30 Days of Writing, An Online Course

30 days course30 Days of Writing is an interactive online course that encourages and supports writers in the process of writing a book in a month. For the thirty days of the course, the focus will be on your writing, on finding the right voice to tell your stories in, and on exploring ways to expand and layer a collection of short stories.

The course is led by the writer and tutor, Shaun Levin, editor of The A3 Review and author of Seven Sweet Things, A Year of Two Summers, and the writing guides, The Writing Notebooks.

30 Days of Writing is right for you if:

  • you want to create a substantial amount of writing in a short period of time
  • you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the collection you want to write and would appreciate some guidance and detailed feedback
  • you have an idea for a book but are not sure how to go about writing it
  • you like working in the company of others, but also enjoy the comfort of writing in your own space and at a time that suits you
  • you have notes and fragments towards a book, and would like some input on how to organise everything and keep going
  • you’d like to experiment with different ways of putting together a book, whether using text on its own, or combining text with photographs and illustrations

Tutor: Shaun Levin
Dates: 1-30 November 2019
Fee: £380

For just over £12 a day, you’ll receive:

  • detailed feedback
  • daily writing prompts
  • customised prompts and suggestions
  • 2 x one-to-one consultations
  • the company of other writers from around the world
  • 2 x the 12 Doable Writing Projects Writing Map
  • and the support to figure out what it takes to write your next book.

For more details about 30 Days of Writing, click here. Please email maps@writingmaps.com for any questions about the course.

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Call for submissions – Let your creativity sparkle!

Call for submissions – 2019 Ouen Press Short Story Competition

Ouen Press are pleased to extend an invitation for writers to submit an original short story in line with this year’s theme – ‘The Gift’. Winning authors will receive cash prizes and be published in an anthology early in the New Year. This follows on from the success of the competition in previous years and subsequent publications .

Ouen Press 2019 Short Story Competition – The Gift – Call for Submissions!

The short story must be a work of fiction involving in its theme a ‘gift’ of any sort [e.g. a present, a capability ] at any time [past, present day, future] or in any place [this world or another]. For the purposes of this competition, the term ‘gift’ will be viewed by the judges in the widest possible sense related to both setting and context. They will focus on well-written compelling storylines, thoughtful plots and engaging characters.

Deadline for entries is 31st December 2019 – full information and rules of the competition, which is open to writers worldwide, can be found at www.ouenpress.com

 For updates on our activities – come follow us on Twitter @OuenP 

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Spring 2019 Winners & Choose Your Own Entry Fee

Reflex Fiction - Flash Fiction - Spring 2019 Winners - ShortStops

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.

Spring 2019 Winners

At the end of June, we published the three winning stories from our Spring 2019 flash fiction competition as chosen by Alison Moore. Here are the winners and links to the stories:

First Place: Cooped by Andrew Stancek
Second Place: Big Strong Giant by Billy Cowan
Third Place: Happicabs by Night by Izzy Paprika

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

Summer 2019 Long-List

We’ve also just published the long-list for our Summer 2019 competition and have started publishing stories as we count down to the announcement of the winners at the end of September.

Autumn 2019 – Choose your own entry fee

We’re also accepting entries for our Autumn 2019 competition. For this round, we’re delighted to have 2018 Guardian ‘Not the Booker’ Award shortlisted writer Naomi Booth as our judge.

For this round of the competition, we’re inviting you to choose your own entry fee. If the suggested entry fee of £7 is prohibitive, just pay what you can afford. If you’d like to support a writer who can’t afford the full fee, why not add a pound or two? More details on our website.

Here are the important details:

Prizes: £1,000 first, £500 second, £250 third (or the equivalent in your local currency)
Entry Fee: Choose your own
Entries close: 31 August 2019
Judge: Naomi Booth

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition 2020

SSC20 flyer
Thursday 1st August 2019
will see the launch of the seventh Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition hosted by the award-winning charity InterAct Stroke Support.

 

The competition asks writers to write a piece in any genre in no more than 1000 words. The winner of the competition will receive £1000 and will be commissioned to write four further stories for InterAct Stroke Support over the course of one year. The closing date for submissions is 5pm on Monday 2nd December 2019 and first place will be awarded at the winner’s ceremony on Tuesday 3rd March 2020, InterAct’s 20th birthday. This year the competition will be judged by esteemed novelist Margaret Drabble.

 

Entries can be submitted by email or post and the submission fee is £15.00 per story. Please find more details and terms and conditions of entry on the InterAct Stroke Support website: https://www.interactstrokesupport.org/ssc2020

 

Previously shortlisted competition entrants have been published alongside authors such as Ruth Rendell, Toby Young and Nell Dunn in our illustrated collection of short stories and poems, Interactions, which is available to purchase on our website: https://www.interactstrokesupport.org/shop

 

InterAct Stroke Support is the only UK charity dedicated to supporting stroke recovery by using professional actors to deliver hospital readings and community projects. InterAct specialises in delivering stimulating and inspiring short stories specially selected to suit the needs of stroke patients.  The readings are designed to assist recovery by improving mood, stimulating the brain and providing much-needed entertainment.

The Autumn 2019 Reflex flash fiction competition is open

Autumn 2019 - Reflex Fiction - Flash Fiction Competition - shortstops

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 Summer competition: 413 entries from 25 different countries. We’re busy reading and judging in preparation for announcing the longlist on 1 July. In the meantime, the next round of the competition is now open for entries. In the interest of making the competition more inclusive, we’re trialling a choose your own entry fee system for this round. Visit our website for more details.

We’re delighted to have Naomi Booth, 2018 Guardian ‘Not the Booker’ Award shortlisted author acting as judge. Here are the important details:

Prizes: £1,000 / £500 / £250 (or the equivalent in your local currency)
Entry fee: Choose your own
Deadline: 31 August 2019
Judging: September 2019
Longlist announced: 1 October 2019
Judge: Naomi Booth
Submissions: via our online entry form.

Witches Sail in Eggshells by Chloe Turner

Witches Sail in Eggshells coverWe’re excited to announce our first publication under the Reflex Press banner. Witches Sail in Eggshells by Chloe Turner is a collection of seventeen short stories and is available to order now through our website. You can also read a taster story from the collection, ‘Hagstone’, online here.

How Fiction Works: A Study of Narrative Using Works by John McGahern

Linenhall Library, Belfast. May 13 & 14, 2019. 10am–5pm, both days.
Claire Keegan will direct this fiction writing course using works by John McGahern to explore and demonstrate the mechanics of writing and narrative structure.

1. The Leavetaking

2. “Christmas”

3. “Parachutes”

4. “The Conversion of William Kirkwood”

How do stories begin? How and why does an author make an incision in time and build tension? How is a reader drawn into a narrative? Why is a reader sometimes not drawn in at all? Keegan will discuss the structure of a narrative and go into what she calls the much-neglected middle, the trunk of the story. Are endings natural? Why do stories need to end, to find a place of rest? The discussion around endings will focus on falling action, emotional consequences and inevitability. Participants will also examine the differences between the short story and the novel. This course will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction or reading works is welcome to attend. To book your place, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com  Tuition is £300. A 50% deposit secures.

 

IMG_3242 (1)

Claire Keegan’s story collections include Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Her debut, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. “These stories are among the finest stories recently written in English,” wrote the Observer. Walk the Blue Fields, her second collection, was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in 2010, and won the Edge Hill Prize, awarded to the strongest collection published in the British Isles. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, then the world’s richest prize for a single story. New Yorker readers chose Foster as their story of the year. It was also published in Best American Stories is now on the school syllabus in Ireland. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

Masterclasses and author talks for short fiction lovers

For five years Novel Nights has been at the forefront of live lit in Bristol & Bath, programming author talks with authors like Maggie Gee and Nathan Filer.

This year we’re launching masterclasses, taught by experienced academics and writers. Tom Vowler will teach our first class, From Spark to Flame: Forging The Short Story on 27th April.  Tom is short fiction editor at Unthank Books, has published two short story collections and his third novel is out soon. He teaches at Arvon Foundation and Plymouth University.

“A masterclass to unlock some of the mysteries of this dazzling literary form. Aimed at both emerging and published writers, the class will explore how stories are crafted, how you can bring them to life, give them voltage and vitality.” 

On September 8th, Vanessa Gebbie will lead a day-long flash-fiction masterclass in Bristol. Tickets in advance.

“An in-depth look at flash fiction, aimed at any writer who is interested to start or continue an exploration of this sparkling form. You will create  many fresh pieces thanks to tried and tested games and exercises –  your tutor never asks you to share your writing, so you are unencumbered as you play freely and focus on meeting your new characters, voices and forms within forms.” Vanessa Gebbie has won awards for both prose and poetry, including a Bridport Prize and the Troubadour. Author of ten books, including five collections of short fictions, two of poetry and a novel, she is also commissioning and contributing editor of Short Circuit: Guide to the Art of the Short Story (Salt).

Novella-in-flash author talk 

On May 11th we’ve invited Michael Loveday, judge of the 2019 Bath Novella-in-Flash Award, to discuss writing a Novella-in-Flash and to share insights into the judging process.

Tickets only £8.50 from Novel Nights. Square Club, Bristol. BS8 1HB. Flash writers are welcome to submit to read