2015 Bristol Short Story Prize

With five weeks to go until our entry deadline we’d like to take the opportunity (thank you, mighty ShortStops) to say that the 2015 Bristol Short Story Prize is open for entries, and we really, really do mean open.

We’ve published a huge range of stories in our first 7 anthologies – stories set throughout history from ancient Greece to the present day, and beyond to imagined futures. There have been stories narrated by octogenarians, by children not yet a decade old, and others with narrators and protagonists at all stages of life in between. Stories written in the first, second and third persons, with the broadest sweep of styles and genres from the familiar to the obscure : historical, romance, literary, science fiction, harsh realism, surreal flights of fancy, tense thrillers, comic capers, ‘experimental’ tales, sparsely written hammer blows of what some might call flash fiction, and lots more. There have been high, mid and low brow stories; stories written as blog posts, album reviews, in verse, as diaries, as a series of emails, as well as a sumptuous crop of the more traditional; stories of 4,000 words and those with just a few hundred, one of which won first prize in 2010.

We invite you to show us what’s possible in a short story, what a short story can be, what a story can do and what ‘short story’ means to you. Drop our jaws, make us weep, make us rethink, tickle us, entertain us, confound us, provoke us, comfort us, stimulate us, storify us to another time or place but above all we want to encourage and inspire you to feel free to write what you want in whatever form you want.

We won’t be compiling lists of ‘shoulds’ & ‘shouldn’ts’ on how or what to write – another contribution to the vast muddle won’t help anyone, there’s more than enough out there. You’re the writer, it’s up to you what you do, it’s your story. We’ll read every submission with the same objectivity, respect and relish.

In short, then, there are no dos & don’ts, shoulds & shouldn’ts, rights & wrongs – no borders, no barriers, nothing is out of bounds.

Full details and rules are available at www.bristolprize.co.uk

Closing date for entries is 30th April 2015

Prizes:
1st £1000 plus £150 Waterstone’s gift card (usable online)
2nd £700 plus £100 Waterstone’s gift card
3rd £400 plus £100 Waterstone’s gift card
17 further prizes of £100 will be presented to the writers whose stories appear on the shortlist. All 20 shortlisted writers will have their stories published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 8.

Our amazing judging panel:
Sara Davies (writer, former BBC Radio 4 producer) Rowan Lawton (literary agent at Furniss Lawton), Sanjida O’Connell (writer and TV presenter) and Nikesh Shukla (author, performer and journalist)

If you do take the plunge then the very best of luck!

2015 BS8 flyer

Extended Submission Deadline for The Siren’s FUGUE II

The ship has not yet sailed if you would like to be part of The Siren Press’ second short story anthology FUGUE II, as the deadline for submissions has been extended to Thursday March 19th.

Following closely in the footsteps of its predecessor, FUGUE II is looking for short stories that are intelligent, amusing and dark in nature. The stranger and more surreal the better. For a taste of just what we mean, FUGUE included tales concerning a budding romance between man and machine, the unfortunate consequences of living in an adult anxiety dream, and a narrator living amid a melting city.

If you have a completed story or draft that you think would be perfect to add to our eclectic mix, please submit your work at https://greensubmissions.com/428/the-siren-press/signup.php : and quick!

The Siren Team

Young Writers Published While Still At School

The Mistake anthologyShort stories by thirty two young writers have been published in an anthology to celebrate National Short Story Week. The stories were chosen from nationwide entries to last year’s National Short Story Week Young Writer competition for year 7 and 8 pupils.

The anthology ‒ The Mistake: 32 tales to make you think, shiver and smile ‒ was published on Monday November 17th, the start of this year’s National Short Story Week. It is available as an ebook and paperback exclusively from Amazon. All proceeds from the anthology will be donated to Teenage Cancer Trust.

We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the talent of these young writers than to have their work available in print, and for that work to help young people and their families who are going through a challenging time in their lives. Not only are these pupils now published writers, they can take great satisfaction in knowing that their stories will make a difference to other young people just like them.

Our young writers were very inventive in how they chose to interpret the title The Mistake. Their stories show a remarkable level of maturity, and encompass serious issues such as the tragedy of war, bullying, gambling and homelessness. But there are lighter moments too, and some poignant explorations of what it is like to be a young person growing up today. Whether making us think, shiver or laugh, these young writers have all written highly accomplished tales.

We’ve already had some lovely praise for the anthology from acclaimed writers. Simon Brett said: “The Mistake demonstrates great variety and diversity. The settings for the stories range from school playgrounds, via Brazil and Mount Everest, to the trenches of the First World War. The characters include teenage girls, ghosts, shape-shifters, murderers and the Lady of Shallot. As the book’s subtitle says, here are stories to make you ‘think, shiver and smile’. The one thing that wasn’t a mistake was producing this anthology.”

Ali Smith has called the anthology “a book full of life, intelligence and range – page after page of impressive and witty engagement with its theme. It’s a pleasure to read so many stories filled with promise and energy.”

Hailey Acton DeBoik of Teenage Cancer Trust says: “We are ever so grateful to be benefiting from this wonderful project. What an innovative way for young people to help other young people by showcasing their talents.”

Young Writer, and the overall winner of the competition, Gemma Craig-Sharples of Ursuline High School in London says: “I was really happy when I found out my story had won. I hope people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.” Her story is also published on the Guardian‘s Children’s Books section online.

www.amazon.co.uk/Mistake-stories-think-shiver-smile-ebook/dp/B00OO5UBTM/

Ian Skillicorn, National Short Story Week

The Short Anthology – The First Issue

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The Short Anthology‘s First Issue has launched.

Each issue of The Short Anthology will be a collection of short stories based on photography. The first issue used 8 photographs of the sea by Joe Coleman and had 6 writers create short stories based on one or a few of the photos. The stories are a very eclectic mixture, ranging from dystopian African sci-fi to a story about immigration and loneliness set in Dover, UK.

The writers are:

  • Dilman Dila, who was shortlisted for the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and is based in Uganda
  • Jonathan Kearnes, an MA graduate in Creative Writing based in London
  • Scott Morris, who was shortlisted for the 2013 White Review Short Story Prize and is Fiction Editor of The Literateur
  • Katherine Proctor, non-fiction editor of Should Does from North Carolina
  • Michael Salu, former artistic director of Granta Publications who has had his work published in various magazines
  • Matthew Sperling, a writer of poetry, fiction and criticism and a Leverhulme Trust research fellow at Reading University

The First Issue is available to buy here: www.theshortanthology.com

twitter.com/shortanthology

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Bristol Short Story Prize Closes April 30!

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“Bristol Short Story Prize’s promotion and publication of my short story helped me to find an agent which led to an offer of publication for my novel and, also, helped get my short story broadcast on BBC Radio 4.” Emily Bullock, winner of the 2011 Bristol Short Story Prize

This year it could be you! The 2014 Bristol Short Story Prize is open for entries – closing date is midnight on 30th April. 20 stories will be published in our 7th anthology, 1st prize £1000, 2nd prize £700, 3rd prize £400. 17 further prizes of £100. Entry can be made online or by post. Please click here for more details.

We interview the chair of this year’s judging panel, former BBC Radio 4 producer, Sara Davies, here. Sara is joined on this year’s judging panel by literary agent, Rowan Lawton, and celebrated writers, Sanjida O’Connell and Nikesh Shukla.

The 2013 Bristol Short Story Prize was won by London-based writer, Paul McMichael, Paul’s brilliant winning story, along with the 19 other shortlisted stories, are available in our latest anthology . We interview Paul about his success and his writing here.

Read more about how Emily Bullock secured an agent and publishing deal after being discovered in our volume 4 anthology here. Follow us on Twitter for very regular updates on the competition and links to the exciting and dynamic world of short stories, writing, reading and publishing.

March Fortnightly Roundup II

Hello story lovers,
Here’s our roundup of what’s been happening on ShortStops over the past fortnight:

Lit Mags and Competitions
Mslexia’s short story competition closes today, March 17th, get your entries in quick! We welcome new lit mag Jotters United to our list. You can now enter Brittle Star’s short story and poetry competitions online, deadline March 21st. Read an extract from a story from Neon’s Winter issue and check out their call for proposal for chapbooks and pamphlets. The Brighton Prize, a short story prize with a live lit twist, is accepting entries until April 1st.

Holdfast magazine’s second issue is published and submissions are open for Issue #3 on the theme of Objects, Artefacts and Talismans, and the Moth International Short Story Prize is open until June 30th.

Live Lit & Short Story Events
Today is the deadline for submissions to Telltales on the theme of ‘Unhinged’ to be read at their next event in Falmouth on March 25th. Stand-up Tragedy’s Tragic Heroes is at the Hackney Attic in London on March 21st.

At In Praise Of Short Stories at the Daunt Books Festival on March 27th in London, KJ Orr will be talking to AL Kennedy, David Constantine and Helen Simpson. Book tickets for the next Word Factory event, also in London, on March 29th: a masterclass, short story club, then live lit event with AS Byatt, Joe Dunthorne and Will Cohu.

Last Minutes & Gentle Reminders
Short Fiction’s 2014 short story prize is still open for entries, deadline March 31st

Anthologies
Submit a short story on the theme of Islands and Cities to a new Tasmanian-London anthology by April 30th.

Happy reading, writing, listening and performing!

Transportation – Tasmanian/English Book Announced

The project, which has confirmed experienced editors in both London and Tasmania in Open Pen Magazine editor and Londoner Sean Preston and the former editor of Island magazine and Tasmanian Rachel Edwards, will invite  writers from both locations and also call for submissions on the theme ‘cities and islands’ in upcoming months, to compliment published novelists already attached to the project.

“Transportation is an ambitious literary project that will publish, promote and showcase writers from London and Tasmania in book form for release in late 2014.” said the Tasmanian team behind Transportation.

Drawing on the long historic links between these distinct places and evoking the connection of historic and cultural significance, Transportation will allow for a meaningful connection with the reading public, coupled with longterm commercial viability.

More information is expected soon, and the call for submissions already eagerly anticipated.