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Literary Summer Breaks

July 7th, 2016

buxton-blogMost people are familiar with the Costa Book Awards but since 2012 they’ve also been doing a Short Story Award.

In order to choose the winner, the public votes for six shortlisted stories that have been chosen by the five judges. You can download and listen to, or read, all the shortlisted stories at the appropriate time. I’m quite looking forward to this stage, as the shortlisted entries are invariably of a high standard and you can learn a lot from the way they are crafted. It also gives you a clue as to what the public enjoys and you might want to take this into account when you’re putting together your own entries for future competitions.

However, it’s only open for submissions from 1st July to 5th August. It’s free but you can only send in one story. This can be on any theme but must be under 4000 words and previously unpublished. And it must be submitted via their online entry form; so if you  intend to enter, then please read the rules as they are quite detailed about the format.

The prizes are £3,500 for the winner, £1500 for second place and £500 for third.

If you’re looking for a literary break over the summer than there are two good ones coming up this month. The first is Buxton Festival (8th to 24th July) which covers opera, music and literature. It’s a quirky place situated in a beautiful part of the country and they really go to town on their annual festival.

Moving on, the world-renowned Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival will be held in Harrogate from 21st to 24th July. It really is one of the big-name festivals and this year you can expect to see the likes of Jeffery Deaver, Martina Cole, Neil Cross, Linwood Barclay,Tess Gerritsen, Val McDermid, Gerald Seymour and over 80 other authors.

If your partner is a crime fanatic and you’re not (or vice versa) there are lots of other things to do in Harrogate. Enjoy the Valley Gardens; stroll out to RHS Harlow Carr; pile on the pounds – and lose some from your wallet – in Betty’s tearoom (Yorkshire curd tarts!); have a Turkish bath or enjoy a pint of the festival sponsor’s best bitter.  And if you’re a health-conscious masochist, you could always take the waters, for which Harrogate is famous, at the spa!  I hope I’ve whetted your appetite.

Don’t forget that our Limerick Competition is running until 31st July. The first prize is £100 in cash and the choice of any Writers Bureau Course. In addition there will be two runners up who will each receive £50 plus membership to The Association of Freelance Writers, and all the benefits that entails.  Come on, there’s been so much political farce going on over the last couple of weeks that it must provide endless material for a crop of wonderful limericks!

Until next week…



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