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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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?

March Round-Up III

Hello story lovers,
As March draws to a close a little dryer than it opened, here’s our roundup of what’s been happening on ShortStops over the past fortnight:

Lit Mags and Competitions
We welcome 1000Words to our lit mag list – flash fictions written to a picture prompt. Bare Fiction mag are giving away Issue 1 for free as they launch Issue 2, and there’s anew writer and new luggage from The Casket of Fiction Delights. Jotters United launches Issue 2, Myths of the Near Future are offering the brand-new Revolution Issue for free until Apr 3 and calling for submissions from under-25s for the Money issue.

Stinging Fly shares with us 10 Writers on Bad Advice They Chose to Ignore. Holdfast magazine announce a call for submissions for their first print anthology, deadline June 15th, and submissions open til May 31st for their online issue #3.

Read an extract from a story from Neon’s Winter issue and check out their call for proposal for chapbooks and pamphlets. The Moth International Short Story Prize is open until June 30th.

Live Lit & Short Story Events
We welcome London live lit night The Special Relationship to our list – and they are hosting a free event: a night of short fiction from Comma Press and the Croatian Writers’ Society in London on April 8th.

Workshops
Comma Press is holding a short story writing workshop in April in Manchester.

Last Minutes & Gentle Reminders
Today is the deadline for The Brighton Prize, a short story prize with a live lit twist, so get those entries in!

Anthologies
Submit a short story on the theme of Islands and Cities to a new Tasmanian-London anthology by April 30th.

Happy reading, writing, listening and performing!
Tania x

Marek on Radio 4 and Comma’s Short Story Writing Course

If you haven’t been following it already, do be sure to tune into BBC Radio 4 Extra all this week at 11am to give your ears a ruddy good treat with Adam Marek’s delicious, bizarre and hysterical short stories, taken from his two collections Instruction Manual for Swallowing and The Stone Thrower, published by Comma Press. Today’s dose is ‘The 40-Litre Monkey’, a comic yet slightly unnerving tale of an odd pet shop owner and his even weirder collection of animals. You can catch up on Monday’s episode and see what stories are forthcoming here. Adam has been described by The Independent as ‘Early McEwan meets David Cronenberg’, and  author Alison MacLeod has praised him as ‘one of the best things to have happened to the short story this century’. You can find out more about Adam on his website www.adammarek.co.uk.

And if you missed the last one, bookings are now open for the next Comma Press Short Story Writing Course to be held at MadLab in April and tutored by Claire Dean.  Over the course of six weeks, participants will study the narrative structure of the short story, receive tailored feedback on their writing, and experience a chance to hone their craft to a publishable standard. And there will be biscuits. Lots of biscuits. For more information and to book your place, click here.

Synaesthesia Magazine Short Story Competition 2014

SymbolSynmag

The Synaesthesia Magazine team are proud to announce our very first short story competition!

We have had a fantastic first year at Synaesthesia Magazine. It makes us so proud to see our readership growing and our contributions increasing, so what better way to end the year than to give you all the opportunity to take part in our very first competition?

Opens
15 November 2013

Closes
7 January 2014

For this exciting leap into 2014, we’re lucky enough to have Adam Marek, award-winning short story writer of two fantastic collections, Instruction Manual for Swallowing and The Stone Thrower, as our guest judge.

Here are the delicious prizes we have lined up for our winner and runner-up:

Winner:

£60 Amazon voucher
2 x books courtesy of Comma Press
Publication in Synaesthesia Magazine‘s February 2014 issue
Winner’s interview in Synaesthesia Magazine‘s February 2014 issue

Runner-up:

1 book courtesy of Comma Press
Publication in Synaesthesia Magazine‘s April 2014 issue

All submissions will be judged anonymously, with our top stories read and judged by Adam Marek!

The rules are simple, but please read them carefully:

  • Only one (1) submission per person
  • Word limit up to 2,500 words maximum
  • Entries must be in English
  • Entries must be previously unpublished
  • All short stories must be in .doc, .docx or .pdf format, with Name of Entrant, Story Title as the file name
  • All entries must be sent via email (as an attachment) to synaesthesiamagazine@gmail.com
  • Subject line of email to include: Name of Entrant, Story Title, Short Story Competition
  • Body of email must include author’s name, email address and PayPal address. Entries must be paid via our blog
  • No corrections can be made after submission, nor fees refunded
  • There is no set theme
  • The competition is open to all; it is not restricted to UK residents only.

As we run the magazine entirely on love and coppers from our piggy banks, for this competition there is a small entry fee (£4.00) which is available to pay via PayPal only.

If your entry fee has been successfully processed, each entry will be accepted, but unfortunately we cannot reply to each and every email (as much as we’d like to!). A shortlist will be published on our blog in January 2014 and sent to all entrants. The winner and runner-up will be notified by email, and asked for their address for the prizes to be sent to.

Good luck!

About our guest judge:

adam marekAdam Marek won the 2011 Arts Foundation Short Story Fellowship, and was shortlisted for the inaugural Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. His first story collection Instruction Manual for Swallowing was nominated for the Frank O’Connor Prize. His stories have appeared in many magazines, including: Prospect and The Sunday Times Magazine, and in many anthologies including LemistryLitmus and The New Uncanny from Comma Press, The New Hero from Stoneskin Press, andThe Best British Short Stories 2011. His second story collection is entitled The Stone Thrower.

SymbolSynmag

Twitter: @SynaesthesiaMag

Blog: synaesthesiamagazine.blogspot.co.uk

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