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.
National 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!
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Please submitup to three (3) unpublished flashesof500 words or fewerbefore our deadline.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 isFriday 15thMarch 2019, 23:59pm GMT.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cheltenham’s quarterly live flash fiction night, Flashers’ Club, will be opening the mic once again on Thursday 29th November, 7:30pm, at Smokey Joe’s Coffee Bar. Got a story between 100 and 1000 words? Bring it down and share it! We welcome everyone and every story – no submissions, no genre restrictions. Flashers’ is a great night out for fans of flash, whether you’re coming to read or just soak up the stories.
This month we’re very excited to feature flash author Santino Prinzi, who’ll be sharing some of his stories alongside our open mic readers. We’ll also be giving away a copy of literary journal Popshot Quarterly to one of our lucky open mic performers. Tickets are just £4, and all profits got to the charity First Story. Head over to our website to find out full details, or find us and chat to us on Twitter or Facebook.
As we hurtle towards Christmas we’re planning our next Story Friday and the theme is Feast! We’re looking for stories long and short that touch on feasting. You might go traditional and give us tables laden with roast meats and suet puddings, or take us to far-flung corners of the globe for fresh mangoes and newly dropped coconuts. You might decide that lack-of-feast, or famine, is your interest, or look at a feast that has nothing to do with food. However you want to interpret the theme we know we will be intrigued by your offerings!
Story Friday Feast will be on November 30th, deadline for submissions is on 19th November. Please check that you are available to come along to Burdall’s Yard in Bath on the 30th November before you submit.
We are looking for short stories or monologues, fact or fiction (but mainly fiction), maximum 2,000 words. If you want to enter a flash piece that can work too, either for the stage, or in print – recently we’ve included a flash piece in our programme for the audience to read in the interval and take home with them. No poetry, thank you.
We have some wonderful professional actors who are very happy to read your story if performance gives you the jitters. Olly Langdon of Kilter Theatre (who is also our brilliant host) will read a male voice, and we have a number of female actors who can read stories which need a female voice. Let us know in your email when you submit if you’d like someone else to read your piece.