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New Competitions For The New Year

January 10th, 2019

You’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve just launched our latest Writers Bureau Open Competition. It’s for short stories with a maximum length of 2000 words and the closing date is 31st March. As usual, there are four prizes: £300, £200, £100 and £50 and each winner will also receive a Writers Bureau Course of their choice.

Also, we’re almost ready to publish the results of our Flash Fiction Competition that closed recently. You’ll find that the shortlist is already available on our website. So, if you entered and want to check if you’re on it, go and have a look! The reason that there has been a delay in picking the winners is that the shortlist was so strong this year that we have really been struggling to decide which stories should get the top three slots. But, we should be ready to announce them by the time I publish next week’s blog.

Incidentally, when we are trying to decide on the winners one of the major things we look for is that there must be a story there! We get so many entries that are beautifully written, lyrical but are merely a description – there’s no plot. We also get lots of flash stories that are a joke or have a twist in the tail, but everything focuses on that point rather than something more satisfying. In 500 words there’s not a lot of room for characterisation; so keep your cast list small. And finally, make good use of your title. If you read the winning entries when they are published, you’ll understand exactly what I mean!

This year for the first time we’ve teamed up with Prima magazine for a joint short story competition. Full details of how to enter the competition, plus the rules, will appear in the February (now available) and March issues of the magazine. There is a maximum length of 800 words for your story. Judges from Prima and Writers Bureau will agree on the best story and it will be published in the August edition of the magazine. The winner will also receive a Writers Bureau course of their choice. So, this could give you the chance to see your work published in a national magazine! The closing date for entries is 31st March; so think about what I said in the previous paragraph and get cracking if you intend to enter.

And before I leave you, here are two quotes I saw recently from famous authors:

The prerequisite for me is to keep my well of ideas full. This means living as full and varied a life as possible – Michael Morpurgo

The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement – if you can’t deal with this you needn’t apply – Will Self.

On first inspection they seem to be contradictory, but they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. When you’re writing you do need solitude and to be in a position where you can concentrate – uninterrupted – for lengthy periods of time. But between bouts of writing, you’ll benefit from mixing with other people, visiting different places, attending workshops and socialising online. You need to experience life to the full if you are to get the inspiration you need to produce your best work.

Author: Diana Nadin

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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