Enter the Fractured Lit Anthology Prize

Lake Michigan and Navy Pier. Photo by Judy DarleyFractured Lit invite you to submit flash fiction to the Fractured Lit Anthology Prize.

The closing date for entries is 19th April 2021.

Guest judge Kathy Fish will choose 20 prize winners from a shortlist. Kathy is the author of  five collections of short fiction, most recently Wild Life: Collected Works from 2003-2018.

Her 20 chosen winners will each receive $250, publication in the Fractured Lit Anthology, and five contributor copies of the printed anthology. All entries will be considered for publication. Do double-space, use Time New Roman 12 pt font and anonymise your story document.

I recommend you submit work that embraces the publication’s tagline: fiction that lingers long after the flash.

In exchange for a $20 reading fee, you may submit up to two stories of 1,000 words or fewer each per entry, set within the same document.

Find the full guidelines and submit your flash fiction here: fracturedlit.submittable.com/submit 

Good luck!

Got an event, challenge, competition, opportunity or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) ICloud (dot) com.

Night Sky Press invites you to collaborate on a fictional planet

Iceland cr Judy Darley. A winter sunrise over a snowy landscape where everything is white, silver, blue and blackNight Sky Press is a brand-new, biannual, same-world anthology series. For every issue, Founders A’liya Spinner and Keith Nelson come up with a different unique and original world for you to root your stories on. The first issue’s focus is Orcanus: The Crystalline World, a brilliantly detailed creation designed to inspire your imagination and prompt a curated collaboration while pushing “same-world speculative fiction into an accessible, modern spotlight.”

Your submissions must, in some way, have this world as a setting or key factor in the story. “This is meant to inspire creativity, rather than constrain it, and we encourage authors to expand on the world’s provided skeleton in unique and visionary ways.”

Selected works will appear together in that planet’s anthology, reimagining collaboration to build a world from contributors’ shared vision.

Submissions are open until 30th April 2021.

The emphasis is on collaboration.  “As an idea, it’s as expansive as the universe we wish to create,” A’liya Spinner and Keith Nelson say. “Night Sky Press was founded on the ideals of teamwork, creativity, and openness to ideas that haven’t garnered ‘mainstream’ attention. For now and forever, our vow is that every issue will be a new and incredible vision, every planet will be a playground for inventiveness, and every author will be as greatly valued as they deserve to be. (…) We have created the skeleton and the sky; you will create the stars.”

You are invited to send:

  • Flash fiction and short stories between 500 and 5,000 words. Longer stories accepted within reason. Poetry submissions are also accepted, so long as they relate to that issue’s world.​
  • Stories about hope, discovery, mercy, love, and passion. “We love tales about the better half of humanity (or alien-ity!), but we won’t reject stories about struggle, turmoil, or conflict, either. We acknowledge that life, even in the interstellar age, isn’t all glory and tranquillity.”
  • The founders welcome works from authors of all backgrounds, and especially encourage works by and about LGBTQ+, BIPOC, disabled, and other traditionally marginalised writers and characters.
  • Unusual perspectives are welcomed. “Have you always wanted to write from the viewpoint of an android, alien lizard, or amorphous, sentient fog, but been unsure where to submit it? We love the creative, the strange, and the new.”
  • “Stories that take creative use of our setting, and expand, deepen, and enrich our world. Don’t be afraid to add your own flare, aliens, landmarks, and history within our provided framework.”

Along with the usual vetos on gore, sex and hate-writes, the founders comment: “Our anthology is open to all writers, of all experience levels, ages, and perspectives. Don’t doubt yourself or your work; we want to hear your voice!”

Find full details of how to submit here: https://nightskypress.wixsite.com/night-sky-press/submit 

Got an event, challenge, competition, opportunity or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) ICloud (dot) com.

A poem a day…

The challenge for April is to write a poem every day. Did you know that?  ‘A poem a day through April till May’. Any length, any form, any topic, as long as you end up with something vaguely resembling a poem.

Seashell interiorNaPoWriMo will be offering daily prompts to help your writing along, and urge you to mix-and-match poetry prompts. They also remind us that you can find prompts by Robert Lee Brewer at his April Poem-a-Day challenge. Look out for the #promptaday hashtag on Twitter.

This year I made a choice in January to read at least one poem a day. I have a huge admiration for the mastery poets have over words, and some of the most beautifully written novels I’ve read have been by poets. It’s something to do with the linguistic agility and originality required to take a commonplace sentence or sentiment and imbue it with a rhythm that makes it really shine in the reader’s mind long after they’ve read it.

For a long time I’ve thought about trying to develop my rudimentary poetry writing skills, so this seems like too good an opportunity to pass up. My aim is to discover how to take my flash fiction writing and elevate the brevity of that skill to a new, glittering level that more efficiently and resonantly expresses what I’m trying to say.

Perhaps this challenge is my opportunity to achieve this – a sort of intensive month-long poetry masterclass, inspired by some of the best poets in the business.

Find out more at www.napowrimo.net.

Got an event, challenge, competition, opportunity or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) ICloud (dot) com.

Join Writers & Artists’ fiction submission masterclass

Notebook and pen cr Judy Darley

Got a novel almost ready to submit? Now’s the time to polish your submission package. The canny folks at the Writers & Artists are hosting an online Manuscript Submission Masterclass for fiction writers.

The class takes place on 7th April 2021 from 6pm to 8pm.

They say: “This masterclass isn’t about writing craft, it’s about how to give you and your book the best possible chance when it comes to approaching literary agents.”

Participants will join two leading literary agents for a two-hour online masterclass packed with advice on how to produce a covering letter, guidance on producing an attention-grabbing pitch, tips on writing a synopsis, and general insights into the role literary agents play for their authors.

Thirty minutes will be made available for a Q&A.

All attendees have the opportunity to submit their covering letter to receive feedback from one of the participating agents.

Continue reading

Novel Nights’ Indie Publisher Series

Novel-Nights-Literary-Events-Bristol4-photo credit Sophie Carefull

Novel Nights © Sophie Carefull

Novel Night’s next edition of its popular Indie Publisher Series invites you to spend an evening with Myriad Editions, from the comfort of your own home. On 17th March from 7.30pm till 8.30pm, join Novel Night’s Grace Palmer along with Myriad’s Publishing Director Candida Lacey and Publicity Director Emma Dowson as they discuss their experiences of the publishing industry, opportunities for emerging writers, and how you can break through.

Myriad publishes award-winning literary fiction, graphic novels and political nonfiction, including ground-breaking infographic atlases. The indie publishing house  supports new and emerging authors via two work-in-progress competitions. These launch in Spring 2022 with the First Drafts competition for unpublished writers and the First Graphic Novel Competition. Both competitions have a track record of uncovering and launching authors who go on to achieve creative and commercial success.

In 2017, Myriad merged with New Internationalist as part of a joint plan to expand, reach wider audiences and publish books that push boundaries and embrace diversity.

There will plenty of time for Q&A.

Tickets cost £5 plus a booking fee.

Find out more and book tickets here: www.novelnights.co.uk

Got an event, challenge, competition, opportunity or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) ICloud (dot) com.

Enter the Bath Short Story Award

Roman Baths pigeons by Judy DarleyThe annual Bath Short Story Award is open now for entries from aspiring and established writers worldwide. Why not use this time of event cancellations and self-isolation to dream up a prize-worthy work of fiction?

The competition closes to entries at midnight GMT on 19th April 2021. You’re invited to submit stories up to a maximum of 2200 words on any theme or subject.

This year, the judge is Norah Perkins, literary agent from from Curtis Brown. You can read an interview with Norah on how to make the most of your 2,200 words here.

Each submission costs £9.

The Bath Short Story Award prizes

  • First Prize – £1200
  • Second Prize – £300
  • Third prize -£100
  • Acorn Award for an unpublished writer of fiction £100
  • Local Prize – £50 in book vouchers from Mr B’s Emporium of Books, Bath.

In addition, the top 20 entries will feature in the Bath Short Award anthology 2021, to be published by Ad Hoc Fiction.

Find full details of how to enter here. Good luck!

Fix invites you to imagine climate fiction for future ancestors

Colby Garden ripple by Judy DarleyGrist’s solutions lab, Fix, has announced the launch of its first-ever, free-entry, climate-fiction short story contest — Imagine 2200: Climate fiction for future ancestors. They say: “We’re dipping a toe into the world of fiction, and we want you to join us.”

Can you dream up a story of a climate restored, solutions found and a population that looks at our era and marvels at our ignorance?

Fix is calling for submissions of fictional stories of between 3,000 and 5,000 words. Your stories must “envision the next 180 years of climate progress – roughly seven generations.”

How might we be living by then?

“Fiction gives us an opportunity to imagine the world we want to live in, in a way that journalism doesn’t,” the organisers explain. “Our hope is that the stories presented in the Imagine 2200 collection will inspire, delight, and motivate readers to take action to make elements of those worlds a reality.”

Submissions close on 12th April, 11:59 p.m. U.S. Pacific Standard Time.

Contest prizes

The winning writer will receive $3,000, with the second- and third-place finalists receiving $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

An additional nine finalists will each receive a $300 honorarium. Winners and finalists will be published in an immersive digital collection on Fix’s website and will be celebrated in a public-facing virtual event.

The board of expert literary judges includes authors Adrienne Maree Brown, Morgan Jerkins, and Kiese Laymon.

Contest guidelines

  • Entry is free!
  • Authors must be 18 years or older at the time of submission
  • No previously published, multiple, or simultaneous submissions accepted
  • Submissions must be 3,000–5,000 words (sorry, flash fictioneers!)
  • Worldwide copyright and ownership of each story remains with the author
  • If a story is accepted for publication, Grist retains the first serial rights of the work to publish, produce, reproduce, distribute, and market
  • All other remaining rights revert to the author upon publication
  • If you need accessibility accommodations, please email at imaginefiction@grist.org

Grist’s mission is to make the story of a better world so irresistible that you want it right now. “Our award-winning journalism has done that for the past 20 years (if we do say so ourselves). And now, with this contest, we’re embracing the opportunity to look beyond the confines of the present moment and share visions of solutions that haven’t even been dreamt up yet.”

Imagine 2200 draws inspiration from Afrofuturism, as well as Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, disabled, feminist, and queer futures, and the genres of hopepunk and solarpunk. They ask you to “bring into focus what a truly just, regenerative future could look like.”

Find full details of how to submit a story in their Submissions portal.

Good luck!

Got an event, challenge, competition, opportunity or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) ICloud (dot) com.

Flash Frontier entreats your sweet words

The Florist Elderflower meringue dessert by Judy DarleyThe lovely folks at New Zealand’s Flash Frontier magazine are currently inviting submissions of short tales from across the world on the theme of ‘Sweet’.

The deadline is 10th March 2021. Submissions must be only 250 words in length. Stories of 251 words won’t be accepted.

They say: “We are looking for variety and originality. Tickle us, haunt us, gobsmack us. Choose your words carefully and leave our readers wanting more. And do it in a small space. (…) We love original art in all forms – colourful and daring, muted and understated. We’ll choose art each month that reflects the theme.”

Send only previously unpublished stories, and make sure you follow their style guide to the letter!

To get a taste of what the editors like and get inspired, read Flash Frontier’s latest issue, on the theme of doors.

Find full details of how to submit your work here: https://www.flash-frontier.com/submissions/ 

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) iCloud(dot)com.

The Forward Prizes for Poetry invites entries

Arnos Vale trees cr Judy Darley

Thirty years after its launch by Bookmark, the Forward Prizes for Poetry welcomes submissions from the editors and publishers of books, magazines, online journals and competitions, published in the UK and Ireland. The submission period for entries runs to 8th March 2021.

Publishers entering the Forward Prizes for Best Collection and Best First Collection will have a further ten days to send physical copies of books, on 18th March 2021.

There are three prizes: The Forward Prize for Best Collection (£10,000), The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection (£5,000) and The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (£1,000). They are accompanied by the Forward Book of Poetry, an annual anthology which brings together the best new work published in the UK and Ireland.

In collaboration with the Creative Critics’ competition, 16 to 19 year olds are invited to write poems in response to work shortlisted for the Prizes. Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books has been an A level English set text since 2014.

The panel of judges read all the books and individual poem submissions before selecting the shortlists to be announced in June. The judges then reflect on the shortlists over the summer before announcing the winners in autumn. You can find out more about the process and eligibility by reading entry guidance and FAQs.

Will Harris RENDANG cover showing the title in red, yellow, black and blue lettering on a cream background.The Forward Prizes celebrate the best new poetry published in UK & Ireland. 2020 winners were announced in an online event, hosted by the British Library, on Sunday 25th October.

Forward Prize for Best Collection (£10,000)
Caroline Bird The Air Year (Carcanet)

Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection (£5,000)
Will Harris RENDANG (Granta Poetry)

Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (£1,000)
Malika Booker ‘The Little Miracles’ (Magma).

Find full details here of how to enter.

Got an event, challenge, competition, opportunity or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) ICloud (dot) com.

Enter National Flash Fiction Day’s microfiction competition

Sweets by Judy DarleyNational Flash Fiction Day’s 100-word microfiction competition 2021 invites your submissions. Send something funny, something that resonates, is fresh and exciting, and leaves the judges lost for words.

The deadline is Monday 15th February 2021. You’re invited to submit up to three flash fictions on any theme.

This year’s judges are Rachael Dunlop, K M Elkes, Sharon Telfer and Alison Woodhouse.

Titles aren’t included in the word count.

  • First prize is £150
  • Second prize is £100
  • Third prize is £50

The winning and shortlisted authors will be published in the National Flash Fiction Day 2021 anthology. Winning and shortlisted authors will also receive a free print copy of this anthology.

Find full details here.

This year, National Flash Fiction Day is on Saturday 26th June. How will you be celebrating?

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) ICloud(dot)com.