds)

Fictions of Every Kind: Help Yourself! Tuesday 2nd December, Wharf Chambers* Leeds, £3 entry

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Fictions of Every Kind is a quarterly literary social / literary salon event, aimed at giving support and encouragement to anybody engaged in the lonely act of writing. Please come along, make new writer-friends, and join us for an evening of short-story flavoured “edutainment”. Our December event will feature:

LOGISTICIANS ANONYMOUS This award-winning short story by Estonian writer Armin Koomagi will be performed by Greg White. This story was awarded the Friedebert Tuglas Short Story Award in 2006, and was included in the anthology “Best European Fiction 2012.”

SHORT FILMS We will present a programme of short films on the theme ‘Help Yourself!’ from around the world.

As ever, there’ll be a writers’ open mic at which flash fiction, short fiction, true stories, and excerpts of larger work are all welcome. Please keep your contributions at 5 minutes or under, and sign up on the door when you arrive.

To contact us or for more information, please see our Facebook page, or visit the Fictions of Every Kind website.

* Please note: Wharf Chambers is a members club & you must be a member in order to attend an event here. Joining costs £1 and takes a minimum of 48 hours to take effect. See www.wharfchambers.org for more information.

Fictions of Every Kind: North

Fictions of Every Kind is a 100% non-profit, DIY writers’ social night, based in Leeds. We aim to support and encourage anyone engaged in the lonely act of writing.

Our next event, themed North, is on June 3rd, at Wharf Chambers in Leeds. It’s part of the HanNah festival, and is a collaboration between us, The Poetry Business, and The Writing Squad.

Our invited speakers at this event are:

CLARE FISHER The winner of the 2013 Spread the Word prize, Clare will be reading from her ‘North’ series set inside the Inner Leeds Ring Road.

STEVE DEARDEN “In a moment, Steve’s stories stories can go violent, almost too violent, then sexy, really sexy, then funny. Strangely obsessive. And very very smart. Wonderful moments of existential clarity. And then he breaks my heart. Bastard.” Tom Spanbauer

+ Readings from The North magazine, curated by its editors Peter & Anne Sansom
+ Readings from members of the current Writing Squad

+ Music from PHILIP BROOK

PLEASE NOTE: There will be an open mic at this event, but spots are likely to be a little more limited than usual. (Sorry about this.) Flash fiction, short fiction, true stories, and excerpts from larger works are all welcome. Please observe our 5 minute-limit for reading – please keep your contributions within this time to give everybody a chance to read. If you go over 5 minutes, you will be stopped! If you are new to our open mic and would like to reserve a spot to read at this event, please send us a facebook message or email s dot j dot bradley at hotmail dot com.

For more information on this event, please visit the facebook events page

PLEASE NOTE: Wharf Chambers is a members club, and you must be a member in order to attend an event here. Joining costs £1 and takes a minimum of 48 hours to take effect. See www.wharfchambers.org to join.