Submit to National Flash Fiction Day 2019!

m15flat-bwtextNational Flash Fiction Day this year will be on Saturday 15th June Submissions for the 2019 National Flash Fiction Day anthology and micro fiction competition are NOW OPEN!

Anthology

This year’s theme is filled with possibility…or not! Our theme can reveal secrets to us and it can keep danger hidden. Is it trying to keep everyone from getting in, or is it trying to keep you from getting out? Knock, knock, who’s there? It’s our theme: Doors!

We want you to open the door to stories wild with imagination. We’re looking for those creepy mysteries about doors we can’t find the key to. We want those funny tales of frustration when doors do exactly what they’re supposed to when we don’t want them to. Maybe the stories you want to share are about metaphorical doors, filled with the disappointment of doors that are closed to us or brimming with excitement at new opportunities. Whichever door you decide to write about, make sure it’s your best and that is fewer than 500 words!

This year’s editors are Joanna Campbell and Santino Prinzi.

Please submit up to three (3) unpublished flashes of 500 words or fewer before our deadline. Titles are not included in the word count.

The submission fee for this year’s anthology is: £2.50 for one (1) entry, £4.00 for two (2) entries, and £6.00 for three (3) entries.

The deadline is Friday 15th March 2019, 23:59pm GMT.

Please visit our website for the full submission guidelines.

 

Micro Fiction Competition

Entries are open for this year’s National Flash Fiction Day Micro Fiction competition! This year’s judges are Angela Readman, Diane Simmons, Kevlin Henney, and Judy Darley.

First prize is £75.
Second prize is £50.
Third prize is £25.

The winning and shortlisted authors will be published in the National Flash Fiction Day 2019 anthology. Winning and shortlisted authors will also receive a free print copy of this anthology.

Please submit up to three (3) unpublished micro fictions of 100 words or fewer before our deadline. Titles are not included in the word count and there is no themefor the micro fiction competition.

The entry fee for this year’s micro fiction competition is: £2.00 for one (1) entry, £3.50 for two (2) entries, £5.00 for three (3) entries.

The deadline is Friday 15th March 2019, 23:59pm GMT.

Please visit our website for the full submission guidelines.

 

Support

In previous years we have had funding and have been able to offer free entry to everyone. Other years, like this year, we do not have funding and have needed to charge a small fee in order to cover our costs so we can continue doing what we do.

We would like offer free entry to disadvantaged and marginalised writers but we do not have the funding we need to be able to do this. We are working to try and secure funding.

If you would like to help us achieve this by donating entries for the anthology or micro competition, please email us: nationalflashfictionday@gmail.com.

Call for submissions: SPOTLIGHT BOOKS

Small books, big ideas– we’re looking for a few good writers.

Inventive.  Hidden.  Compelling.  Unrecognised.  Challenging.  Unheard. Beautiful.  Ambitious.

Creative Future, Myriad Editions and New Writing South seek the best unpublished English short fiction writers from under-represented backgrounds—those who face barriers due to mental health, disability, identity or social circumstance.

We’re looking for manuscripts of 8-10,000 words–no more, no less.  We’re happy with one long story or a selection of several.  

Six writers (three fiction writers and three poets) will be selected, supported to polish their manuscripts and further their careers, and be published in individual short books with international distribution.

For more info and how to enter, please click here  

Deadline: 24 February 2019

New Small Press: The A3 Press

a3 press logoThe A3 Review is launching The A3 Press, a new small press for short stories, poetry and artwork. All our titles will be printed in our signature map-fold format. Click here for all the details and find us at TheA3Press.com.

Think of us as a chapbook press, a place for work that might struggle to find a traditional home, work that’s lyrical and intense, maybe a bit weird, hybrid, experimental. We also welcome work that’s traditionally beautiful. We like work that is urgent, that says something about what it’s like to be alive at this point in history.

Our first six titles will appear in early 2019. We’ll then publish six new titles every six months.

Deadline for manuscript submission is 20th November. Visit our Submittable page, where you can also find details about our regular monthly contests and The A3 Review.

We’re excited to see where this new publishing adventure takes us and look forward to reading and seeing your work. Please do get in touch with any questions you may have.

The Aleph Writing Prize

THE ALEPH WRITING PRIZE 2018

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.

*

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:

– 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).

WINNERS ANNOUNCED:

1st November 2018

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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 thealephstore@gmail.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 thealpehstore@gmail.com . 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/

 

Issue 8 and a New Press, Perhaps

Issue 8 coverWe’ve been thinking that it could be fun to set up a small press. The A3 Press. Same kind of format as The A3 Review and Writing Maps, a place for writers and artists to publish short work. We’re imagining these beautifully designed chapbooks that fold out. Let us know what you think! If you click here, you’ll be taken to the survey.

We’re almost ready to start compiling Issue 8, The Gold Issue. This month is the last opportunity to be included in our next issue. The theme is brief encounters and the deadline is Saturday, 24th February. Quickies, chance meetings, a brief exchange that changes a life. Click here for all the details and some further suggestions. You can also pre-order a copy of Issue 8 here.

For all our future contest themes, check out our Submittable page.

Happy Writing!

Small Wonder Festival at Charleston

Small Wonder Festival, Charleston’s annual celebration of short fiction, will take place between 27 September and 1 October 2017. The variety of this year’s programme confirms that although the texts may be compressed, the short form may contain a multitude of subjects, tones and styles. Short stories offer glimpses into the human condition and linger on in the mind, despite, even because of, their brevity and restraint. Don’t miss the shared experience of listening to and telling stories in the atmospheric tents at Small Wonder. During the festival you can listen to engaging speakers, take part in workshops and much more…

The festival kicks off on Wednesday 27 September with ‘Let Me Count the Ways’, an exploration of love in its many contexts and guises. Groundbreaking young writers Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and Gwendoline Riley will discuss their work with journalist Arifa Akbar.

let me count the ways

On Thursday 28 September we explore the challenges and advantages of the short story form in our event ‘Novella Perfection’. Novella enthusiasts and practitioners Cynan Jones and Megan Hunter will be in conversation with Alex Clark. I believe the novella is the perfect form of prose fiction. – Ian McEwan.

Unmissable on Saturday 30 September is ‘Welcome to the Caribbean’, with Jamaican writer Olive Senior, Trinidadian Anthony Joseph and Bahamian Helen Klonaris (British Council International Writer in Residence at Small Wonder 2017).
caribbean

A final highlight for any budding writers will be ‘Hitting the Ground Running’ on Sunday 1 October. This event promises a fascinating look at how to begin a career in writing short fiction, with debut authors Julianne Pachico and Jessie Greengrass speaking alongside agent Clare Alexander and publisher Mark Richards. Perfect for aspiring authors, those interested in the publishing process or short fiction fans, it will include an extended Q&A.

Visit the Small Wonder website for more information and many more events: https://www.charleston.org.uk/small-wonder/. Or join in the conversation on social media: #SmallWonderFest.

 

 

TOKEN Magazine – Call for submissions

new-header-token

TOKEN magazine is now open for submissions.

We are looking for short stories (in any genre/style) with the word count between 500-5000 words, non-fiction pieces, interviews, illustrations, photography, and artwork. As this issue is our first we really want as many diverse creative works as possible – so if in doubt, submit! We are in particular looking for BAME writers underrepresented in literature and the arts.

There is no theme for this issue.

If you are selected we may want to work with you in developing your piece (this is mainly for written pieces).

All contributors will be given a hard copy of the zine.

To submit please email your piece to tokenmagazine@gmail.com.

 

Rules

Any works published elsewhere (including on your personal blogs) will not be accepted.

The deadline for submitting is midnight (UK time) 28 February 2017.

 

For more information about TOKEN Magazine please see our website here or follow us on twitter here

 

 

I’m Trying To Prove Short Stories Are Popular

I am crowd-funding a collection of short stories.  As I’m sure many of you have found out, short story collections are not looked upon favourably by agents or publishers in the UK. This is not the case in the US, Asia or even as close as Ireland. A handful of UK companies do consider collections but to be honest you have to either be a best-selling author already or have won a major short story prize to get past the slush pile, even then you’ll probably have to have a novel ready to go. My first book, Starlings, was a daisy chain collection of inter-linked stories.  It was published by a tiny but gutsy indie called Revenge Ink. I didn’t have an agent then because no-one I applied to represented short stories, “if you wanted to get back in touch when you have written a novel, we would be delighted to represent you.” Does this sound familiar to anyone? I still haven’t got an agent and with this second book, In The Future Everyone Will Be World Famous For Fifteen Minutes, I didn’t even try to get one. This collection is themed around fame and celebrity culture but there’s no way I can pretend it is a novel; each story is individual. I half-heartedly sent it off to a few US companies until somebody suggested I try the innovative crowd-funding publisher Unbound.

Since the company was established in 2010, Unbound has gone from strength to strength. Their catalogue includes books by Jonathan Meades, Terry Jones, Kate Mosse and a Booker Prize listee (Paul Kingsnorth with The Wake).  The company promo declares that, “authors get to write the books they want to write and readers get to read real books, that in a crowded, celebrity obsessed market place might never see the light of day.”  This sounded very appealing to me. I sent my submission off and heard that it was successful after about 3 weeks. Crowd-funding is a fast-paced business. Unbound wanted me to upload a promo, a cover, biography, extract and synopsis within 24 hours in order to go live with the project immediately. You typically get 90 days to raise around £3,000 in pledges. It’s a hard slog of marketing, press releases, events, blog posts, radio interviews and local TV. If you do reach your target Unbound allocate you an editor and then your book gets the same treatment as it would from any major publisher. There are lots of levels of pledge from digital copies to launch tickets to manuscript assessments.

I am partially doing this to prove that, contrary to what most UK publishers and agents think, short stories are popular and deserve more consideration. If you would like to see more short story collections published you could start by pledging to this one.

Brighton’s Latest TV made a short film about the project  which you can view by clicking here Fifteen Minutes of Fame? No Thanks!

Fifteen minutes flyer

The Fractured Nuance #3: Handwritten issue available now!

The Fractured Nuance issue #3 was aptly released on National Handwriting Day and is entirely handwritten/ illustrated by contributors from around the world.

Each piece is unique in form and content; handwriting ranges from immaculate to bordering on illegible!

Read, enjoy, and decode it by purchasing here:

The Fractured Nuance #3: Handwritten

Like the Facebook page for updates:

The Fractured Nuance Facebook page

Bristol Publisher Launches New Magazine

BoundlessFrontCoverFinalOCT

Arkbound is a new Bristol-based social enterprise that provides a range of innovative services to aspiring authors, writers and journalists. Some of you may be aware of the term ‘social enterprise’, but for those who don’t it is a business that reinvests its profits back into the community. Our aims are to promote social inclusion, community development and artistic talent. We can sponsor disadvantaged authors (getting them published), as well as provide a platform for marginalised groups and community organisations.

On October 1st we are proud to be launching the very first edition of Boundless, a magazine that includes contributions from local artists and writers, as well as investigative journalism and literary reviews. To coincide with national ‘Social Saturday’, we are also having a launch event from 9th-11th October at 123 Arts Space in Stokes Croft (just next to ‘The Little Shop’). Everyone is cordially invited to this event, and there will be opportunities to meet other writers whilst chatting over free refreshments.

There are many opportunities for writers with Arkbound. We welcome new contributions to Boundless, and each year run a competition for ‘Best Short Story’, ‘Best Visual Art’ and ‘Best  Article’. Everyone featured in Boundless is entered freely into one of the relevant categories (the entry deadline this year is 1st November). Writers from disadvantaged backgrounds (who have faced long-term employment, disability, imprisonment or other impediments) will also be considered for full sponsorship, and we are currently considering submissions for new manuscripts. As a publisher, Arkbound is particularly keen on literary works that address – or at least touch upon – environmental or social issues. At the same time, we always consider contemporary fiction, whether it be a debut thriller novel or a fantasy trilogy.

If you would like to find out more about what we do, please visit http://arkbound.com/ .

On The Same Page campaign launches

In a follow-up from my post in December about the On The Same Page app template (a simple, elegant design for publishing text/image collaborations digitally), I’m excited to announce that the two.5  crowdfunding campaign is now live.

We’re trying to raise £2,975 to cover the final production costs for the app template. As I type this we’re 10 days into the campaign and have already raised 68% of our goal. Any contribution – however large or small – will help us towards making that 100%.

In return for contributions we’ve put together some perks which might be of interest to ShortStops enthusiasts. They range from professionally recorded audio stories to editorial feedback on a short story/novel extract of up to 5,000 words. Also up for grabs are invitations to be a beta-tester for the app, postcard sets, portrait photoshoots in New York, and exclusive creative commissions. Perhaps the perk I’m most proud of is our Software Files.

    On The Same Page mock-up    On The Same Page mock-upOn The Same Page mock-up

On The Same Page mock-up

For a donation of £300 (or above…) you’ll receive a licensed copy of our software files for On The Same Page, allowing you to publish your creative work as an app. Your license allows you unlimited use of the files, so you can use it for as many of your personal projects as you wish, and contributors will receive free upgrades for life as we continue to develop the template in the future.

If you’re reading this and thinking ‘actually, what I’d find really useful in exchange for a contribution would be [XYZ]’ then email us – viccyandsamantha@gmail.com – and Samantha and I will see if it’s feasible for us to tailor-make you a perk of your choice. We’re also available for interviews, and generally keen to get in touch with other digital collaboration enthusiasts to swap trade-secrets and find out what other people are up to.

Happy National Short Story Day 2013!

The christening of a particular date as being ‘National [insert name here] Day’ is always a bit of a cheesy, cringe-worthy affair. After all, you don’t need a licence to declare a day National anything, and just recently, what might have been fun in the beginning is now getting quite tiresome – I mean, come on, National Hug Your Boss Day? Or even more ridiculous, National Vanilla Ice Cream Day? Not that ice cream isn’t awesome but there’s really no need for the entire British population to give a platform to a frozen dessert. Or hug their boss.

Comma logo high res 2

That said, sometimes there is a precedence for these events, and in December 2010 Comma Press decided to start up a little project of our own which we called ‘National Short Story Day’. It was held on the 21st of the month to coincide with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Clever, eh?

So if the ‘National this’ and ‘National that’ business is all a bit redundant, why did we decide to do it? Well to start with, Comma is the most prolific hard copy publisher of short fiction in the UK, and aside from the odd poetry collection here and there we do nothing else but short stories. And secondly, there is actually a deep-rooted tradition in Britain of story-telling at winter time. Dickens himself edited a weekly magazine called Household Words during the 1850s, which as well as the serialisations of novels, also consisted of Christmas-themed stories which were published in the seasonal issues. This idea continued with MR James and his Christmas Eve ghost story ‘entertainments’ in the early twentieth century, where he would read his work aloud to friends in one of the rooms at King’s College, Cambridge, probably in front of a fireplace. This performative element – the delivery to a room full of listeners – carried forth Poe’s vision of the short story and what was so good about it – that it could be read in a ‘single sitting’. These performances eventually transcended to the BBC with TV adaptations and dramatised readings throughout the 70s, 80s, and a revival in the noughties which featured usual suspect Christopher Lee in a candle-lit room reading selected James stories.

But – the main reason behind the National Short Story Day project was simply to offer a non-commercial alternative to the pre-Christmas chaos; to persuade people to drop the stress of shopping and wrapping and decorating, (and the anxiety over what to buy that aunt you see once a year but who’s coming for dinner on the 25th so you best have a present ready) – just for a moment, and do something different. Something that doesn’t require your money; just your appreciation.

NSSD logo adapted

Initially, it started small. 2010 saw three events held in Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle. In 2011, we didn’t hold any events but we ran an all-day social media campaign on our SSD Facebook page and through the @ShortStoryDay Twitter account using the hashtag #nssd, promoting the new website at www.nationalshortstoryday.co.uk. The site, which has grown in terms of content since its launch, contained video footage of short story readings, recommendations (we now have over 200) from editors, publishers, authors, translators and others who work with literature, and a vast range of links to short story resources including organisations and groups, public domain audiobooks and podcasts, apps, publications etc… We also ran a ‘tweet a story in 10 words or less’ competition which proves to be increasingly popular every year (Timothy Spall and his wife Shane even tweeted at us from their barge!), and gave free Comma books as prizes to the top five entries.

In June 2012, we went global. Riding on the high of London 2012, and the BBC Short Story Award becoming the International Short Story Award that year for the first time ever to coincide with the Olympics, we decided to have two short story days – one in winter (shortest day) and the other in summer on the shortest night of the year, usually the 20th or 21st June. It was our most successful project to date. Reaching out to our already established contacts in the UK and in Europe (colleagues and friends of Jim Hinks, Translation Editor here at Comma and co-founder of the European Short Story Network) and sourcing out new ones, we managed to get so many people involved that 20 events took place all over the world on the 20th June, plus three more organised by us personally in Manchester, London and Glasgow.  There are too many collaborative partners to name here, but the response was truly touching, with friends and strangers alike running their own short story themed events in Leeds, Nottingham, Sheffield, Cardiff, Minneapolis, New York, Zadar, Belgrade, Cape Town, Botswana, and Johannesburg. We also received an influx of short story reading recommendations for the website from international writers, so the list expanded into something far more culturally diverse, championing our long-held belief that the short form is an international one. Our hashtag #issd even climbed to the top of the twitter trends, beating #justinbieber (we did it again in December 2012 with #nssd surpassing #mayans).

gimbal

This year, on 21st December, we’re returning to the national focus (the international celebrations now take place in the summer). As well as our usual 978-1905583485Twitter competition and book giveaways, Comma is marking the release of our first ever non-fiction title, Morphologies, a book of essays by contemporary short story authors on past masters of the form, plus the release of the brand new version of Gimbal, our free iPhone app which lets you escape the boredom of your daily commute by exploring foreign cities through short fiction. There are also events from Nottingham Writers’ Studio and Parthian Books, details of which are available here.  

We welcome everyone and anyone to get involved with National Short Story Day in any way you wish. Discover a new author, re-read an old favourite, recommend a story to a friend, or even create your own!

Just keep the short story love alive.

Tentative First Steps

Well here we all are. Hello. How do you do? This is Number Eleven, we are an online literary journal and we want you (not your souls or anything like that, just your attention). I will keep this as brief as I can, I just want to welcome you to our little corner of this absolutely fabulous site. It’s going to take time to get to know your names off by heart but if you all sit in the same position every day then it should be fine and we’ll all get on like a house on fire (okay, I’ll be serious now).

Issue Three of Number Eleven is only a few weeks old and we’d love it if you could have a quick look and tell us what you think – http://numberelevenmagazine.com/. The reading window for Issue Four is open right now and I encourage you to send us some of your work, we look forward to reading it.

There are some amazing journals involved in this project and I can’t wait to see how this grows and where this wonderful pathway that Tania has so carefully hewn will lead us. I have itchy feet so I think an adventure could be on the cards, either that or a trip to a chiropodist. I think I’d rather have an adventure…