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£500 1st Prize in Writers Bureau Short Story Competition

April 15th, 2011

First, thanks to Natalie – it may be a cliché that ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ but I can’t emphasise too strongly that it also makes a huge difference to whether you sell your work or not.

Travel Writing Competition

Closing date for entries to the Bradt/Independent on Sunday Travel-Writing Competition is Friday 20th May. It is open to all writers and this year’s theme is ‘Up the Creek…’ Entries must contain a strong travel element and the maximum word length is 800 words. I should imagine standards will be high, but if you don’t have a go, you’ll never win! And the prize? A holiday for two in eastern Turkey.

Write a sonnet for the Royal Wedding

Now on to poetry. What could be more romantic than a sonnet – well certainly if it’s penned by the likes of William Shakespeare. So, in celebration of the Royal Wedding we’re holding a sonnet-writing competition. Entry is free and the prize is a copy of our Art of Writing Poetry course and the chance to hone your skills with one of our award-winning tutors. And while we’re on the subject, check out the poetry site that appears in the April issue of E-zee Writer which features some of the nation’s favourite poems and provides resources linked to the BBC’s recent poetry season.

Dribbles, Drabbles and Droubbles

Finally, let me say dribbles, drabbles and droubbles… No, it’s not some arcane incantation – they are the names of some of the new forms of short fiction. I am reliably informed that a dribble is a short story not exceeding 50 words (plus 15 words for the title); a drabble is a short story of up to 100 words and a droubble can extend to 200 words. And, let’s not forget 140- fiction or twitter fiction.

At one time all we had was flash fiction but now the short form seems to be on the up. We held a few 140-word fiction competitions last year to mark our 21st birthday. Many of the entries were clever and well-crafted, but they seldom provided a satisfying read. I get a sneaky feeling that they’re gaining in popularity because they agree so well with twitter and new phone technology – or because they provide an intellectual challenge for the writer – rather than because they give real pleasure to the reader. I may be wrong – but I’d be interested to have your views on the subject.

Next week, Writers Bureau tutor, Andy Ellis, will be my guest blogger; so all that remains is to wish you a relaxing Easter break with plenty of writing and, of course, too many Easter Eggs! Incidentally, don’t forget that the Writers Bureau Short Story competition is now accepting entries; so if you’re looking for a project this weekend, why not have a go at writing a short story (up to 2000 words, on any theme) and sending it in.

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