Now in our second year we are looking for short stories of up to 1500 words. The theme is the same as our festival: In Other Words – an exploration of difference, otherness, new perspectives and expanding horizons, to be interpreted as the author sees fit.
Judge: Tabatha Stirling
Tabby lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her family and a depressed beagle called the Beagle. A published author and poet, Tabby signed with Unbound for her debut novel, Blood On The Banana Leaf, in August 2016 and released her latest novel Bitter Leaves in March 2019.
“I am looking specifically for beautifully written stories in any genre that don’t try too hard and have authentic voices that echo long after I’ve finished reading. Writing of quality – luminous, transportive prose that makes me pause and groan, ‘Oh! I wish I’d written that’.”
First Prize £100 Second £40, Third £25, plus trophies. The top placed entries in each category (poetry, short story and flash fiction) will be included in a 2019 anthology.
Prize-giving will be on Sunday 1st September at the Litfest Closing Ceremony.
Stroud Short Stories is open for submissions from Gloucs and South Gloucs writers until 31 March – for our 19 May 2019 event in a new venue, the Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud. It’s free to submit and we are happy to consider published and unpublished work.
There’s a theme this time – Incendiary! Think of the theme as widely and flexibly as possible – stories about fire, heat, passion, anger, rebellion, incineration, climate change, inflamed senses, etc, etc.
As well as reading before an audience of 150 short story lovers at the Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud, the authors of the ten stories chosen will be offered a place in our next published anthology – due 2021.
Tickets for the 19 May event will be available from 21 April on the Cotswold Playhouse website.
The Nottingham Review is now open for submissions for our second print issue (to be published in December). We’re looking for fiction between 100-3000 words. There is no theme. The closing date for this reading period is Wednesday 31st October 2018.
For full submission guidelines please see our website for details. Our first 10 issues are archived on the website and are free to view. You can also purchase a copy of our first print issue from our online store, priced only £3 including free delivery.
We are launching the new Stroud Short Stories Anthology 2015-18 on Friday 28 September 2018 at the Ale House in John Street, Stroud from 7.00 to 10pm.
The new anthology covers stories from the six events from November 2015 to May 2018. That’s 57 stories by 45 authors including Joanna Campbell, Rick Vick, Melanie Golding, Steve Wheeler, Chloe Turner, Jason Jackson, Ali Bacon and Andrew Stevenson.
The first print run is 300 books and we already have 270+ reservations, so why not reserve your copy and then collect it at the launch? Email me on email@example.com
The anthology is priced at £10.
The launch is free and unticketed. Please come along. There will be a few words from me at 7.30 and then Mark Graham will read his story ‘Wayland Smith: Warrior of the Milky Way’ from the anthology.
As Anne Frank poignantly wrote: “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Writing can be an incredible outlet, but sometimes there are stumbling blocks along the way.
Which is why the team at READ Foundation has put together a list of 12 Writing Tips to Get You Started.
READ is an education charity which builds schools and enables children from poverty-stricken backgrounds to access schooling. We’re currently running a writing competition for short stories, poems and personal essays which will inspire children in their educational path. Scroll down for more details on how to enter.
The charity has gathered the best tips from well-known writers, blogs and the wider web to help writers in their pursuit of the perfect prose.
Write from the heart. A book without a pulse is like a person without a spirit. – Linda F Rad
We love the tips in this Guardian article on the Top 10 Writers’ Tips on Writing. Particularly this one from Katherine Mansfield: “Looking back I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was too. But better far write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all.”
Enter competitions, send off examples to agents, read up on literacy festivals to attend, join writing clubs either locally or online – research as many places as you can which can help you on your writing journey, whether the aim is to get published, receive feedback, or simply learn more about the writing process from the people who do it professionally.
Write on a computer which is disconnected from the internet (after you’ve finished reading this blog, obviously). It’s a distraction you can do without.
The “show don’t tell” mentality is well-known for a good reason: it’s true. As fiction author Anton Chekhov puts it: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
Oxford Dictionaries has some excellent general advice on better writing, whether it’s a letter, speech, email or something more creative. We like the tip “guide readers through what you write”. The advice is to “help readers understand your message quickly and precisely. To do this, it is necessary to show them clearly how the different parts relate to each other.”
How about a writing tip from a Nobel winning author? Alice Munro, who was given the Nobel for Literature in 2013, has spent most of her writing life focussing on short stories. She said: “Usually I have a lot of acquaintance with the story before I start writing it….stories would just be working in my head for so long that when I started to write I was deep into them.”
Proofread proofread proofread. It’s relly obviously when a sentennce has speling errors in it. If you’re entering a writing competition, judges may penalise you for the errors and it could mean the difference between winning or losing a contest.
Write, even when you don’t feel like it. Get into the habit of writing on a regular basis. If you can commit to writing for a certain amount of time each day, for 30 days, it’ll soon become second nature. About 30-40 days is all you need to make a new habit stick.
Recognise it’s not just your characters that are human – you are too! So if you have periods of struggle, you’re not alone. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Julie Duffy, founder of Story a Day, says “Don’t wait to write until you’re older/wiser/invited to the party. Don’t wait until you have something ‘important’ to say.” Other experts have revealed their best writing tips for beginners.
Enjoy the process! It’s a journey you’ll be proud you’ve taken. Good luck!
While you’re here, we have some exciting news for you. Education charity READ Foundation is running its very first writing competition and needs people like YOU to take part. Read all about it here. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, 10thOctober 2018.