The Walter Swan Short Story Prize (Competition)

The Walter Swan Short Story Prize, run by the Northern Short Story Festival and Leeds Big Bookend in partnership with the Walter Swan Trust, is now open for entries. Judges are Anna Chilvers and Angela Readman.

We are looking for great new short stories. Around twenty selected short stories will be published in our anthology, to be published by Valley Press in May 2018, and three winners will be awarded cash prizes. There is no theme and you do not have to live in the North of England to enter.

“The common themes throughout Walt’s life were kindness, warmth and humour. He was always sociable and had a great talent for friendship. Much of his time was dedicated to others as a family member, friend, teacher and director, and he provided support, encouragement and inspiration in each of these roles. Walt was passionate about creative writing of all genres and, although he was extremely talented in his own right, it is his enthusiasm for the work of others which is the legacy that the Walter Swan Trust now aims to continue.”

1st Prize £200

2nd Prize £100

3rd Prize £50

Enter using our Submittable link here. See the Big Bookend website for further T&Cs.

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The Northern Short Story Festival

“What a brilliant idea – our very own short story festival here in the North! – Avril Joy

It’s frustrating being a writer in the North, sometimes. There’s not much support for writers here – with only one literature development agency covering hundreds of square miles, and London’s interesting-sounding salon events an expensive train ride away, what’s a writer to do?

Wonder no longer – the Northern Short Story Festival is here. The festival, which is the brainchild of writer SJ Bradley and part of Leeds Big Bookend Festival, has an eclectic and appealing programme of events. On Saturday 4th June at Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds, there are workshops ranging from “The Art of Murder” with writers Alison Taft and Anna Chilvers, to Success in Short Story Competitions with Avril Joy, reading events ranging from a Bluemoose Books Reading event with prizewinning author Michael Stewart, to a Q&A with the wonderful Carys Bray, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

There’s even an open mic event, hosted by Jenna Isherwood of Fictions of Every Kind, at which writers will be invited to read stories they’ve written at workshops during the day, and an afterparty at Hyde Park Book Club with flash fiction legend Benjamin Judge and ukulele troupe The Three Amigos.

With prices ranging from £4 to £20 for a day ticket, it’s local, affordable, and exciting! What more could you want?