Friday, 15 October 2010

this post is a bit business-like

First - I'd like to recommend a short story, Susan, by Alex Thornber. If you have a few minutes and you'd like to read something hip, but with depth (hard to pull off), click here. It's up at Metazen.

Alex is also the editor of Tomlit, a quarterly lit mag which took a hiatus over the summer. Now it's all open again, and so is the website - take a look here for an interview with Nik Perring, and here for a non-fiction piece by Tania Hershman. At the end of last year and earlier this year I helped out as the fiction advisor, but I'm now the assistant editor (check me, I have 2 new jobs!) and so...

we're looking for an intern of sorts to help out as Tomlit grows. This is a 'virtual' position - something that you'd do in your spare time from your own home, and mostly by email, most likely between yourself and Alex. You need to like reading short fiction and feel confident about giving constructive feedback to writers, even well known ones.

You have to not mind working for free.
Tomlit is totally non-profit, and is concerned only with promoting and celebrating new writing and art. Maybe you're a writer yourself - and you'd like to help generate ideas, maybe even write an article or story for the magazine.

If you're interested, send an email to alex.notebook [@]

And - The Tomlit Magazine is having a relaunch and so is open for submissions again. We'd love some of your fiction - go here for the guidelines and send us your best work.


Here's this month's (ish) round up of prizes and competition closing soon (with some of my thoughts on some of the prizes in italics...)

Dana Awards
Send: 5 poems, the first 50 pages of your novel, or a short story up to 10,000 words
1st prize: $1000 in each category
Entry fee: $15 per 5 poems, $15 per story, $15 per novel
Closes: 31st October

Huge wordcount for a short story. Postal entries only. Interestingly - simultaneous submissions are okay, as long as your work is unpublished at the time of entry. Dana very rarely publish the prize winning stories, so you would still be able to win a monetary award here and have your story published elsewhere, as long as you let the Dana Awards folks know.

Cinnamon Press Writing Awards
Send: up to 10,000 words of a novel/novella; 10 poems of up to 40 lines; 2-4000 words of a short story
1st prize: £400 for novel/novella & publishing contract, £100 & publication for poetry collection and short story
Entry fee: all categories £16
Closes: 30th November

I think £16 is way too steep for the short story category, especially as you can only enter one. It might sound harsh but £100 first prize isn't good enough, in my opinion, to spend £16 to enter. Cinnamon Press are well established, however, so it would be a good competition to be placed in.

The New Writer Prose and Poetry Prizes
Send: short stories up to 4000 words; novellas up to 20,000; single poems of up to 40 lines; poetry collections of 6-10 poems; essays and articles up to 2000 words.
1st prize: various for each category - 1st placed short story wins £300.
Entry fee: again, it varies, but it's £5 per story
Closes: 30th November

Leaf Books Memoir Competition
Actually - Leaf have quite a few competition deadlines coming up - take a look at their website. Here's the info for this one:
Send: an essay about your own life of up to 1000 words
1st prize: £150
Entry fee: £4 per sub or £10 for 3
Closes: 30th November

£10 for 3 entries is interesting in this competition - would that be 3 different lives you've led, 3 versions of the same life, 3 stages of your life..

Fish Short Story Prize
Send: stories up yp 5000 words
Prizes: 1st prize - 3000 euros; 2nd - a week at Anam Cara Artists' and Writers' Retreat + 300 euros travelling expenses; 3rd - 300 euros. The 10 winning stories published in an anthology.
Entry fee: 20 euros per story
Closes: 30th November

Also a high entry fee - BUT - in my opinion, Fish award amazing 1st and 2nd prizes that make it very appealing to enter.


There are a lot of competitions closing at the end of November - and as ever this is not an exhaustive list, just the ones that have caught my eye. Writer Dan Purdue has started to compile a list of competitions and prizes over at his blog - go see.


Rachel Fenton said...

I think I shall have to choose carefully and be realistic about how many I can enter rather than getting all carried away and trying to spam off heaps of stories.

Good luck to you.

Thanks for posting the list - going to go read the story now...

Dan Purdue said...

RE: The Cinnamon Press competition, £16 is very high for a competition entry, although it does include a copy of the anthology. It's probably a good way of boosting anthology sales, but I think the high cost will put a lot of people off.

They do seem to have a good reputation as a publishing house, though. It's just one of those competitions you look at and think, "Hmm, not too sure about that." I might enter, but it'll depend on whether I decide I want the anthology or not, rather than whether I think I stand a chance of winning.

Teresa Stenson said...

Hey Rachel - you're v.welcome. I'm not sure how many, if any, I will enter. Most likely the Fish one, they're on my wish list. I wish to have Fish on my list (of places published).

Hi Dan - I missed the anthology bit, but for me, it still isn't enough to make me enter. It'd be useful to see what kind of stories they picked, once you got over the 'here's what you could have won' stirring. I reckon the high entry fee is financing the thing too, which I understand is necessary when there are quite big prizes, just not in the category I'd be entering. God, I'm greedy.

Dan Purdue said...

I don't think it's a case of being greedy, not really. Competitions are all about prizes; only a few of them have real prestige as well/instead of the money.

Speaking personally, I look at the entry fee, look at the prizes, do a bit of mental arithmetic with the aim of guessing how many entries they expect to get, and then decide.

I don't see the point of competing against nobody, but I don't have enough confidence to take on thousands of other writers (although I nearly always enter Bridport, ho-hum. I should buy their anthologies). My magic number at the moment seems to be a fiver or so to enter, top prize about £200-£300. That kind of feels right.

Mind you, there are plenty of occasions when logic goes completely out of the window, of course.

Good luck with your Fish wish.