Leicester Writes Short Story Prize 2019

We’re delighted to announce the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize 2019 is now open for entries.

We’re looking for new and original fiction under 3000 words.

Stories can be any length (up to 3000 words) style, or subject. There is no set theme.

£7 per story. Max three entries per person.

Writers submitting from within Leicestershire can submit for a discounted fee of £3. Free entry for current students at De Montfort University, Loughborough University and University of Leicester.

PRIZES

1st Prize   – £100 and a bundle of books

2nd Prize – £50 and a bundle of books

3rd Prize – A bundle of books

A longlist of a maximum of 20 stories will be published in an anthology. A shortlist will be selected by our esteemed judging panel, including writers Rebecca Burns, Jonathan Taylor and Susmita Bhattacharya.

Deadline:  15th April 2019

For more details on how to enter and our prize terms please visit our website.

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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.

Go Gothic – Short Story and Flash Fiction Competitions

The Still Tower of Tavistock Abbey.

A Gothic Short Story Writing Competition
Hosted by Tavistock Library https://www.facebook.com/TavistockLibrary/ and supported by Tavistock Heritage Trust https://www.heritageintavistock.org/ as part of ‘Tavistock’s 1st Gothic and Neo-Gothic Celebration – Literature, Art, Architecture, Theatre, Film and Creative Fun.’

From Saturday the 12th of October and culminating in a market and author event on Saturday the 19th of October 2019.

This new celebration aims to encompass writing, film, drama and art activities.  There will be a Gothic market for writers and traders to showcase their work, and a range of related events.

Theme: A short story in the Gothic tradition incorporating folklore and myth.

Prizes: A cash prize will be offered to the overall winner 30% of all entry receipts will form the prize fund. There will also be a second prize of 30% of all the entry fees awarded to a ‘Gothic’ story based in Tavistock and incorporating its Gothic and Neo-Gothic Heritage. Additional runners-up prizes of books will also be awarded. The prize winners will be notified approximately two weeks prior to the prize giving. The remaining 40% of the entry fees will be used for administration costs and for festival and library events.

 

Presentation of the Prizes: The results will be announced, and the prizes presented at an event to be during the celebration.

Judging: The judging will be in two stages. The final short list of stories will be judged by a panel of librarians, authors and publishers. Shortlisted entries will be ranked by a final judging panel.

Tips: The judges will be looking for interesting and original stories that are factually correct where appropriate.

Publication: Depending on the number and quality of the entries received an e-anthology may be published.

A Gothic Short Story Writing Competition
For anyone over the age of 18

Rules and Conditions of Entry

  1. Entries must be in English, original and not previously published in any form or broadcast, and no longer than 1500 words (adult).
  2. Closing date: May 31st
  3. Results: Available to the public from the 12th of October 2019.
  4. Entries must be typewritten or word-processed on single-sided A4 paper, in 12-point typeface, double (or 1.5 times) spaced. Each page must carry the name of the story in the header or footer and pages must be numbered. Do not put your name on the story pages. Please attach a cover sheet with your name, address, telephone and if possible your e-mail contact details, title of your story, and word count. Entries may be emailed to wilkins@librariesunlimited.org.uk and a copy to myfanwyc@btinternet.com
  5. Entries may be delivered by hand or by post to Go Gothic – Flash Fiction Competition to Tavistock Library, The Quay, Plymouth Road, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 8HF, England. Please include your payment by cheque (in sterling) made payable to The Friends of Tavistock Library or BACS Transfer: Account name: Friends of Tavistock Library, Account number: 32152922, Sort code: 602149. Payment may also be made in cash at Tavistock Library.
  6. Entry fees: Adults – £3 for first entry, £2 for second or subsequent entry. If you intend to submit multiple entries, please submit all entries together.
  7. No manuscripts will be retained so contestants must keep a copy of their work.
  8. Copyright remains with the author.
  9. If acknowledgement of receipt is required, please include a stamped and addressed postcard.
  10. The judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  11. In accordance with the 2018 European Union General Data Protection Regulation Act (EU GDPR) your information will not be kept on a data base or used for marketing purposes and we will only contact you to tell you if you have won the competition and when all the logos will be on display.
  12. Entry to the competition implies acceptance of the rules.

Twitter: 

https://twitter.com/MyfanwyCook 

https://twitter.com/tavilibrary?lang=en

A doorway that was once and entrance into Tavistock Abbey.

 

From LGBTQ+ With Love: The Fight Back Flash Competition

Dearest compatriots, collaborators, friends, foes, gentlepeople, unicorns (both sparkly and plain), folkingtons, allies and everyone in between and either side and up and down and diagonal and round and round the whole glorious spectrum of humanity.

You may have heard about a rather unpleasant exclusionary flash fiction competition that’s been doing the rounds on Twitter lately. Not just exclusionary, but implying members of the LGBTQ+ community are somehow comparable to scenes of graphic violence or torture. Yeah. Not exactly what we want to see from a writing competition in 2018.

But you cannot fight hate with hate. The answer is love. Only love and always love. Whatever damn kind of love you’re into. Because love knows no bounds, people.

And so. Writers’ HQ are running a flash fiction competition on the theme: From LGBTQ+ With Love, with all proceeds going to MindOut, a mental health service for LGBTQ+ people.

Specifically, we want your LGBTQ+ stories, your stories of love, grace and compassion (and most importantly your creative swearing). Here’s the lowdown in a handy bullet list – click here for the full rules, FAQs and entry form:

SUBMIT YOUR STORIES HERE!

LGBTQ+ flash competition

Story Friday Feast – call for submissions!

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.

To submit, click here.

12 Writing Tips To Get You Started

As Anne Frank poignantly wrote: “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Writing can be an incredible outlet, but sometimes there are stumbling blocks along the way.

Which is why the team at READ Foundation has put together a list of 12 Writing Tips to Get You Started.

Children writing in a classroom

READ is an education charity which builds schools and enables children from poverty-stricken backgrounds to access schooling. We’re currently running a writing competition for short stories, poems and personal essays which will inspire children in their educational path. Scroll down for more details on how to enter.

The charity has gathered the best tips from well-known writers, blogs and the wider web to help writers in their pursuit of the perfect prose.

  1. Write from the heart. A book without a pulse is like a person without a spirit. – Linda F Rad
  2. We love the tips in this Guardian article on the Top 10 Writers’ Tips on Writing. Particularly this one from Katherine Mansfield: “Looking back I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was too. But better far write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all.”
  3. Enter competitions, send off examples to agents, read up on literacy festivals to attend, join writing clubs either locally or online – research as many places as you can which can help you on your writing journey, whether the aim is to get published, receive feedback, or simply learn more about the writing process from the people who do it professionally.
  4. Write on a computer which is disconnected from the internet (after you’ve finished reading this blog, obviously). It’s a distraction you can do without.
  5. The “show don’t tell” mentality is well-known for a good reason: it’s true. As fiction author Anton Chekhov puts it: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
  6. Oxford Dictionaries has some excellent general advice on better writing, whether it’s a letter, speech, email or something more creative. We like the tip “guide readers through what you write”. The advice is to “help readers understand your message quickly and precisely. To do this, it is necessary to show them clearly how the different parts relate to each other.”
  7. How about a writing tip from a Nobel winning author? Alice Munro, who was given the Nobel for Literature in 2013, has spent most of her writing life focussing on short stories. She said: “Usually I have a lot of acquaintance with the story before I start writing it….stories would just be working in my head for so long that when I started to write I was deep into them.”
  8. Proofread proofread proofread. It’s relly obviously when a sentennce has speling errors in it. If you’re entering a writing competition, judges may penalise you for the errors and it could mean the difference between winning or losing a contest.
  9. Write, even when you don’t feel like it. Get into the habit of writing on a regular basis. If you can commit to writing for a certain amount of time each day, for 30 days, it’ll soon become second nature. About 30-40 days is all you need to make a new habit stick.
  10. Recognise it’s not just your characters that are human – you are too! So if you have periods of struggle, you’re not alone. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  11. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Julie Duffy, founder of Story a Day, says “Don’t wait to write until you’re older/wiser/invited to the party. Don’t wait until you have something ‘important’ to say.” Other experts have revealed their best writing tips for beginners.
  12. Enjoy the process! It’s a journey you’ll be proud you’ve taken. Good luck!

While you’re here, we have some exciting news for you. Education charity READ Foundation is running its very first writing competition and needs people like YOU to take part. Read all about it here. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, 10thOctober 2018.

OUEN PRESS SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2017 – FINAL RESULTS JUST OUT!

Tasting Notes & other short stories – a diverse menu of short fiction expertly crafted to tantalise and entertain.

The very best 2017 competition entries have been published in one anthology entitled ‘Tasting Notes & other short stories’ – a diverse and complex menu of short fiction, expertly crafted to tantalise and entertain.

Contributors were encouraged to explore imaginative interpretations of one or more of the various meanings that could be derived from the term ‘Taste’.

Congratulations to the prizewinners and many thanks to all who entered the competition – visit www.ouenpress.com to view the FINAL RESULTS.

Sussex based editor and writer, Philippa R Francis writing as K.M. Lockwood was placed as overall winner her work ‘Tasting Notes’. Other prizewinners include Texan-based writer Randall G. Arnold for ‘Taste of the Broken Sea, and UEA Creative Writing graduate and editor Krishan Coupland for ‘The Life of Dogbreath’.

Delighted again with the global reach of the competition, we have been enthralled by those who have opted for the less obvious approaches to the brief, as we hoped they would do what excellent writers can do – expand the subject beyond what might first come to mind.

Deadline dates and details of the theme for the next competition will be made available on our website later in the year – or you may wish to check in with us on Twitter @OuenP or Facebook @ouenpress, for more regular updates on future competitions and all our other activities.

Wishing you every success with your future writing projects.

The Ouen Press team