No, not the spongy, creamy, totally bad for you kind – CAKE is a project to help unpublished writers get their work in front of
the public. It’s based in Manchester and distributes short stories free of charge via a network of cafes and bars. Each issue of CAKE is also available to download from the website.
There’s no payment for the stories printed (as you would expect since no-one appears to be making any money out of this) but CAKE will do their best to give feedback on any stories submitted plus, if your story is selected for publication, you will also get a plug for your website/blog.
Stories up to 2200 words will be considered and there are no rules about having to live in Manchester to submit. Full details of the submission process are here.
Sadly, those of us who have been published in magazines are not eligible to submit stories but there is still something useful for us to take away from the FAQs on the website. Apparently over half the submissions they receive are about death in one form or another, so if this is the subject of your story then you need to find a unique way of making your tale stand out from the crowd or write about something completely different. I’m sure this advice will apply equally well to any short story competition that you choose to enter.
By the way – did you know that this is Love Your Local Bookshop Week? It runs from 30th June to 7th July. Reading about it made my conscience prick about the purchases of both traditional and e-books that I make at Amazon. So I used my postcode here and was amazed to find that I would have to travel 15.66 miles to get to my nearest independent book seller, even though I live close to a large city. These shops have suffered badly from the growth of internet and supermarket purchasing and, sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any way back for them now.