Stroud Short Stories is open for submissions until 31 March

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 It’s free to submit and we are happy to consider published and unpublished work.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/

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Shooter seeks submissions for Identity issue

Shooter Literary Magazine has opened submissions for its summer issue (#10), which will be Identity.

The biannual lit mag (recently reviewed in the TLS) wants stories, essays, reported narratives and poetry on anything to do with the sense of self, whether personal or cultural. What defines someone – character, actions, associations, appearance? Why is identity important? What happens when it’s threatened? Shooter particularly seeks content that addresses topical issues of gender, sexuality, race, nationality, religion and occupation, but the theme is open to wide interpretation.

For anyone with stories outside that theme (and keen to reap a rather larger cash reward), Shooter’s 2019 Short Story Competition is also open for entries. The winner will collect a £500 prize, with publication online and in the summer issue, while the runner-up receives £100 and online publication.

Deadline for both general and competition submissions is April 21st. Please visit Shooter’s Submissions or Competition pages for guidelines on how to submit.

Liars’ League: LOVE & LUST Valentine special, Tuesday 12th February

love & lust

Are you lonesome tonight? Does your lit need a light?
Do you like booze and fiction and art?
Do you find Valentine’s weighs on hearts and on minds?
Would you like us to uplift your heart?

Then look no further, because Liars’ League has found six pulse-pounding stories for our (just pre-)Valentine’s event, LOVE & LUST, and you can hear them all for just a fiver! On Tuesday 12th February our professional actors will read brand-new fiction featuring pagan bonfires, lustful teens, scarlet knickers, ill-advised one-night stands, fish suppers, sex at the Imperial War Museum and (naturally) the end of civilisation – and we’d love you to be there.

WINNING STORIES FOR LOVE & LUST
A Shared History by Seth Marlin NEW AUTHOR, read by William Teller
Fish-fish by Cherry Potts, read by Math Jones
The Wicker Heart by Alan Graham, read by Peter Kenny
The Red Satin Flag of Resistance by Mark Sadler, read by Silas Hawkins
Soul Searching by Liam Hogan, read by Keleigh Wolf
Lili of the Valley of the Shadow by Derek Ivan Webster, read by Alex Greenhalgh

As usual, doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start and tickets are £5 on the door (currently cash only, sorry, but there is a cashpoint across the street). Drinks and food will be available at the bar, though there are also free Loveheart sweets and the infamous interval quiz features red-hot brand-new books to be won! There’s no pre-booking, but tables for four or more can be reserved by calling 07808 939535.

The venue is the downstairs bar at:
The Phoenix Pub
37 Cavendish Square
London W1G 0PP

Accessibility note: Access to the basement is via stairs: there is no lift, sadly.

The Phoenix is 5 minutes’ walk from Oxford Circus tube station, which is on the Victoria, Bakerloo and Central lines.

Story Friday Invitation – Call For Submissions

Best invitation ever?  Worst??

Story Friday  in March has the theme Invitation… to the ball, to the party, to the pub, to the moon, to the wedding, to heaven, to hell?  What is more intriguing than the perfect – or imperfect – invitation? We are inviting writers to write their favourite invitation story for a glorious story-party in March.

Story Friday Invitation will be on 22nd March, deadline for submissions is 11th March. We’re looking for stories that are 2,000 words or fewer.  (Full submission details are here).  Writers must be available to come to Bath for the event.  If you’d rather not read, we have wonderful actors who can read your story for you.

For more information about Story Friday, to listen to stories that we have recorded at our events over the years, and/or to submit your story please visit A Word In Your Ear.

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.

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.

2019-mentor-photos-1024x512

Story Fridays ‘2018’ – call for submissions

How was 2018 for you?

We think it has been quite a year.  We’d like to reflect on it and even  celebrate it at Story Friday with stories that are inspired by events that happened in 2018.  These events can be personal, local, national, international; they can be political, environmental, romantic, comic, tragic.  We’d like a whole range of responses to what we’ve just experienced, as we usher in the new dawn of 2019.

Story Friday 2018 will be on 25th January 2019, deadline for submissions Monday 14th January.  We’re looking for stories that are 2,000 words or fewer.  (Full submission details here).  Writers must be available to come to Bath for the event.  If you’d rather not read, we have wonderful actors who can read your story for you.

!! STORY FRIDAY CHALLENGE !!

January’s Story Friday is all about events that have just happened, so for this Story Friday we have a special challenge.

As well as the submissions about 2018, for the first time we want to include ONE special story, inspired by a NEWS story the week before Story Friday! (ie between 18th and 24th January).  Deadline is Thursday midday 24th January, the day before Story Friday.  Max word count is 1,000 words. You are very welcome to submit both to Story Friday 2018 AND to the Challenge. The chosen story will be read by an actor at Story Friday.

Talk about HOT OFF THE PRESS!!!

For more information: A Word In Your Ear