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Writers Bureau 2012 Short Story Competition Now Accepting Entries

January 13th, 2012

Thanks to Helen for last week’s blog. What she had to say about improving your chances of success is spot on – as I’ve found from years of working with would-be writers. So ignore it at your peril!

The Costa Book Awards

The winners were duly announced last week and I was glad to see that Pure had won in the novel category. I’ll also be interested to read Tiny Sunbirds Far Away – winner in the first novel category. Writers Bureau has many Nigerian students and I’m always fascinated by the slice of life that their writing reveals. All the category winners are now waiting for the overall prize to be announced on 24th January. I think I’d definitely be struggling to stay calm if I stood to win a further £30,000 on top of the £5,000 that I’d already pocketed.

Bridport Prize

And talking about £5,000 – that’s the prize money that’s on offer in the Bridport Prize Poetry and Short Story Competition. Plus there’s a £1,000 prize for the winner of the Flash Fiction category. And the good thing about this competition is that you don’t need to be famous or have had your work published to enter. But because the prize money is so good, competition is fierce and only the most polished entries will stand a chance. Entry rules are available at their website and the closing date is 31st May.

Short Story Competition

Our 2011 Poetry Competition has now closed and we hope to announce the winners and have their poems available on the website before the end of February. But the 2012 Short Story Competition is now open for entries. Prize money totals £1,100 and full details are available at the website. You’ve got until 30th June to enter and if you wish to brush up your skills before sending anything in there are two options. You could enrol on the Novel and Short Story Course. Or you could opt for a copy of Iain Pattison’s book Cracking the Short Story Market to get his views on what constitutes a winning short story. And, as usual, Iain will be the judge of this year’s competition.

What the Dickens?

I know there’s no way of escaping it, and I confess to being a great fan of Charles Dickens (a sadistic relative bought me a complete set of his works for my 21st birthday, and after recovering from the shock I was hooked for life). But I’m already starting to feel jaded by the fact that every time I open a newspaper or turn on the TV there’s an article about him or an adaptation of his works in this bicentennial year. I even opened a travel supplement last Sunday and there was an article on Boulogne – from the point of view of a holiday destination frequented by Charles Dickens. But it does highlight the point that we make to our students – find a peg on which to hang an article (nothing beats a good anniversary) and then think creatively!

Next week my guest will be Janice Hardy – so until then…

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