Fictive Dream Call for Submissions

Fictive Dream is open to submissions and, as always, we’re interested in short stories with a contemporary feel (500 – 2,500 words). We especially like stories that give an insight into the human condition; stories that focus on those moments that change people’s lives. They may be on any subject. They may be challenging, dramatic, playful, exhilarating or cryptic. Above all, they must be well-crafted and compelling.

Check out the Fictive Dream website here.

See our submission guidelines here.

We’re looking forward to receiving your best work!

Laura Black
Editor

Website www.fictivedream.com
Twitter @fictivedream
Instagram fictive.dream

Submit to 2020 Shooter Short Story Competition

Shooter Literary Magazine’s 2020 Short Story Competition is now open to stories of any style, subject or genre, up to a max of 5,000 words. The contest spotlights the best emerging literary talent, with £500 in cash prizes and publication both in the magazine and online.

Shooter seeks imaginative, absorbing and beautifully written work that brings characters to life and elicits an emotional response from the reader. In short, we want well written tales that appeal to both the head and the heart.

In return for the £7 entry fee (or £10 for two), all entrants receive an e-copy of Shooter’s winter 2021 issue, which will feature the winning story.

  • The winner of the 2020 Shooter Short Story Competition will receive £400, publication in the winter issue and on the website, and promotion on Shooter’s social media.
  • The runner-up will receive £100, publication on Shooter’s website, and promotion on social media.
  • All entrants will receive an e-copy of Shooter’s winter issue.
  • Stories may be any theme or genre, up to a max of 5,000 words.
  • The competition is open to entries through May 31st, 2020.
  • Winners will be announced in July 2020
  • All proceeds from entry fees go toward prizes, contributor payments and Shooter’s production costs, supporting our mission to promote the best new writing and encourage the principle of paying writers for their work.

To enter, please email your story (as a Word or PDF file) to competition.shooterlitmag@gmail.com by the deadline of May 31st, 2020. Include your name, title of story and word count in the body of the email, with no identifying information on the story itself. Multiple entries are accepted. Payment can be made via Shooter’s website at https://shooterlitmag.com/competition.

Other information can be found at https://shooterlitmag.com. We look forward to reading your work – good luck!

Stroud Short Stories is Open for Submissions until 8 March 2020

Stroud Short Stories is currently open for submissions for its special 20th event which is dedicated to Stroud writer Rick Vick who sadly died at the end of November. There were obituaries for Rick in The Times and The GuardianHere is the latter.
 
The event is for all Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers. The theme this time is DISRUPTION. Submissions are free and you may submit unpublished or published stories. Ten stories will be selected and their authors will read/perform them at our event.
The deadline is the end of Sunday 8 March and the event is on Sunday 19 April at the 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse. Tickets will go on sale on 20 March.
 
All information about submitting is on the Stroud Short Stories website.

Call for Submissions: HCE’s Green Issue

The editors at Here Come Everyone magazine (HCE) are seeking submissions for our upcoming Green Issue. We’re a tri-annual literary magazine of short fiction, poetry, articles and artwork based around topical and interesting themes. HCE aims to provide an open and accessible platform for readers and contributors.

 

The new theme: GREEN

Deadline: 10 Feb 2020

We encourage bold/striking interpretations of the theme. If your link to ‘green’ isn’t self-evident, we advise you to include a few lines in your author bio to provide context.

Green

Fiction: please submit only one piece per issue; stories may be up to 2,000 words.

Poetry: you may submit up to three poems of no longer than 35 lines each.

Non-fiction: please submit only one piece per issue; articles may be up to 1,500 words.

Artwork: you may submit up to three pieces; we accept all visual media (300 dpi and 640 x 640 res).

 

Please see our submissions guidelines for full details. Work must be sent via the submissions form on our website; stuff we receive via email will not be accepted. Any Word or .docx format is fine, but no PDFs. For submissions of artwork, please ensure your files are of sufficient image size and hi-res, otherwise they cannot be used.

We look forward to receiving your creations…

FRONT COVER Classified

To get an idea of what HCE is looking for, you can check out our brand new Classified Issuenow available for purchase from our shop! Full of short stories and flash fiction, plus art, poetry and other writing.

Is Your Work Too Intense?

deadline 10 janIf it is, we’d like to see it. The A3 Review and Press is seeking flash fiction or short stories that overshare, are deeply lyrical, and say something about what it’s like to be alive at this point in time. Deadline is 10th January 2020.

For examples of the kind of prose The A3 Press publishes, check out MASH by Lena Ziegler, Jason Jackson’s The Unit, and My New Car by Alan Sincic.

Selected titles receive £200 and 10 copies of the published work.

For more details and how to submit, visit their Submittable page here.

Fictive Dream’s Flash Fiction February 2020

Exactly three weeks left to submit your best flash fiction to Fictive Dream’s Flash Fiction February 2020.  

During Flash Fiction February, now in its third year, we will feature a new piece of flash fiction throughout the month. That’s a new story, every day, starting on 1 February right through to February 29. Our submissions window will remain open until December 31, 2019.

As always, we’re interested in material with a contemporary feel on any subject. Your stories may be challenging, dramatic, playful, exhilarating, even cryptic. Above all, they must be well-crafted and compelling.

We’ve put a squeeze on our usual word count though, so only stories of between 200–750 words please.

Read our Flash Fiction February 2020 submission guidelines here.

Check out the Fictive Dream website here.

For those of you who prefer to write longer stories we remain open to standard submissions (500–2,500 words). 

We’re looking forward to receiving your best work!

Laura Black
Editor

Website www.fictivedream.com
Twitter @fictivedream
Instagram fictive.dream

Story Friday LEAP! Call for submissions

Story Friday in February has the theme LEAP! in celebration of 2020 as a leap year. Story Friday is on 28th February, the day before the leaping day, and we want to revel in the glory of this springing theme! Whether your stories feature proposals or boxing hares, Christmas lords or death defying jumps, we are so looking forward to reading what you come up with!

Story Friday LEAP! will be on 28th February, deadline for submissions is 17th February. 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.

The A3 Review’s New Contest Themes

issue_11_cover_grandeThe A3 Review has recently launched Issue 11. We’ve also just posted new themes for our monthly contests. Publication and cash prizes for winners. To enter and for more details, please visit our Submittable page by clicking here. The next few themes will be included in our “T” issue, so we’re looking for short stories (as well as poems and artwork) about : Tablets, Transformations, and Thanatos.

The two winning entries from September 2019 to February 2020 will make up the list of contributors to Issue 12 (The “T” Issue). From this list, three overall winners will receive cash prizes: 1st = £250, 2nd = £150, 3rd = £75. Issue 12 will appear in April 2020.

The word limit is 150 words, so we’d particularly like to see flash fiction and mini essays. Our $5 (approx £3.50) submission fee helps us cover admin and printing costs and makes sure we can keep offering cash prizes.

Visit The A3 Review’s website to see some back issues. The A3 Press also publishes chapbooks and is open for submissions until December the 10th.

Fictive Dream’s Flash Fiction February 2020

The submissions window for Fictive Dream’s Flash Fiction February 2020 is now open.

During Flash Fiction February, now in its third year, we will feature a new piece of flash fiction throughout the month. That’s a new story, every day, starting on 1 February right through to February 29. Our submissions window will remain open until December 31, 2019.

As always, we’re interested in material with a contemporary feel on any subject. Your stories may be challenging, dramatic, playful, exhilarating, even cryptic. Above all, they must be well-crafted and compelling.

We’ve put a squeeze on our usual word count though, so only stories of between 200–750 words please.

Read our Flash Fiction February 2020 submission guidelines here.

Check out the Fictive Dream website here.

For those of you who prefer to write longer stories we remain open to standard submissions (500–2,500 words). 

We’re looking forward to receiving your best work!

Laura Black
Editor

Website www.fictivedream.com
Twitter @fictivedream
Instagram fictive.dream

Beginnings, Middles, Endings: The Structure of a Narrative with Claire Keegan

Goldsmiths University, London

November 2 & 3, 2019. 9:30am–5pm, both days

Claire Keegan, internationally acclaimed author and fiction-writing coach, will direct this, her most popular fiction writing course, using a novel and two short stories to demonstrate and explore the mechanics of fiction writing and narrative structure.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2. “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor

3. “Nobody Said Anything” by Raymond Carver

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? We will also explore the much-neglected middle; the trunk of the story, its denouement and turning points — and ask if endings are 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 weekend will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction works is welcome to attend.

To book your place, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com Tuition is £350. 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, the then 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 and 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.

Every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.” –Hilary Mantel

The best stories are so textured and so moving, so universal but utterly distinctive, that it’s easy to imagine readers savoring them many years from now and to imagine critics, far in the future, deploying new lofty terms to explain what it is that makes Keegan’s fiction work.” – The New York Times

Every single word in the right place and pregnant with double meaning.” – Jeffrey Eugenides, The New York Times

Keegan is a rarity, someone I will always want to read.” – Richard Ford

Writing Short Stories with Cynan Jones

Write and edit a complete short story and learn essential fiction-writing techniques on Curtis Brown Creative’s brand new six-week online course, Writing Short Stories led by award-winning short story writer Cynan Jones. Cynan won the Betty Trask award for his novel The Long Dry and he won BBC National Short Story Award in 2017, for which he was on the 2019 judging panel . His short stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies and in journals and magazines including Granta and the New Yorker.

We interviewed Cynan to find out more about his love of short fiction…

You won the BBC National Short Story Prize for your story The Edge of the Shoal in 2017 and now you’re on this year’s judging panel for the prize. How does it feel to come full circle? And what do you look for when reading short stories for competitions?

Judging the competition has certainly pointed out what an extraordinary thing it was to win. Ultimately, all a writer can do is write as strongly as he or she can, and work on a story until it’s the best possible piece they can produce. What happens to that story is a product of the work and attention put in. If nothing else, I know I’ve really worked hard to write strongly. In many ways then, it feels less of a circle and more of a starting point! What next? I’m always aiming to challenge myself.

The sense a writer has challenged him or herself is in the best stories too. You read great pieces and think, ‘How!? How did they write that?’ Such stories feel both totally impossible to write, but as if they couldn’t be written better.

When reading stories for competitions I look for that. Stories that take narrative risks and show the technical ability to make those risks pay off. That’s much rarer than you think.

What initially inspired you to start writing in short fiction?

I think several elements led me to shorter forms. Firstly, the thing of reading a story from start to finish in one sitting. I loved that as a reader and – as most of us are copyists when we first start writing – wanted to replicate that experience.

I also think that, even in my initial attempts at serious writing, the way my prose hit the page lent itself to shorter form. I aimed always to put a picture down as simply and powerfully as I could and relied on the reader to think and feel in response. That meant I didn’t write a great deal of explanation or back story, or direct a reader how to react. In itself, that makes for fewer words.

In retrospect, perhaps too there were constraints as to how long I could really dedicate to the process of writing when I first started. I usually had about three months for writing at the beginning of the year before the freelance work I did at the time really got going. Perhaps that made me feel I needed to write something I could start and finish in one block. (Which loops back to the first thing I mentioned here, about the immersive experience of starting and finishing something in one go.)

We’re thrilled to have you on board as the teacher of our brand-new Writing Short Stories course. What’s your favourite part of teaching?

Probably how teaching makes you dig into your own process and really work to understand it so you can pass what you know on.

Other than the help of the world-class authors I read, I taught myself to write. Because of that, it’s only since teaching that I’ve really dissected exactly what it is I do, and that’s helped me take things further.

Could you share your top three tips for writers who want to start writing short stories?

Read.

Work at the craft.

Don’t write to be published.

Read the full interview with Cynan over on the Curtis Brown Creative blog.

Curtis Brown Creative’s brand new Writing Short Stories course led by Cynan Jones is open now for enrolment. It starts on October 17th 2019.

Short Stops readers can get an exclusive 10% off by using code: SHORTSTOPSCBC

 

Call for Submissions: Pixel Heart Literary Magazine – Issue Four: Joy

Screenshot 2019-10-01 19.35.27

Pixel Heart Literary Magazine is currently open for submissions for its fourth issue, which has the theme of Joy.

The magazine publishes flash fiction (under 750 words), poetry (of any length), and short stories (1,000 – 2,500 words) as long as they adhere to the issue’s theme.

There is no submission fee, and submissions are open to all – experienced and new writers alike.

Pixel Heart Literary Magazine is dedicated to publishing writers who are disabled, LGBT, and/or writers of colour, as well as writers from a working-class background. While all submissions will be considered with great care, if writers state in their submission email that they are any of the above, then their submission will be given a little extra attention.

For more specific submission guidelines and information on how to submit, please click here. Submissions for Issue Four: Joy are currently open until midnight BST on the 1st of November, 2019. ❤

Story Friday Chemistry – we want your stories!

After a lovely long summer and story walks in the sun, Story Fridays is back inside, at Burdall’s Yard in Bath.  Our next event in November has the theme Chemistry. Are you thinking of bunsen burners, or eyes meeting across a crowded room? Whatever you choose, chemistry is all about reactions, explosive or otherwise. We can’t wait to see where our latest theme takes you!

Story Friday Chemistry will be on 8th November, deadline for submissions is 28th October. 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.

 

Words That Go Bump in the Night – Warwick Live Lit!

Let us creep a little closer to Hallowe’en courtesy of Words That Go Bump in the Night – a spooky live lit event at the Warwick Arms Hotel, Jury Street, Warwick, on Thursday 10th of October.  Be part of our invited audience and enjoy some exceptional 5 minute stories, poems and plays all with a ghostly, other-wordly theme. Run by author Jenny Heap, her Words Of events have been playing both Spring and Autumn seasons to ever growing audiences and participants. If you’ve never attended a Words Of live lit event before come along to Words That Go Bump In The Night on the 10th of October to hear some great writing from local authors. 7.30pm and £3 on the door.  See you there!

Short Story September to culminate in all-day festival

A month-long campaign celebrating short stories will culminate in an all-day festival.

Short Story September is a month-long initiative set up by independent press, Dahlia Publishing. Following their first short story festival, the aim of the project is to celebrate the short story form online as well as showcase newly published short story collections.

Writers can follow the campaign via a dedicated blog which will offer daily prompts and feature writing by authors with works published in 2019. Authors featured during the campaign include BBC National Short Story Prize Winner, Sarah Hall, and rising stars such as Jamel Brinkley.

Writers can sign up to Short Story September online http://shortstoryseptember.co.uk/. Follow us on Twitter @dahliabooks and use the hashtag #ShortStorySept to join the conversation.

The online initiative will be followed by an all-day festival which will feature a series of talks and workshops designed to help writers take their writing to the next level.

Crossroads Festival takes place on October 5 2019 at Curve Theatre in Leicester.

Short story writers Rebecca Burns and Debz Hobbs-Wyatt will lead workshops on perfecting the opening and ending of a short story, as well as introduce experimental techniques to write successful short stories.  Costa nominated Kerry Young and Women’s Prize shortlisted Meena Kandasamy will deliver inspiring keynotes and there will be sessions on writing rules and funding and finance. The event concludes with this year’s Leicester Writes Short Story Prize ceremony.

See the full programme for Crossroads Festival and and book your place on Eventbrite.

 

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.

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 

 We’d be thrilled if you Like our Facebook page

Sky Light Rain book launch and literary night

Sky Light Rain launch pic

To celebrate the launch of her second collection, Sky Light Rain, author Judy Darley invites you to an atmospheric evening of readings and music on the themes of sky, light, and rain. Drawing on her enduring fascination with the fallibility of the human mind, Sky Light Rain is a collection of short stories and flash fictions examining aspects of human existence, our relationship to nature and complex behaviours towards one another.

The event will take place at Waterstones Bristol Galleries, from 7pm on Saturday 2nd November 2019. Alongside Judy, participants include writers Paul Deaton, Kevlin Henney and Grace Palmer, and indie art-pop musician Hidden Tide.

This is a Bristol Festival of Literature 2019 fringe event.

Tickets are free but limited, so don’t forget to book yours.

Date And Time: Saturday 2nd November 2019, 7pm-9pm.

Location: Waterstones, 11A, Union Galleries, Broadmead, Bristol BS1 3XD

Book your free tickets here. Sky Light Rain will be published by Valley Press.

Northern Lights Writers Conference 2019 – tickets available now

Creative Industries Trafford (CIT) is running its popular Northern Lights Writers’ Conference for a sixth year, at Waterside in Sale, a short hop by tram, bus, car and bike from Manchester city centre.

Northern Lights Writers Conference 2019

Northern Lights Writers Conference 2019

The day-long event for emerging and established writers includes one-to-one advice sessions on writing, editing and submitting short stories, poetry and creative non-fiction; workshops on creating scripts for TV and collaborating on graphic novels; talks and panel discussions on funding, training and development opportunities for writers, pathways to publication, and diversity in the publishing industry; networking possibilities and book signings, plus a keynote speech and ‘in conversation’ session looking at different genres, platforms and adaptations by bestselling author Jane Rogers.

Saturday 21 September, 11am–5pm (registration from 10.30am), Waterside, Sale, £35 (£25 concessions). Book online or call 0161 912 5616. More here.

Submissions open for Shooter #11: Supernatural

Shooter Literary Magazine has reopened to submissions for its upcoming winter issue, themed Supernatural, as well as the 2019 Poetry Competition.

Submissions for Issue #11 should revolve around anything to do with the occult. Psychological spookiness, eerie suspense, weird mysteries and unexplained phenomena are welcome elements, as well as the more obvious demons, angels, witches and ghosts. Religious themes are also relevant. Writing must be of a literary standard, not genre fare trading on shocks or gore. The deadline is November 17th. Please visit Shooter’s Submissions page for further guidelines.

The 2019 Poetry Competition is also open to entries, with no restriction on theme or style. Poems can be up to 100 lines long and multiple entries are allowed. The winning poet will receive £150 and publication both in the winter issue of Shooter and online, while the runner-up wins £50 and online publication. All entrants receive an e-copy of the winter magazine, featuring the winning poem. For guidelines on how to enter, please visit Shooter’s Competition page.

Writers who are familiar with the type of work that we publish are often more successful; past and current issues of Shooter are available to order via the Subscriptions page. We look forward to reading your work – good luck!