Sunday, 19 August 2012

this is useful

Apologies for the ambiguous nature of my last post. I'm going to make up for it now by being a more useful and interesting blogger.

Writing-wise, I've been doing my usual thing of working on various things at once, though I've been trying to focus myself mostly on the writing of new material to add to a collection which I hope to send to Salt Publishing's Scott Prize at the end of October. It's only recently that I've felt the urge to put some of my stories alongside each other. I never wanted to do it just because I could, I need each story to feel like it belongs in there.  

Here's where this post gets useful. There are loads of short story competitions closing in the next month - these ones have caught my eye.

Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition
for short stories up to 2000 words
£10 entry fee, but you can send up to 2 entries
£500 1st prize and finalists published in anthology
Closes August 31st

Aesthetica is an internationally recognised magazine so this would be a good platform for any finalists, though I know some writers are put off by the winner-takes-all monetary prize.


Costa Short Story Award
for short stories up to 4000 words
no entry fee
£3500 1st prize, 2 runners up of £750
Closes September 7th

This one is interesting, a new award, obviously very high profile so again a really good place to have your work. Entries are judged anonymously so beginners should have the same shot as those who have been subbed by their publishers. A shortlist of 6 entries will be announced in November with the public voting for their favourite - which some part of me likes and another is wary of, in case it comes down to the writer with the most followers on Twitter.


The Short Story Competition
for stories of 1000-5000 words
no entry fee
£300 / £150 / £50 prizes
Closes September 15th

No-entry fee comps with cash prizes are rare (Costa obv has sponsorship) and this one, in its 2nd year, appears to be a friendly and well run place. The website has last year's winning stories, plus advice and guidelines that tell you a little about what the judges want and don't want to read.


The Asham Award
for short stories written by women only (soz lads) up to 4000 words on the given theme 'Journey'
£15 (or £10 concessions) entry fee
£1000 / £500 / £300 / 9 x £100 runners up
Closes September 21st

I would love to have a story published in an Asham collection, and have tried and failed many times before. This is the second time they've set a theme - 2 years ago (this prize is, erm - what's that word for every 2 years? Not biannual is it? That's twice a year. Hm. Answers in the comments, pliz) the theme was 'Ghost/Gothic' and I couldn't write anything for it. 'Journey' is broader, and more encompassing, I feel. Generous prizes for all finalists, too.


In more general news, I had a week of toothache because of a leaky filling, I inhaled a fly, I managed to splash burning oil on my hand when I flipped some fish over in the frying pan.If I have time this week I'll add a photo of it here. Exciting, eh! I am quite proud of it. It doesn't hurt anymore, I just have these dark purple marks where the oil hit. Incidentally, I didn't scream out loud - I sort of screamed inside. Which was weird.

Hope you're all well.

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