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Big Prize Money for both Fiction and Poetry

April 28th, 2011

First, thanks to Andy for last week’s blog.  It just shows, as a writer you don’t just need talent but also perseverance and a great big dollop of luck!

National Poetry Competition

Next, I’d like to draw your attention to The National Poetry Competition 2011 run by the Poetry Society.  Prizes range from £5000 for the overall winner down to £100 for poems that are commended, and the top three winning poems will be published in the prestigious Poetry Review.

I know what you’re probably thinking: what chance do I stand when the likes of Carol Ann Duffy, Jo Shapcott and Helen Dunmore have won in the past?  But take heart.  The most recent winner was newcomer Paul Adrian who, apparently, last published a poem while he was still at school!

£10,000 Manchester Fiction Prize

And still on the subject of large cash prizes, Manchester Metropolitan University are once again offering £10,000 to the winner of The Manchester Fiction Prize 2011.  I know I had a bit of a snipe at this last year.  But however much it might raise the profile of writing – or Man Met in particular – I still find it a bit profligate when student fees will soon be rocketing and most universities are crying poverty and claiming that cuts will be essential.

Quick Reads

This month seems to have flown by – aided by the Easter break and today’s royal wedding.  We’ll soon be into May and Adult Learner’s week supported by NIACE, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.  I went to a meeting recently where one of the speakers was representing NIACE and he mentioned their support for Quick Reads.  This is a scheme where best-selling writers and celebrities produce short books that are fast paced and easy to ready.  They appeal to everyone but are particularly aimed at ‘reluctant readers’.  I can’t think of anything more worthy of support – bringing increased confidence and the pleasures of reading to people who might otherwise miss out. And what’s more, most of the books really are a cracking good read.

That’s it for this week!  If you don’t intend to socialise with your neighbours at a street party (and do you really want to sit down to sausage rolls and Bucks Fizz with the neighbours from hell who constantly play loud music and whose rowdy offspring run rampage amongst your tulips), why not settle down to some serious writing this weekend.  You’ve got four days – it might not be long enough to pen War and Peace but you could certainly write and polish a couple of short stories to enter in the Writers Bureau Short Story Competition – closing date is not until 30th June.

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