I recently wrote a post bemoaning the writer’s long wait for responses. I’m happy to announce that this month I’ve had a few of those responses, and it’s been good news.
Firstly, the new Fiction Desk anthology, Separations, is out on the 19th September. It contains my story Poor Billy, which came an honourable third in TFD’s 2015 Ghost Story Competition. If you haven’t come across The Fiction Desk before then I urge you to get hold of an anthology; if you’re a writer looking for somewhere to submit your work then I urge you to send it to them. TFD has been unfailingly friendly and encouraging to deal with, and I recommend them unreservedly. They are particularly keen on showcasing new writing, and were my first publisher. They are also one of the very, very few places which publishes well-written, intelligent and chilling ghost stories. Go get one!
Secondly, I applied for the Writers’ HQ competition (prize: free access to a year of online writing courses) and was very happy to make the shortlist. I’d have been happier to win it, of course, but you literally can’t win ’em all. Writers’ HQ is a fabulous organisation, from its sweary strapline (‘Stop fucking about and start writing’) to its mission to provide teaching and mentorship to writers low on time and money. I’ve been on one of their retreats and it was great. Another recommendation.
Thirdly, I found out on Friday that I’ve won the Gloucestershire Writers’ Network 2016 prose competition. This means I’ll be reading my story Shoals at (squeee!) the Cheltenham Literature Festival, on Sunday 16th October.
And finally, I’m very excited to say that I have organised an open mic night of new flash fiction, to take place at Smokey Joe’s Café in Cheltenham on the 10th November. More details, plus links and promo and all that stuff, to come very soon . . . .
This year there are two short story competitions associated with the Cheltenham Literary Festival: the Gloucestershire Writers’ Network competition and the new Cheltenham Literary Prize.
The GWN competition has been around for a while, and this year interprets the theme of the Festival (‘America’) to offer the competition theme ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’. I’ve found it tricky to get the competition details online, so here they are in full for anyone who’s interested in entering:
The Literature Festival has America as a country theme this year so this competition is looking for poetry and prose that responds to the theme in the broadest possible ways.
Entries are invited from writers who live or work in Gloucestershire. There will be two prizes of £100, one for poetry and one for prose.
All the winners and runners-up will be invited to read their work in October at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
- Please give your entry a title that is different from the competition theme. Entries must be identified only by title, do not put your name on the entry.
- Your name, address, telephone number and email address should be on a separate sheet of paper.
- Poems should be no more than 50 lines.
- Prose items should use double spacing and not exceed 750 words.
- Entries must be typed on A4 paper. Handwritten copies will not be accepted.
- GWN prefers each winning writer to read his or her own work. If you are selected but subsequently cannot read your work at the Festival, your work will be withdrawn unless you can provide a substitute reader.
- To enter costs £2 per item. Please send a cheque or postal order to the address below, payable to Gloucestershire Writers’ Network. If you wish to know the results of the competition, include your email address or a stamped, addressed envelope.
- Entries may be made by post to GWN, c/o 33 Sandford Leaze, Avening, Glos. GL8 8PB, or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If posting, please send two copies. If you email your entry, you will still need to send your cheque by post clearly identifying the entry for which you are paying. Emailed items should be attached as a Word document or sent within the text of the message
- Please ensure that you put the right value of stamps according to the size of envelope as GWN cannot pay for excess postage.
- Closing date: 30th July 2016
The Cheltenham Literary Prize
is an all-new competition organised by the Cheltenham Writers’ Circle. It’s national, with a smaller prize allotted to the best entry from a GL postcode. Entries should be 2000 words or fewer, and it’s open now until June 4th. Full details here