Normal Deviation: Seeking Short Stories Based on One Weird Pic

It all started with a weird pic and a throwaway tweet:

I want to do a fiction anthology where everyone writes a story just based on a weird ass picture. And then use that pic as the cover.

And then enough people cheered the idea that we decided to make it our first major project at Wonderbox Publishing.

Normal Deviation is seeking “Third Option” short stories based on the following image, up to 6000 words (deadline: 31 Aug 2017). “Third Option” is our shorthand for digging a little deeper into that writerly creativity bucket: we’d like everyone to cast aside (at least) the first two ideas that come to you, and instead focus on the third (or fourth or fifth…) idea to develop. The goal here is to avoid the obvious, to generate fresh ideas, to get at deviation.

We want stories in any genre, from any perspective, any time period and setting. As long as the story is good, and based somehow on this image, we want to read it!

image for inspiration

We’ve launched a Kickstarter to fund the anthology, as we think all authors deserve professional rates (starting at least at a penny per word). Support us, support authors, and please submit and become one of our authors!

Full details and author guidelines are on our website. Subscribe to updates from our weekly blog, get a feel for what we’re like and what we like, and join us in this bizarre story adventure!

Lyle Skains & DeAnn Bell, Editors
Normal Deviation anthology
Wonderbox Publishing

Cornish Short Stories: Three Weeks to Go

There are three weeks left to submit your short stories to Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing, a new anthology due to be published by The History Press in May 2018. Submissions close on 7 July 2017.

Editors Felicity Notley and Emma Timpany are looking for stories of 2,000 to 6,000 words in length, though exceptional work which falls outside this range will also be considered.

All entries must be the author’s own work and should not have been published anywhere, in print or online. The stories must have a Cornish setting and the author must be Cornish or resident in Cornwall. Stories for children are not suitable for this publication.

Within these guidelines, we encourage you to make full use of your creative freedom and embrace a wide range of subject matters, literary styles and genres (literary fiction, crime fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi etc.) We are simply looking for the very best new writing.

You can find more details, get in touch with questions, and submit your work on our website. We’re also on Twitter @CornishShorts and Facebook.

 

Vote Now and Help The A3 Review Decide

This month’s contest theme over at The A3 Review is inspired by The Raw Soul Food Map and Writing the Love Writing Map. Dates and Dating, respectively!

We’re looking for flash fiction, poems and artwork about sweet fleshy things. Dates! And yes, about dating, too. Sweet fleshy moments of love, potential love, and times when the sugar’s just not there! Write about a couple on a date in a noisy bar. Turn a Tinder, Findhrr or Grindr profile into a poem. Compose a praise song to the perfect dating partner, or an elegy to the date that went wrong!

Deadline is the 24th of June. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel. Visit our Submittable page for more details and to enter. Follow us on Twitter, too. There’s publication, Writing Maps and cash prizes for the winners.

Choose contest themes for The A3 ReviewNow, we need your help… Have your say in the new themes for our next issue, The Gold Issue. If you click here, you’ll be taken to the poll. As a thank-you, we’ll pick three winners from all respondents to receive a full set of The A3 Review (Issues 1 to 6).

Happy writing, and we look forward to reading your work.

PS. There are still three places left on the Write Around Town online course with The A3 Review‘s editor, Shaun Levin. Six weeks of inspiration, writing, feedback, and community. Check out all the details here.

 

Play With Words

Words are meant to be fun!

Join us at this creative writing workshop for adults; a space in which to explore storytelling, learn new techniques, stimulate ideas, channel your creativity – and put some words on paper. Open to all levels and experience, the session will include exercises, prompts, activities and discussion to help get your imagination and pens flowing. After the session you’ll have plenty of sparks to form the beginnings of some short stories – and longer ones!

Date & Time Wednesday 31st May 7-9pm

Location Happy & Glorious, 47 High St, Cranbrook TN17 3EE

Cost £25 per person or two tickets for £35 – price includes a glass of wine/tea and coffee and nibbles.

Tickets are available here.

Francesca Baker is a word lover, book geek, literary enthusiast… Armed with pencils, coffee, headphones and a spring in her step, she likes to explore and scribble her way through life. Find out more at her website and follow her in a legal way on Twitter here

Story Friday South – call for submissions

Story Friday South is at the end of June, in the long hot days of summertime, and we’ve chosen the theme ‘South’ to set us all up for the summer hols. Whether you go for the blues and sleepytime down south, the breezes and tunes of South Pacific, the waves of southern oceans or the platforms of Southern Trains – or whether you take a different tack altogether – we hope ‘South’ gets your creative juices flowing. Story Friday South will be on Friday 30th June, deadline for submissions is the 19th June. Stories should be a maximum of 2,000 words. Please make sure you can come to Bath for Story Fridays on the 30th June before you submit.  We look forward to reading your stories!

For more information click here.  To submit a story please use the contact page on the website here.

Writing better, and Dorset Fiction Award.

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Entering writing contests is possibly one of the best things you can do to improve yourself as a writer. You are given a challenge – it’s a motivation, a framework. You write for longer to meet a deadline, and edit better to meet a word limit. After that, once you submit your piece, you learn about the hope and anticipation of having your work judged. Then after a wait, when the winners are announced, you might be disappointed, or you might be ecstatic. Either way, you’ll always come out of it a better writer.

This is an ethos we believe at our competition, The Dorset Fiction Award. We’re running a short story contest, rolling twice a year. It’s open to anyone from anywhere, closing on the 10th of June. We’re looking for fewer than one thousands words of fiction in any genre/topic. The first prize is our unconditional love and admiration… as well as £500. You’ll also get published in our yearly anthology.

Also, on a lighter note, do you like otters? They’re the cute furry things that can swim. Because on this turn, we are supporting the International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF). A brilliant charity dedicated to the protection and conservation of otters. The winner of this competition will also get to choose the charity of the next turn.

For all the details, check out our website http://www.dorsetfictionaward.co.uk/

Also connect with us @DorsetFiction

And to all the writers out there – keep on at it, and we hope to read you soon!

Bunbury is back with Issue 15 and some exciting news!

Well, hello from all of us at Bunbury Magazine to you, Dear Bunburyists,

We’re not quite sure on the etiquette for how late we can wish you all a Happy New Year. We think after about 15th January it becomes a little awkward but, you know what? This is the first issue of 2017 so you’re getting it…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We hope your 2017 has gotten off to a rollicking start. Ours has been a nice peaceful affair here so far. That’s what we’re going with anyway. In reality, we have been running around like blue-proverbialled flies getting this next nugget of loveliness together for you! We make it sound like a chore, don’t we? It really is not!

Once again, we have been blessed with some of the finest writing from around the world. It has been an honour to read all the words sent in to us. Not only that, but we have some wonderful art to bring to you (the front cover is more than a little spiffy, we’re sure you’ll agree!)

Without further ado, you can download this new issue for the (not so) new year by clicking on the gorgeous link picture below, kindly given to us by Vincent Davis.

As always, we recommend a £3 donation, which is really good value for all the joy we are bringing to your Kindles/Laptops/Eyes. However, if you would like to donate £15 to our support network for grass-roots creativity, we will send you a copy of The Bunbury Creative Anthology. Simply email us on bunburymagazine@gmail.com with your details when you have paid and we will put it in the post for you.

As well as all this, last year we had the pleasure of putting together two incredible features for you. As usual, we took our annual trip up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As usual, we spent five days legging it from one venue to the next, making sure we caught up with the very best shows at the Fringe and boy, did we see some utter crackers! This issue’s feature brings you the very best of The Fringe 2016.

As well as this, we are thrilled to bring you a feature on Evidently, one of Manchester’s premier spoken word nights. Honestly, if you love performance poetry, get down to this bad boy. We don’t care that you don’t live in the area. Travel! We interviewed the headliners and open mic guests to give you a flavour of what Kieren King and Ella Gainsborough, the eminent creators of Evidently, organise.

  Last but not least, the exciting news! We’ve been short-listed for Best Magazine in this year’s Saboteur Awards. Thank you so much to all those who voted for us to get to the short-list. Last year, we came third. This year, we want to win. We want to win for all the writers, artists, comedians, performers and all round magnificent people we have featured in all 15 issues. To vote for us, click on the picture below. (While you’re there, please vote for Evidently, stars of this issue, for Best Regular Spoken Word Show!) We’d really appreciate it.

            Anyway, happy new year again. Yeah, yeah, we know it’s too late for all that. Just go and read the magazine, will you?

Much love and keep scribbling,

Christopher and Keri.