I Heart Short Stories

This year the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award celebrates its tenth year as one of the world’s most significant prizes for short fiction.

Over the last decade, we’ve not only helped champion the form, but also, particularly because we read stories anonymously, discovered many fresh new writers who had not previously been given a platform – everyone from Roshi Fernando and Rebecca F John to Sally Rooney, who got her first shortlisting from the award.

Now we want to expand our commitment, with regular digital posts about everything to do with the short story under the banner of I Heart Short Stories. On our website over the next months you will find monthly news and views about short story writing and writers, interviews with authors, features on the short story landscape, and guest slots written by those with things to say about short story writing.

Already we have had news round ups, a long feature on short stories in the south west of England plus interviews with our prestigious winners such as Yiyun Li and C.K. Stead.

We have just announced our judges for the award – Sarah Churchwell, Kit de Waal, Carys Davies and Blake Morrison – and we’re hoping to have a piece from one of them to fill you in on the judging process. Also we would be delighted to hear about blogs from anyone with something to say about the short story. If you have any ideas please email shortstoryaward@sunday-times.co.uk or get in touch with us via Twitter.

This is all part of our determination, with the help of our sponsor Audible, to help make the short story a more central part of the literary landscape.

You’ll see everything we do under the “I Heart Short Stories” banner and #IHeartShortStories. And there’ll be more to see on Twitter at @shortstoryaward.

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The Elbow Room Prize 2016

The Elbow Room Prize has returned for a second year to celebrate art in all guises. The deadline is Sunday the 14th of August at midnight GMT.

We at Elbow Room a delighted to return with The Elbow Room Prize for a second year. With the deadline fast approaching we want to make sure everyone has had their chance to enter. We love short fiction of every kind at Elbow Room and can think of nothing more enjoyable than poring over well crafted fiction from every genre, style and subject out there.

The prize will culminate in a London based exhibition, reading and anthology publication. We once again look forward to receiving and sharing your gems with the world.

For more details about the event take a look at The Elbow Room Prize 2015.

The Elbow Room Prize 2015 anthology is available for sale in our shop, www.elbow-room.org/shop

Winners will be notified by Wednesday the 30th of September via email and will be publicised on the website soon after.

The event will be held towards the end of October and will be publicised after the winners are announced.

The Judging Panel:

Zelda Chappel grew up in London and the South of England. She is co-curator at Elbow Room. She writes, often on the back of things and never in black ink. Her work has been published in a number of publications both online and in print. in 2014, Zelda won the Battered Moons Poetry Competition. Her debut collection, Girl in the Dog-tooth Coat was published by Bare Fiction in 2015.

Harry Denniston is a short story writer, poet and playwright currently based in London. His work has been published in places such as Elbow RoomInky NeedlesDactyl and Quick Fictions, and his plays have been performed in London, Norwich and Edinburgh. Harry was one of the inaugural Elbow Room Prize winners.

Rosie Sherwood is an artist, scholar and independent publisher. As the heart of Sherwood’s interdisciplinary practise is a fascination with time and a desire to tell stories. In 2012 Sherwood founded As Yet Untitled and started publishing Elbow Room. Sherwood graduated from Camberwell College of Arts with an MA in Book Arts in 2013. She has delivered conference papers and University lectures across the country. Sherwood has taken part in artist book fairs, as well as group and solo exhibition, most recently at the Southbank Centre. Sherwood’s work can be found in special collections including The Poetry Library, Tate Library and Archive and the national libraries of both Victoria and Queensland (Australia).

Categories

For full details on each category and how to enter please visit our website www.elbow-room.org

Poetry

(For full details on submitting your poetry to The Elbow Room Prize click HERE or on POETRY box)

Prose

(For full details on submitting your short fiction to The Elbow Room Prize click HERE or on SHORT FICTION box)

Visual Arts

(For full details on submitting your visual arts to The Elbow Room Prize click HERE or on VISUAL ARTS box)

Prizes

For each category:

First prize in each category: £200

Second and third prizes in each category: £50 each

All winners will be published in a special competition anthology edition of Elbow Room.

All winners will be featured in a London based exhibition and live event.

 

FAQ (for all categories)

You do not have to be a London (or even UK) based artist/writer to enter. If your work is selected and you are unable to attend or transport your work to the event, solutions will be found to ensure you are featured.

All entries will be judged anonymously so it is important that your name does not appear anywhere on the work itself.

Visual Arts include (but are not limited to) Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Drawing, Illustration, Sculpture, Video Arts, Animation, Books Arts and mixed media pieces. If you are unsure if your work qualifies please do not hesitate to contact us.

For the visual arts category we are classifying a piece of work as a single image, video, sculpture or object. This can include a book (or similar) that includes multiple images within it so long at they are contained/bound together. If you are unsure if your work qualifies do not hesitate to contact us for further details.

The visual arts submissions will be being judged as the based on the quality of the original piece of work rather than how it will appear in publication format. If multiple images of the same piece of work are needed to best display it for the judges (eg an installation or sculptor) that is completely acceptable.

We will happily accept work by artists and writers working collaboratively, please simply include all your names and biographical details in the body of your email. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further details if required.

The piece submitted can be from a larger body of work or series. If this is the case please indicate in the description of the work.

Any video art or animation entrees must be no longer than 20 minutes.

If your work is untitled that is fine but please clearly state this.

Any further questions can be sent to elbowroomsubmissions@gmail.com with the subject line Elbow Room Competition Question.

Elbow Room reserves the right to change the judging panel or not to award prizes.

We reserve the right to use your work to promote the event but all copyright remains with the writers/artists.

Small Wonder Short Story Festival

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Don’t miss out on Small Wonder – the jewel in the crown of short fiction calendar!

Running from 28 September to 2 October at Charleston, the Bloomsbury home of art and ideas, nestled in the South Downs in East Sussex (shuttle buses to and from Lewes Station for every event).

Catch Ali Smith receiving the Lifetime’s Excellence in Short Fiction Award and a new generation of prize-winning writers including Kevin Barry, Eimear McBride, Lisa McInerney, Kei Miller and Petina Gappah. Lionel Shriver, Elif Shafek and Salley Vickers pay tribute to Charlotte Brontë, and actress Juliet Stevenson reads Poems the Make Grown Women Cry. Join in The Literary Death Match and the Short Story Slam and hone your own writing skills in creative writing workshops.

Browse the programme and book tickets now!

AMBIT summer competition 2016

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Ambit Magazine announces the launch of its 2016 Short Fiction and Poetry Competition

We are looking for the most exciting flash fiction (up to 1000 words) and if you write poetry – you can submit that too (max 42 lines per poem). There’s no theme – just send us your best work on any subject, in any style. We wish you luck!

Prizes

First place prize in each category will be £500, second place £250, and third £100.

All six prize-winning pieces will be published in issue 226 of Ambit Magazine, and winners will be invited to read at the launch on 25 October 2016 in London.

Deadline

The competition open as of 1 May, closing on 1 July.

The winners will be announced on our website www.ambitmagazine.co.uk

Entry Details

Online submissions, all rules and guidelines are here – www.ambit.submittable.com

If you want to enter by post, or to find out about our fabulous judges David Gaffney for fiction, Sarah Howe for poetry, go to this page on our website:
www.ambitmagazine.co.uk/ambit-summer-competition-2016

All judging will be done strictly anonymously.

AMBIT’S 1ST ANNUAL SHORT FICTION COMPETITION OPENS MAY 1ST, 2015

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Ambit launches its first annual short fiction competition in May, after the success of our poetry competition last year.

The competition will be judged by Alison Moore, and will run from May 1st – July 15th. Winners will be announced on September 1st  2015. First, second and third prizes will be awarded (£500, £250 and £100 respectively) and the three winners will be published in Ambit 222, out in October, and invited to read at our launch party with Alison Moore.

We are accepting stories of anything up to 1000 words. It costs £7 to submit one story to our competition, but if you enter enough stories you will qualify for a free one year subscription to Ambit (so, 4 entries for UK subscription, 6 for the rest of the world).

Please submit your entries via our Submittable portal where full directions can be found.

Do read our competition guidelines carefully at ambitmagazine.co.uk.

All stories will be read with great care and completely anonymously.

Good luck to all!
The Ambit Editors

 

 

Edge Hill Prize 2014 Open For Submissions

Hard to believe that we’re now into the eighth year of the Edge Hill Prize. The idea came up after a one day conference I organised for short story writers and critics back in 2006. We wanted to help raise the status of the form, encouraging British publishers to accept and promote single author collections. After all this time, the Edge Hill Prize is still unique in the UK. Since we began, several major new short story awards have run alongside the National Short Story Prize  – for instance the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and the Costa Prize – but they all recognize a stand-alone story. The Frank O’Connor Award is a much bigger prize than ours, and an inspiration, but its shortlist tends to be dominated by American authors. The Edge Hill Prize awards £5000 to an author born or based in the British Isles, including Ireland, for a collection published in the previous year, with an additional £1000 Readers’ Choice prize, currently judged by BA Creative Writing students at Edge Hill. Winners so far have been Colm Tóibín, Claire Keegan, Chris Beckett, Jeremy Dyson, Graham Mort, Sarah Hall and Kevin Barry.

The deadline for entries is the first week in March. At this stage of the yearly cycle, the parcels are gradually arriving from the publishers – first, as always, the small presses, with entries from Welsh and Irish authors already looking strong. Later in March we’ll announce a longlist, narrowing that down to a shortlist of five by early May. Shortlisting is carried out by staff and postgraduates, in consultation with the three main judges. It’s a difficult and painstaking process; there can be no simple tick-box procedure. Broadly speaking, we’re looking for something that compels us to read on, something exciting in the language, and something that fully exploits the short story form. There are many gifted writers who don’t quite make the shortlist.  One or two of their stories may be outstanding, but they haven’t maintained that high standard across the whole collection. Other collections are too limited in style or subject matter, so that you feel that each story is a variation of the one that came before.

Last year the shortlisting process was made even more difficult by a record-breaking longlist. Bloomsbury had named 2012 ‘the year of the short story’, and other publishers, both independent and mainstream, seemed to share that sentiment. Even extending the shortlist to six (Kevin Barry, Emma Donoghue, Jon McGregor, Adam Marek, Jane Rogers, Lucy Wood) meant excluding some authors who in another year might have been finalists. As Graham Mort said, accepting the prize 2011, ‘literary prizes were never intended to provoke competition alone, but to celebrate diversity, quality and commitment’. The seven shortlists so far have been an inventory of the most exciting writing in the British Isles, including work by Jackie Kay, Helen Simpson, Anne Enright, A.L. Kennedy, Robert Shearman and many others.

The 2014 judging panel includes last year’s winner, Kevin Barry, Katie Allen of welovethisbook.com and Carys Bray who was the first winner of a third award category, presented for a story by a current MA Creative Writing student at Edge Hill. Her collection, Sweet Home, was subsequently published by Salt to great acclaim. With Carys on the panel, the prize has come full circle, completing the inextricable links between short story writing and reading, which turn emerging talents into established authors.

The award ceremony this year will be on 3rd July at the Free Word Centre in London. I have no idea who will be on the shortlist this year, let alone who the winner will be.

The judges’ discussions have always been spirited and amicable, fuelled by enthusiasm for the short story form, and the decisions have been difficult but always unanimous. None of us know exactly what we’re looking for, but we always recognize it when we see it.

To see terms and conditions and how to enter the competition, go to Edge Hill Prize

Davy Byrnes Short Story Award 2014

The Stinging Fly are delighted to announce the return of the Davy Byrnes Short Story Award — Ireland’s biggest short story competition.

Prize fund: €15,000 for the best short story, plus five runner-up prizes of €1,000

Competition Judges: Anne Enright, Yiyun Li and Jon McGregor

—The competition is open to Irish citizens and to writers who are resident or were born in the thirty-two counties.

—Entries must consist of a previously unpublished short story written in English. The maximum word count is 15,000 words, no minimum. Only one story per entrant.

—We will be accepting entries from December 1st 2013. No online entries. Entries must be posted/delivered to Davy Byrnes Short Story Award, c/o Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin City Libraries, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.

—The deadline for receipt of entries is Monday, Feb 3rd 2014. There is a €10 entry fee, payable online or by cheque/postal order.

—The six short-listed writers will be announced in late May/early June 2014 and the overall winner announced in June 2014.

The competition is sponsored by Davy Byrnes and organised by The Stinging Fly in association with Dublin UNESCO City of Literature

For further information about the award — and to enter your story! — please visit our website.

What the judges say:

The Davy Byrnes Award is given to a story that has the writer’s name removed, the judges of the prize have been more international than local and the prize money is substantial. These three things meant the world to me when I won in 2004, a time when I felt washed up on the shores of the Irish boom. The short story yields truth more easily than any other form, and these truths abide in changing times. As a writer turned judge, I am looking for a story that could not have been written any other way; that is as good as it wants to be; that is the just the right size for itself.

—Anne Enright

I am a staunch advocate for short stories, and respect any organisation/effort that supports stories and story writers. I am thrilled to be serving as a judge for the Davy Byrnes Award. As for what I look for in a short story, to borrow from Tolstoy: ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ There are stories written like happy families, which one reads and forgets the moment one puts them down. But the stories that belong to the category of unhappy families, they can do all kinds of things: they touch a reader, or leave a wound that never heals; they challenge a reader’s view, or even infuriate a reader; they lead to a desire in the reader’s heart to be more eloquent in his ways of responding to the story yet leave the reader more speechless than before. A good story is like someone one does not want to miss in life.

—Yiyun Li

I’m both thrilled and slightly daunted to be taking part in judging the Davy Byrnes Award this year. Thrilled, because it’s a prize with an astounding track record of unearthing great talent and excellent stories; the previous judges have clearly had a very sharp reading eye. Daunted, for pretty much the same reasons. There’s a lot to live up to.

What I look for in a short story is a kind of intensity of purpose and a clarity of expression; something which holds my attention and rings clearly in my reading mind. For me, this is mostly something in the voice on the page; something in the control of the syntax, which immediately puts me in the world of that story. If it’s there, it usually kicks in within the first few lines; after that, it’s just a matter of seeing whether the writer can really keep it up.

—Jon McGregor