Stroud Short Stories is open until the end of Sunday 29 September for submissions from Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers.
It’s free to submit and we will select ten stories to be read by their authors at our 19th event on Sunday 10 November at the 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse. Our last 13 events have all sold out.
The event is part of the 2019 Stroud Book Festival.
It’s an open theme this time so any subject matter, any style so long as it’s a short story of no more than 1,500 words.
Information about our rules and how to submit is on the SSS website.
Tickets, priced at £8, go on sale on the Playhouse website on 11 October.
Tickets are now on sale for the 18th Stroud Short Stories event Incendiary! on Sunday 19 May –
Tickets are priced as usual at £8. The event, at our new venue, the 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud, GL5 1LW, starts at 8pm (doors 7.30).
Ten Gloucestershire authors will be reading their stories about fire, heat, passion, anger and rebellion selected from the 113 stories submitted.
The authors are –
Steve Wheeler (aka Steven John)
All info on the Stroud Short Stories website
Hastings 2019 Litfest Short Story Competition
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.
For further details, rules & entry form visit http://hastingslitfest.org/competitions/
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.
All the info you need is on our website – http://stroudshortstories.blogspot.com/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
More information on our website.
I hope to see you there.
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.
Contributors include: Kathy Chamberlain, Tom Brennan, Anne O’Leary, Jack Somers, Margaret Redmond Whitehead, Jane Roberts, Toby Wallis, Roz DeKett, John Herbert, Cathy Ulrich and Vivienne Burgess.
Write & Shine runs a programme of writing workshops that embrace the inspirational power of the morning. Writer Gemma Seltzer will guide you through the sessions, waking you up with words & energising you for the day ahead.
Our workshops take place bright & early in peaceful central London locations & are open to everyone, whether you’re new to writing, have some experience or simply want to add more creativity into your life. You won’t be expected to share your work, which offers great freedom & encourages all kinds of unexpected ideas to emerge.
For the summer series of workshops, we’ll find inspiration in sunshine, the lighter mornings & the 200th anniversary of Emily Brontë’s birth. Join us from 5 July.
Workshops cost £19 or you can purchase our seasonal membership to motivate you to enjoy all the workshops, events & online sessions we have on offer this summer. Find out more on our website: www.write-and-shine.com
About The Aleph Writing Prize
The Aleph Writing Prize is an annual writing competition. The prize awards a limited publication to the best piece of writing. There are no barriers to this competition, anybody of any age can enter regardless if they are published or unpublished.
The winning piece will be published in a limited number of handmade booklets and all copies/proceeds will go to the winner.
The competition is free to enter.
The judges will be looking for innovative and creative writing that explores and expand the possibilities of the book. We encourage submissions from all literary genres, and there are no restrictions on theme or subject matter.
– The prize opens to submissions on 1 July 2018.
– Submissions will close on 1 September 2018. No entries will be considered if submitted after 1 September 2018 (12 noon GMT).
1st November 2018
Terms and Conditions
Please read these eligibility and entry rules carefully before beginning the online entry process. Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of the entry rules. For any queries not covered below, please email email@example.com
1) The competition is open to unpublished and published writers residing anywhere.
2) Only submissions receivedby 12 noon September 1st (GMT)
will be considered.
3) The entry must be the entrant’s own original creation and must not infringe upon the right or copyright of any person or entity.
4) There is no minimum word count, but the maximum word count is 10,000.
5) Writers may submit one piece of work each. Illustrations accepted.
6) The story must be written in English (Translations accepted).
7) Submissions must be made by the author of the short story.
8) There are no age restrictions.
9) When submitting, please include a short covering letter including your contact details, your name and the title of your story.
10) The first page should include the title of the story and the number of words.
11) All submissions should include page numbers.
12) Entries will accepted via email firstname.lastname@example.org . Please put SUBMISSION in the subject. Submissions must be in one of the following formats: .pdf.
13) Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted.
14) No editorial feedback will be provided.
15) Only submissions which meet all Terms and Conditions will be considered.
More details here: http://thealeph.limitedrun.com/
DEADLINE: 10th May / DYDDIAD CAU 10 MAI
rhaw Magazine is a new arts and culture magazine focusing on the creative work produced in North Wales, by both students and the local community. Our first issue is due to be published on the 1st July and is not theme-specific. You are welcome to submit any work you have as long as it complies with the submission guidelines. We look forward to receiving your work, be it a short story, poem, a photograph, a comic strip, or anything in between.
Mae rhaw yn gylchgrawn celfyddyddau a diwylliant newydd sy’n canolbwyntio ar y Gwaith creadigol a gynhyrchir yng Ngogledd Cymru, gan fyfyrwyr a’r gymuned leol. Disgwylir cyhoeddi ein rhifyn cyntaf ar y 1af o Orffenaf; ac nid yw’n thema-benodol. Mae croesoi chi gyflwyno unrhyw waith sydd genych chi cyhyd a’i fod yn cydymffurfio â’r canllawiau cyflwyno. Edrychwn ymalen at dderbyn eich gwaith, boed yn gerdd, ffotograff, stribed comig, neu unrhyw beth tebyg.
For more information visit our website / Am fwy o wybodaeth ewch i’n gwefan:
To submit your work, go to / I gyflwyno’ch gwaith, ewch i:
Stroud Short Stories is open for submissions for the 20 May event – our 16th event. Submissions will close at the end of Saturday 14 April. It’s an open theme this time. As ever it’s free to submit and we accept both published and unpublished stories from Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers. Ten authors will read their work in front of a capacity audience of 70 short story lovers on Sunday 20 May at the SVA in John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA.
We will also be publishing a second anthology later this year and all ten writers will be invited to have their story published in it.
All the info you need is on our website/blog – https://stroudshortstories.blogspot.co.uk/
We’re looking for new writers from Wales and the South East of the UK to be published alongside Tyler Keevil and Gemma Cairney in our series of books Hometown Tales.
Hometown Tales aims to celebrate regional diversity by publishing voices from across the UK. Each of the eight books in our new series will feature work from two writers – one established and one previously unpublished, found through open submissions – both writing about the places they think of as home.
Writers who have not published a full-length work are invited to submit a piece of original fiction, memoir or history, of approximately 15,000 words based on the idea of ‘hometown’ before our deadline of 14 January 2018.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Short stories aren’t just easier versions of the novel. They’re a broad, complex and rewarding art form in their own right. Writers’ HQ’s new online short story course will help you see the bigger picture and compress it into short stories with real punch.
Short stories have been here since the dawn of time. Based in the oral tradition (stop sniggering at the back), they’re the apocryphal family legends our grandmas/weird uncle used to tell us over Christmas dinner; they’re the school-yard urban myths; the sleepover ghost stories; the soliloquies in our diaries; the wine-soaked rants to that random person you cornered in the kitchen at that party after so-and-so dumped you. Short stories are all around us.
But super short stories are not super easy for writers, natch. In fact, the shorter your story becomes, the harder it is to distil what really matters onto the page. I would have written a shorter letter, so the famous quote goes, but I didn’t have the time.
So what makes truly great short fiction? The kind that leaves you dribbling, slack-jawed, and slap-faced when you finish it. The kind you remember forever, like some weird dream-memory. Well. We can’t write it for you, but we can give you a nudge, a shove, and a poke with a sharp stick (whatever floats your boat) to help you on your way. With the help of writing prompts, advice from award-winning short fiction writers, inspiring exercises, and the awesome little Writers’ HQ online community, you’ll come out the other side with at least one fully formed short story to call your very own – and maybe even send out into the world of literary magazines and competitions…
BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW or sign up for the full WHQ MEMBERSHIP for access to all seven of our online courses and exclusive discounts and freebies!
Sign up for monthly membership before 31st December and get 25% off your sign up fee with promo code WHQERSRULE25
So here we are again with Bunbury Magazine, dear Bunburyists. Issue seventeen. It feels like seventeen should the unlucky number, not thirteen. Thirteen gets a bad rap, probably because it got caught in the fallout of those Friday the Thirteenth films.
Oh, fallout! That’s why we’re here. It’s not often we get that distracted that early on. This is our fallout themed issue. We thought it timely going with this theme given everything going on in the world right now. As you know, we here at Bunbury towers try to stay non-partisan in all things outside of creativity but there are some things – some big things lurking around the world – that just cannot be ignored.
Our suggestion? Hunker down with plenty of water, canned food and ride out the fallout with this new issue. As usual, it’s packed to the reinforced-steel rafters with poetry, short stories, art and all of the nice things to help you escape from the outside world (REMAIN INDOORS). We also have a superb feature and interview with the very talented Aaron Kent, curator of Poetic Interviews, one of the most exciting projects happening in the poetry at the moment.
You can get this brand new issue but clicking the gorgeous front cover below (very expertly created by Amy Telfer). It is on pay-what-you-like but we suggest £3 for something so lovingly put together. Alternatively, if you pay £15 for this or any other issue, we will send you a copy of the Bunbury Creative Anthology Vol. 1, which contains the best bits from the first 12 issues. Come on, that’s a bargain!
Speaking of exciting, there are exciting times afoot here at Bunbury. Last issue, we introduced Dean Rhetoric to you, our new poetry editor, who has also put together amazing features for us and you (The Best Kept Secrets in Poetry last time)!
Well our team has expanded evermore. We would now like you all to welcome Malika M Street, who has joined us as poetry editor (and also helps us run our spoken word sister event Just Write). We also have Fiona Nuttall, who will be editing the short story section from here on in. We are so thrilled to have these three beautiful humans on board. We have no doubt that each section will be full to the brim with the highest quality you can find!
In other OTHER news, our doors are once again open for submissions. The theme is THE HUNT for issue 18. You can find our submissions guidelines and more how to get in touch on our website (just click the thing below!)
With all that, enough of the dillying and dallying. We must away to put on our tin hats and crouch under a rickety, match-stick table. Keep calm and Bunbury.
Much love and keep scribbling!
Christopher and Keri.
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.
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.
‘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
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
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.
We had so much fun teaching Write and Edit a Story in the spring that we’ve brought it back again this autumn. Only this time we’re not only dissecting the short story, but also the personal essay.
We all have different strengths and weaknesses as writers. For some, getting a first draft down is a necessary torture before the fun of editing begins. For others, editing is the agony after the ecstasy!
This two-day course is designed to get you both writing and editing, by combining dedicated creative time with an intensive tour through ways to improve your craft.
On day one, we’ll kick off by exploring ways to turn our ideas into full stories, whether we’re writing fiction or creative nonfiction, from getting first words down to finishing a draft. You will then have ample time and space (and tea and cake) to write, in the quiet company of fellow scribblers.
On day two, we will work through a series of editing approaches, which you will be able to apply to your own work. Think of these as a series of editorial experiments that will throw new light on plot, style, characterisation, setting, dialogue, openings and endings. We suggest that you bring your draft from the previous day (or another story or essay if you prefer), in multiple copy or on a laptop, so that you can test out approaches even if you choose not to apply all the editing techniques we teach in the session. We’ll discuss the results and share our work if we wish. In the spring both Zoe and Lily shared a very rough draft of their own writing, to be pulled apart by the group, but it was a great learning curve for everyone. So we’ll most likely do this again as well. Eek!
You don’t have to come up with an idea on the spot. You might have an idea you’ve been wanting to write, or a piece you have already started. Please bring this with you, to draft on day one. For those who want a new idea, we’ll provide optional idea-generating material to get you going.
This course is suitable for both beginners and committed writers. For both those writing fiction and creative nonfiction. Whether you’re dabbling in your first short stories or personal essays, or you’re compiling a short story collection, or writing a memoir, we welcome you. By the end of the course we’ll endeavour to help you have a new draft of a story or essay, and a range of editing skills to help get it into shape.
Course fee: Early Bird £189. Full fee £229
Date and Time: Weekend of October 7th & 8th, 10am-4pm
Location: Clapton Laundry, London – a luxurious, inspiring space in East London, where you will have plenty of space to spread out and find a quiet spot during the first day of writing. Lunch will also be provided
Tutors: This course will be taught by both Lily Dunn and Zoe Gilbert of London Lit Lab. By leading workshops together, we are able to bring two perspectives to everything we teach, and therefore everything is up for discussion! Sharing our differing approaches to writing helps to create a richer learning experience, which we believe benefits everyone who comes on our courses.
Places are limited, so if you would like to reserve a place, or for more information, please get in touch at email@example.com
We have one place on this course available at a 75% discount for a writer who would struggle to pay the full fee. If you, or someone you know, would like to apply for this place, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, by 23rd September. In no more than 200 words, please tell us why you would like to come on the course, what you write, and why a discounted place would be valuable to you. We won’t be fact-checking but we really want to give this place to someone who genuinely needs it, so please be honest. Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you.