Archive for category Competitions

Stories Competition

Here is a free to enter competition which is completely relaxed about the format and genre of entries.

The Evening Standard in association with Netflix is running a ‘What’s Your Story’ Competition as part of their Stories Festival which takes place in September 2021.

Entries can be written (up to 1,000 words) or recorded as a video (up to 2-minutes in length).
The story can be about childhood, life or from your imagination but must be original and from a previously unpublished writer. The entry can be written as a short story, poem, screen/theatre play or can even be sung.
The competition closes on 30 June 2021 at 11.59 AM

The prizes sound pretty good. According to the competition website:
The winners will receive a suite of prizes to support them in their journey into the industry. Including workshop sessions with either leading screenwriters or editors, publication of winning stories on standard.co.uk, and VIP access to the festival. The winning pieces will be performed as part of the Stories Festival by well-known writers.

As usual don’t forget to read all the terms and conditions before entering and Good Luck! This sounds like a great opportunity for someone just starting their writing journey.

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Write a New Chapter for Alice in Wonderland

The Lewis Carroll Society is launching a writing competition to commemorate 150 years of ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ and to celebrate the creativity of Lewis Carroll. The award is part of the bequest from Ellis S Hillman who was the first President of the Lewis Carroll Society in 1969.

The challenge is to write a ‘missing’ chapter for either Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or for Through the Looking-Glass. The chapter can introduce new characters or re-use existing characters. It can create new scenarios or follow from an existing scenario.

The competition is free to enter and offers a prize of £100 in each of three different age groups (including adults).

The closing date is 3rd July 2021 which coincides with Alice’s Day in Oxford.

Full competition details can be found on the Lewis Carroll Society website.

So, scoot down the nearest rabbit hole, take tea with the Mad Hatter and let your imagination take flight!

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An Update on Me

I’ve been rather quiet about my own literary endeavours of late, so here’s a quick update.

Cup Cakes

Pre-Covid Memories from March 2020

At the beginning of February the first three chapters and synopsis of last year’s NaNoWriMo manuscript generated a call for the full manuscript from my agent. Since then I’ve been working on bringing the rest of the manuscript up to scratch. Today I pressed ‘send’ and now have around six weeks to wait for the verdict. 

I’ve also completed a training course (via Zoom) to become a Shared Reading Group Leader. I’m looking forward to the end of restrictions and the opportunity to get a real-life group started.

So what do I do while I wait for the above two things to come to fruition? I’ve made a little list of possibilities. They won’t all get done but, hopefully, the list will mean I don’t waste too much time procrastinating:

  • Complete article commissioned by The People’s Friend
  • Chase up pitches outstanding with other publications.
  • Attempt to win my way to the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School by entering their short story competition.
  • Publish my short story collections on Kobo when the relevant KDP Select enrolments end. This will involve sourcing new covers. Kobo cited the existing covers as a factor in stopping the books being accepted into their promotions. 
  • Investigate whether I have enough short stories to publish another collection.
  • Revisit the categories/keywords on my existing KDP publications.
  • Update Kindle Direct Publishing for Absolute Beginners.

Watch this space to find out how I get on!

What’s everyone else working on? Are you a list-person or do you just go where the whim takes you?

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The Dead Cat Poetry Prize

This is such an unusual theme for a poetry competition that I just had to give it a mention here! Cat Poetry competition

According to the competition website: “The Dead Cat Poetry Prize is an annual poetry competition de(a)dicat(t)ed to the world’s best poetry about felines that have shuffled off their nine mortal coils. The first prize will be awarded in 2021”.

However, this competition is not all doom, gloom and dead cats. Visit the website’s FAQ (Fiercely Anticipated Questions) page and you will learn that poems about cats who are still alive can also be submitted. Poems concerned with ‘feline mortality’ will be accepted, even if the subject is still alive.

So what are you waiting for?! Pens and felines at the ready, please!

Closing date is March 17th 2021. The entrance fee is £2.75. There are prizes of £25, £10 and £5 and winning poems will be published on the website.

(By the way, the cat in the picture isn’t mine. It was spotted on holiday in Passau.)

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Highland Book Prize Longlist Announced

We couldn’t go on holiday this year but I spent the latter part of the summer travelling the length and breadth of the Scottish Highlands. In books.

I was a reader for the longlist of the Highland Book Prize.

The Highland Book Prize is an annual book prize that celebrates the talent, landscape and cultural diversity of the Highlands. It is open to fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
In 2020 there were 52 entries, which were initially reviewed by a panel of 145 volunteer readers, comprising both industry professionals and avid readers. Our opinions and comments were then aggregated to build a longlist of thirteen books.

The longlist will be read by a panel of experts who will draw up the shortlist. The final winner will be announced in May 2021 and will receive £1000 and a place on a writing retreat at Moniack Mhor.

Reading for the longlist was a great experience. I was sent a mix of fiction, memoir, non-fiction and poetry. Some of it challenged me and other stuff was more along the lines of my usual reading matter. I learned a lot about the people, landscape and nature of the Highlands. I’m hoping to be on the panel again next year. If you’d like to take part as well, applications to be a reader in 2021 are now open.

On another subject entirely, if you are struggling to find the time or space to write, you might be interested in this post, which I wrote for Lightbox Originals

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Mountains of the Mind Writing Competition

Mountaineering Scotland is running a free writing competition which is open to non-members as well as members.

On Ben Nevis

Entries can be fact or fiction and there are categories for prose and poetry. However, the subject matter must have a connection with some aspect of mountaineering, rock climbing, walking or ski mountaineering / ski-touring.

In both categories the prizes are: 1st £200: 2nd £100; 3rd £50.

Prose entries should be a maximum of 2,000 words and poems a maximum of 200 words long.

Closing date is 31st August 2020.

As always, please read all the terms and conditions before entering.

 

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Canal and River Trust Writing Competition

The Canal and River Trust is asking for 300 words of your experiences of being by water.

The Trust says: You could recall a peaceful stroll, reminisce about spotting wildlife on a boating holiday or spin a yarn about a fishing trip with an unexpected twist. The subject matter is endless – the only condition is that the piece must be inspired by a visit to river or canal cared for by the Trust.

The judge is poet and author Ian McMillan. The winning entries will be published on the Canal & River Trust website and the winners will receive personally signed copies of Stephen Fry’s books – The Ode, Paperweight and Mythos.

Closing date is 31st August 2020 and don’t forget to read the terms and conditions.

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Poetry on Loan Competition 2020 for the West Midlands

Following on from last week’s post about the Sunday Times Crime Writing Competition, here’s another free writing competition to get your teeth into during lockdown.

Poetry on Loan are asking for poems of up to 20 lines on the theme of either ‘The Unexpected’ or ‘Vision’.

Poetry on Loan promotes contemporary poetry through public libraries in the West Midlands and the competition is open to anyone who lives, studies or works regularly in the area.

The closing date is 1st September 2020.

The prize is a paid performance as part of a Poetry on Loan event. However, it’s not known how long it will be before libraries can run events again, therefore if a performance can’t be arranged  before May 2021, the winner will receive a cash prize of £75 instead. The winner of the junior section of the competition will receive WHSmith tokens.

Full details of the competition can be found on the Poetry on Loan website.

If you don’t have a connection with the West Midlands, why not write a poem anyway so that you’ve got ‘something in the bank’ to send out next time a suitable competition comes up?

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SUNDAY TIMES CRIME CLUB / ELIZABETH GEORGE CRIME-WRITING COMPETITION

Here’s a fabulous competition for unpublished crime writers (self-published authors are eligible to enter).

It will be judged by Elizabeth George, creator of the Inspector Lynley series.

First prize is a personal masterclass with Elizabeth plus an editorial consultation with the commissioning editor for crime at Hodder & Stoughton, Elizabeth’s UK publisher. Runners up will also be offered the editorial consultation.

Entry is by an online submission form and it requires the first chapter (up to 2,500 words) of your crime novel plus a 200-word synopsis.

Closing date is 2nd June 2020 and don’t forget to read the full terms and conditions.

Good Luck!

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A Dickens of a Competition

If the weird times we live in are making it difficult to concentrate on a longer piece of writing, here’s a short, fun competition to take your mind off things.

June 9th 2020 is the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens. To mark the occasion the Journalists’ Charity (which was started by Dickens) is holding a competition to pen a portrait of the 21st century character you think would have deserved the author’s attention. This character description should be no longer than 300 words. To guide you, there are examples on the competition page of pen portraits that Dickens wrote about some of his characters such as Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, Miss Tox from Dombey and Son and Mr Bounderby from Hard Times.

The competition winner will be awarded a certificate and a unique depiction of the winning character, drawn by Veteran Fleet Street Cartoonist Stanley McMurtry (MBE) (better known as MAC).

The closing date is June 9th 2020 and entry is free. However, donations to the Journalists’ Charity are welcomed.
Also, entrants must agree to waive any copyright in regard to publication of their work to promote the aims and work of the Journalists’ Charity.

There are no Dickensian pen portraits in A Coffee Break Story Collection but there are 36 short stories and plenty of characters who have caught the eye of competition judges and magazine editors. If you (or a loved one) would like some easy reading to dip in and out of, A Coffee Break Story Collection is available on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon.

A Coffee Break Story Collection

Stay safe!

 

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