Saturday, 13 March 2010

closing soon + your thoughts

a few places I'm keeping in mind over the coming weeks:

  • Mslexia - (for female writers only) would like new writing on the theme 'Into the deep' - closes Friday March 19th. No entry fee, best stories and poems published in the magazine.

  • Fish One Page Story Prize - tell a story in 300 words or less. One of the judges is the ace and artful comedian Simon Munnery. Online entry 12 euros, postal entry 15 euros. First prize 1000 euros, plus publication. Closes Saturday March 20th.

  • Bristol Short Story Prize - send fiction of up to 3000 words. Entry is £7 per story, first prize £500 + £150 Waterstones giftcard. (2nd and 3rd prizes are impressive too: £350 + £100 giftcard and £200 + £100 giftcard). One of the judges is Orange Prize commended writer Tania Hershman. Closes Wednesday 31st March.

Just thinking as I typed out the details for the Bristol Prize - it's interesting that the prize fund is more evenly distributed between 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Often with writing competitions there's a big first prize and dramatically different 2nd/3rd/runner up prizes. The Bridport Prize, for example, offers that brilliant £5000 first prize, then £1000 and £500 for 2nd and 3rd. I know that's not to be sniffed at, I also appreciate there's prestige with prizes like Bridport, I just like that share-the-wealth approach between the top 3 of the Bristol Prize.

What do you prefer - and what's more attractive when you enter a short story prize, assuming there's an entry fee:
big first prize and no/dramatically different 2nd and 3rd prize
or 3 more evenly distributed prizes?


Rachel Fenton said...

Would depend on whether I was the winner or a runner up as to whether I was happy with more evenly distributed prizes or a big juicy first prize! Seriously though - I try not to think about it. I tend not to win anything - ever - so I would just be thrilled to make it to a long list I think!

I have a story for the mslexia thing but then I'm thinking I could save it for another comp but I'm just not that daft? To save stories?

Teresa Stenson said...

Hi Rachel - yeah, not thinking about prize money/winning is best, esp when you're writing.

Saving stories - ha, well for a while I had my Sunday Best stories that I'd dust down for the big comps, sort of rotate them around. 'In a seaside cafe' - which eventually got me a runners up at Bridport 2009 - didn't come anywhere in anything, and had even taken an unsuccessful trip to Bridport 2 years earlier in 2007.

But, when I found out that Ali Smith was judging last year I just thought of all the competitions, of all the judges - I wanted that story to do well in that one, with Ali Smith - who'd been my biggest inspiration around the time of writing it. It may sound odd, but it was as if that was the perfect time and place for that story.

So, in short, I do 'save' stories, but I've always wanted to get into Mslexia so I'd send them my Sunday Best. Are you saving your story for a big comp?