Don’t Betray Your Calling!

One of the fun aspects of putting together The A3 Review is coming up with the themes and prompts for each month’s contest. This month’s theme is particularly rich. One of those themes that you really need an entire novel to tackle, and we’re inviting you to do it in no more than 150 words! Betrayal. In 12-and-a-half dozen words or less. Do not betray your risk-taking disposition as a writer and an artist! This month’s theme is for you.

We’re looking for stories, poems and artwork that are political, personal or both. Secret betrayals and double crossings. From the banal to the Biblical. Write the Samson story from Delilah’s POV, for example. Or: What would Judas say? Write a poem about feeling betrayed by someone’s Tinder profile. He, or she, is definitely not as cute in real life!

Find inspiration in the words associated with betrayal: back-stabbing, double-dealing, disloyalty, treachery and duplicity.

Or tell the story of the first time you betrayed someone. What happened and where is that person today? Put into words what it feels like to be betrayed. Or what it tastes like, smells like. Write a poem of rage or forgiveness. Possible opening phrases could be: “We knew we’d been betrayed when…” or “This is how I betrayed him…” or “Just before she did it she…” or “It wasn’t the first time that…”

Click here for more prompts, suggestions, and details about how to enter this month’s contest. Deadline is the 28th of October. There’s also info here about the next few contests. If you think “Betrayal” is a juicy one, then there’s “Losing It” and “Brief Encounters” coming up, too.

When you enter our contests, don’t forget our popular (and very affordable) Brief Critique option. For just $15 we provide a line edit of your submission, along with 250 words of feedback on ways to take your work to the next level. Tick the Brief Critique add-on, and you’ll be able to pay together with your entry fee. Critiques are provided once the month’s winning entries have been announced.

We hope you’ll enjoy this month’s theme.

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Reflex Fiction Summer 2017 Winners!

Flash Fiction - Reflex Fiction - Short Stops - Summer Winners

Summer 2017 Winners

At the end of September we published the three winning stories from our Summer 2017 flash fiction competition as chosen by Vanessa Gebbie. Here are the winners and links to the stories:

First Place: Fly Away Home by Helen Rye
Second Place: Stop, Stop, Stop, Go by Stephanie Hutton
Third Place: Medium Sliced Humanity by Taria Karillion

You can read Vanessa’s thoughts on the winning stories here.

Autumn 2017 Long-List

We’ve also just published the long-list for our Autumn 2017 competition and have started publishing stories as we count down to the announcement of the winners at the end of December.

Winter 2017 Open for Entries

We’re also accepting entries for our Winter 2017 competition. Here are the important details:

Prizes: £1,000 first, £500 second, £250 third (or the equivalent in your local currency)
Entry Fee: £7 / $9 / €9
Entries close: November 30, 2017
Judge: Shasta Grant

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

Agatha Christie in the Bath and Two Online Courses

The A3 Review hosts a monthly writing contest, and this month’s theme is Naked and Nude. We read here that Agatha Christie wrote in the bath while eating apples. We googled for images, but there weren’t any, so we’re wondering: Who’ll write the story of the bathing novelist who said she specialised in “murders of quiet, domestic interest”? We like a good title, so how about: “Agatha Christie in the Bath”? Click here for more naked inspiration.

Deadline is 23rd September. 150 words max, or if you’re sending us artwork, it should fit nicely into an A6-sized panel. Click here to see all the new themes for Issue 8, The Gold Issue.

In the meantime, Issue 7 is almost here. The Silver Issue. We have 12 contributors, plus a story from flash fiction writer extraordinaire, Kathy Fish. There’s a maritime theme running through the new issue. Flowing through it! Whales and shrimp, to be precise. As well as stories and poems about a nun who steals a cross, a boy scout who’s unprepared, a teacher who learns, and some people who revel in their own dirt! From the depths of the ocean to the moon and space, with some complicated earthly relationships in between. If you haven’t pre-ordered already, you can do that by clicking here.

Some details about the two online courses… New dates are up for The A3 Review editor, Shaun Levin’s How to Map Your Book online course. The current one filled up pretty quickly, so you might want to grab a place for the course starting in November. If you’re eager to join a course now, there are still a few places on the Write Around Town online course that starts next week. Both courses are practical and focused on your own writing. It’s a great chance to get detailed feedback on your work, too. Check out both courses by clicking here.

Any questions about the courses or The A3 Review, please contact maps [at] writingmaps [dot] com

WORDS AND WOMEN IS OPEN FOR ENTRIES

WORDS AND WOMEN ANNUAL NEW WRITING COMPETITION IS OPEN FOR ENTRIES

Deadline Midnight, 15th November 2017

The short prose competition offers the opportunity to enter not only short stories but non-fiction, memoir, and life-writing and this year’s guest judges arrive fresh from non-fiction triumph with their co-authored book, A Secret Sisterhood: The hidden friendships of Austen, Bronte, Eliot and Woolf.  Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney are also award-winning writers of fiction. Emily is a winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and Emma is author of the award-winning novel Owl Song at Dawn. They co-run SomethingRhymed.com, a website that celebrates female literary friendship.

Emma S and Emily M

Both judges are looking ‘for compelling voices that combine a sensitivity to the musicality of language with a story that holds the reader’s attention from beginning to end.’ Narratives that are nuanced, complex and unusual will make them sit up and take note.

The national award, generously sponsored by Hosking Houses Trust, offers women writers over the age of 40 the opportunity to win £1,000 cash and a month-long writing retreat at Church Cottage, Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The East of England prize offers the winner £600 and a mentoring session with Jill Dawson of Gold Dust.  Both national and regional winners will be published in a compendium of the best stories published by Words and Women over the last five years. The compendium will be launched on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2018 in Norwich, as part of a year of activities supporting The Year of Publishing Women, a provocation launched in Norwich last year by Kamila Shamsie and supported by Words and Women.Young W logo copy 1

‘We are very grateful and excited that Hosking Houses Trust has agreed to sponsor our competition with such a substantial national prize for a second year. It is a brilliant opportunity for women writers over 40 and we are looking forward to receiving entries from Billericay to Belfast.  And to have Jill Dawson’s mentoring session again as part of our regional prize is immensely supportive and provides a great opportunity for our regional winner,’ said Bel Greenwood, co-organiser of Words and Women.

‘This year, we have two outstanding guest judges with experience of both non-fiction and fiction, and we are looking forward to working with them and hearing their views on the selected long-list,’ said Lynne Bryan, co-organiser of Words And Women. ‘We work closely with the judges to select the winners but ultimately it is their choice after much discussion! It’s always an exciting process.’

Hosking Houses Trust is a unique charity which offers women over the age of 40 time in which to start, continue or complete interesting or innovative work, in a residency free from the pressures of everyday life. Writers who have been awarded residencies include Joan Bakewell and Sally Vickers.

Jill Dawson is the author of nine novels, including the best-selling Fred and Edie, (short-listed for The Whitbread and Orange Prize) and Watch Me Disappear (long-listed for the Orange Prize). Her novel The Great Lover, about the poet Rupert Brooke, published in 2009, was a best-seller and a Richard and Judy Summer Read.   Her latest is The Crime Writer, about Patricia Highsmith. Jill is the founder of Gold Dust, a high calibre mentoring scheme.  Gold Dust will offer all entrants to our competition a special discount on their mentoring scheme.

The Words and Women prose competition has proved itself to be a great showcase and previous winners have gone on to secure agent representation and increased interest in their work.

Entries should be 2,200 words or under.  Short works of fiction of any genre, memoir, life-writing, essays and creative non-fiction are all welcome. Extracts from longer works will not be considered. The deadline is 15th November 2017.  Winners will be announced in January 2018.  See www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk for details

 

Need an opportunity to express yourself?

2017 Ouen Press Short Story Competition on ‘Taste’

Calling out to all talented wordsmiths for compelling, imaginative stories

For the third year running Ouen Press are delighted to extend an invitation for writers to submit an original short story in line with this year’s theme – ‘Taste’. Winning authors will receive cash prizes and be published in an anthology early in the New Year. This follows on from the popularity of past competitions and subsequent publication of the winning entries in Journey through Uncertainty & Last Call.

The short story must be a work of fiction that explores the concept of ‘Taste’ within its theme.  The ideal submission will be a well-crafted, compelling story – the judges will be particularly interested in imaginative interpretations of one or more of the various meanings that could be derived from the term ‘Taste’.

Deadline for entries is 31st December 2017 – full information and rules of the competition, which is open to writers worldwide, can be found at www.ouenpress.com

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Ouen Press is a small independent publisher seeking to establish a close working relationship with an ensemble of gifted storytellers, capable of offering readers compelling tales.

Both Journey through Uncertainty & other short stories AND Last Call & other short stories – distinctive anthologies including the winners from the 2016 & 2015 Ouen Press short story competitions respectively are available from Amazon in paperback & eBook.

For updates on our activities – we’d be delighted if you would come follow us on Twitter @OuenP or Like our Facebook page @OuenPress

Reflex Fiction Winter 2017 Flash Fiction Competition Is Open

Reflex Fiction Winter 2017 Flash Fiction Contest
Reflex Fiction is a quarterly international flash fiction competition for stories between 180 and 360 words. We publish one story every day as we count down to the winner of each competition.

We had a fantastic response to our Autumn competition: over 280 entries from seventeen different countries. We’re busy reading and judging in preparation for announcing the long-list on October 1. In the meantime, the next round of the competition is now open for entries. We’re delighted to have Shasta Grant, the 2016 SmokeLong Quarterly Kathy Fish Fellow, acting as judge. Here are the important details:

Prizes: £1,000 / £500 / £250 (or the equivalent in your local currency)
Entry fee: £7 / $9 / €9
Deadline: November 30, 2017
Judging: December 2017
Long-list announced: January 1, 2018
Judge: Shasta Grant

Submissions

Submissions should be made via our online entry form.

Rules

Stories must be fiction, must be the entrant’s own work, and must be between 180 and 360 words inclusive. See the Reflex Fiction website for full Rules.

Silver, Gold, and Some Hard Cash

gold thingsWe’ve got a silver-themed contest with a looming deadline; six new themes for Issue 8: The Gold Issue; and an increase in our cash prizes.

There’s still one last chance to be part of The A3 Review‘s Issue 7, The Silver Issue. This month’s theme is SILVER THINGS, so make sure to get your sparkly work in by Saturday the 26th August. Click here for glittery inspiration and to submit. The issue will also include a story by guest flash-fiction writer Kathy Fish alongside the winners of the last 5 months of contests, and this month’s winners, too.

In other news… The A3 Review‘s founding editor, Shaun Levin, is launching a new online writing course, How to Map Your Book. The course is suitable for writers at all stages of a book project, so if you’re putting together a collection of short stories, you might want to check out the details here.  There’s an early-bird rate for bookings up until the 20th August.

Do please spread the word about our new themes for Issue 8: The Gold Issue. Naked and Nude, Windows, and Betrayal are just some of the dramatic themes coming up! And, because our submission numbers are up, we’re able to increase the prize money from this issue. Click here for inspiration and more details.