RWA Annual Open Exhibition

RWA Open Exhibition 163

RWA © Alice Hendy

The Royal West of England Academy in Bristol is currently preparing one of my favourite cultural events (Ta very much!) – the RWA Annual Open Exhibition.

Submissions are open until Monday 21st August at 5pm, so if you get a wriggle on you still have a chance of being part of it!

The exhibition will be open to the public from Sunday 1 October to Sunday 3 December 2017. Artists of all ages and experience are invited to submit.

Now in its 165th year, the exhibition is open to anyone with something to show, regardless of experience level and discipline choice. Last year 593 works by 387 artists made it into the final exhibition, which was a truly outstanding showcase of talent.

Tempted?

All applicants must apply online, submitting images using the new Online Exhibition Submission System (OESS).

Points to remember:

  • Submissions must be no more than three years old and must be for sale
  • A maximum of 3 works may be submitted per applicant (4 for Academicians)
  • Work cannot have been exhibited before at the RWA
  • All entries are subject to selection and a submission fee per work for entry applies

Find full details here: www.rwa.org.uk/whats-on/165-annual-open-exhibition. Good luck!

Dragonfly Tea want your short stories

Tea plantation cr Judy DarleySeeking a boost for your short story writing? Dragonfly Tea have launched their 2017 short story competition in partnership with Henley Literary Festival.

invite you a short story on the theme of Journey, and submit it to their short story competition before 11:59pm (GMT) on Monday 31st July 2017. Your tale can’t be more than 3,000 words long; there is no minimum length.

There is also a children’s competition too, with categories for ages 4-7, 8-11 and 12-15. Tales in this section must be on the theme of adventure and must not be more than 500 words long, not including the title.

The the competitions are open to all non-professional fiction writers who are UK residents. In other words, you can only enter is you have never received a fee for your written work, be that fiction or non-fiction. Prize money received as a result of entering work into a competition is not considered a fee.

The competitions are free to enter.

Entries can be submitted via post or online via the online entry page of the Dragonfly Tea website.

Prizes

Main competition

  • 1st – £1500
  • 2nd – £750
  • 3rd – £250

Children’s Competition, in each category

  • £50 voucher for each winner plus £100 voucher for their school.

Finalists from all categories will be invited to the Henley Literary Festival on Sunday 8th October 2017 for a special awards ceremony and prize giving.

Find full details of these creative writing competitions.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at Judy(at)socket creative(dot)com.

Edinburgh Book Festival welcomes word-lovers

Edinburgh book festival gardensThis year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival is on from 12th-28th August 2017, bringing writers and thinkers from across the globe together with a lit-loving audience.

Speakers include Carnegie Medal-winner Frank Cottrell Boyce, who wrote the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics), Diana Hendry, The Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins, Tariq Ali, Mao Dun Prize-winning author Liu Zheyun, and countless others. There’s a chance to have afternoon tea with Yemisi Aribisala, to find out children’s books can introduce philosophy with Alison Murray, Vivian French and Dr Claire Cassidy, plus the possibility of creating a pop up museum with V&A Dundee.
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Wasafiri New Writing Prize

Langkah Syabas Beach cr Judy DarleyWasafari magazine invite submissions for its New Writing Prize. There are three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Life Writing, each with a top prize of £300 plus publication in Wasafiri.

The competition is open to anyone worldwide who has not published a complete book in their chosen category.

Entries for Fiction and Life Writing should be no longer than 3,000 words, and Poetry submissions should comprise no more than five poems.

The closing date is 5pm GMT on 14th July 2017.

Entries cost £6 each.

Find full details of how to enter at www.wasafiri.org.

Get a feel for the kind of thing Wasafari likes, read Anubha Yadav’s short story, The Beauty of Reality.

This year’s judges are:

Susheila Nasta MBE (Chair) Founding Editor of Wasafiri and Emeritus Professor of Modern Literature at the Open University.

Sabrina Mahfouz Award-winning poet, playwright and screenwriter and former Sky Arts Scholar for Poetry, Mahfouz’s work has been performed in the UK and the US

Andrea Stuart Writer and historian, author of Showgirls which was adapted for stage and screen, and the award-winning The Rose of Martinique: A Biography of Napoleon’s Josephine

Boyd Tonkin World renowned writer and journalist, currently Writer and Art Critic at The Independent and Chair of the Man Booker Prize.

It’s worth bearing in mind the international ethos of the magazine. ‘Wasafiri’ is Kiswahili for ‘travellers’ and, as the Editor explains, “the name was chosen because many of those who created the literatures in which [Wasafiri was] particularly interested … have all in some sense been cultural travellers either through migration, transportation or else, in the more metaphorical sense of seeking an imagined cultural ‘home.’”

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at Judy(at)socket creative(dot)com.

Ledbury Poetry Festival 2017

Ledbury cr John EagerSome British towns seem better suited to literary festivals than others, and Ledbury in Herefordshire is ideal – with reams of streets and architecture that the word ‘picturesque’ could have been invented for. From 30 June till 9 July, 2017, Ledbury welcomes back its annual Poetry Festival, which promises ten days of written and spoken riches.

This year’s highlights include poetry and mediation day retreats with Maitreyabandhu, Fiona Sampson and Matthew Sweeney, plus workshops led by Sara-Jane Arbury, and salons featuring poet Yvonne Green, with short reading slots available.

Don’t forget to enter the LPF Poetry Competition. Poems must be received on or before Thursday 13th July 2017 at 5pm. Top prize is £1,000 plus the chance to attend a writing course at Ty Newydd (pictured below), the National Writers’ Centre for Wales.

All winners get to read at the Ledbury Poetry Festival 2018 – if abroad there is the possibility of Skyping at the winners’ event.

Ty Newydd

The image at the very top of this post was supplied by John Eager of www.visitledbury.info. The other image was supplied by the Ledbury Poetry Festival team. Many thanks!

Wells Festival of Literature competitions

City of Wells cr Judy Darley

Wells Festival of Literature takes place from 13th-21st October, but before that they hold their annual writing competitions, with entries being accepted until 30th June 2017. There are three categories – short stories, poetry and books for children.

In all three categories, the first prize winner will receive £750, the second prize winner will receive £300 and the third prize winner will receive £200.

They are continuing to offer the Hilly Cansdale local poetry prize of £100 and the Wyvern local short story prize, also £100. In addition there will be a £100 local prize in the Book for Children category.

The fee for each separate entry is £6.

Short Story Competition
Entries may be on any subject and should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length.

The judge is Maria McCann, author of As Meat Loves SaltThe Wilding and Ace, King, Knave.

Poetry Competition
Entries may be on any subject but must not exceed 40 lines in length.

Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales from 2008 – 2016, will judge the competition. Gillian was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010 and the Wilfred Owen Award in 2012. Her last collection Ice was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Award in 2012. Zoology is due to be published in August 2017.

A Book for Children Competition
Stories in this category may be on any subject, providing they are aimed at readers aged 9 and up, including young adult. Submit your first three chapters, plus a synopsisSteve Voake will judge this category. His award-winning novels include The Dreamwalker’s ChildThe Starlight Conspiracy and Blood Hunters, as well as the Daisy Dawson and Hooey Higgins series for younger readers and Insect Detective, a non-fiction picture book.

The judges will also present prizes at a special ceremony in the Bishop’s Palace during the Festival in October. Immediately preceding this, the shortlisted poets will be invited to read their entries.

Read the full terms and conditions.

The closing date for entries is 30th June 2017.

Find full details at www.wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk/2017-competitions

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at Judy(at)socket creative(dot)com

A wordathon for refugees

Arnolfini cr Judy Darley

This Saturday I’m taking part in Satellite of Love’s Wordathon in aid of Borderlands. This Bristol-based charity offers support to refugees and asylum seekers.

Between 1.30 and 6pm on Saturday 10th June 2017, writers will be taking over The Dark Studio at The Arnolfini on Bristol’s Narrow Quay, sharing stories and poems to inspire, move and enthuse anyone who drops by.

Organised by Helen Sheppard, Stella Quinlivan and Pauline Seawards, the afternoon will offer a zesty sprinkling of five-minute flash fictions and poems, including some prompted by the refugee crisis.

At 2.30pm I’ll be reading a brief series of vignettes that are somewhere between flash fictions and poems, and are inspired by how we can become refugees in our own lives when we’re old.

Do come along if you can, and donate a few coins or notes to support Borderlands at www.justgiving.com/teams/satelliteoflove

Satellite of love - Spoken Word Event - 10 June

Writers flock to Winchester

Stripe Image provided by The WInchester Writers' ConferenceWinchester Writers’ Conference returns next month, offering the opportunity to mingle with writers, hungry agents and lots of other interesting literary types.

Founded in 1980, the conference now encompasses a festival, book fair and  in-depth workshop schedule, as well as masses of opportunities to network with other aspiring and established authors.

Lemn Sissay MBE, poet, playwright and broadcaster, will give the Keynote Address at the 2017 Writers’ Festival on 17 June.

Promised highlights include the festival’s renowned One-to-One Appointments with literary agents, commissioning editors, authors, poets and industry experts. There will also be masterclasses, talks and open-mic readings, all devised to inspire and inform you so you can take the literary world by storm!!

The Winchester Writers’ Conference (writersfestival.co.uk) takes place June 16th-18th 2017.

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

A dystopian short story competition

Children and trees cr Alice DarleyThe RSPH and the Health Foundation are seeking submissions of short stories that raise awareness of a disturbing statistic.

The health gap between the richest and poorest children for obesity has widened every year for the past nine years. A quarter of the most deprived 10 year olds are now obese, more than twice the number of their least deprived peers.

And it’s not just obesity. Across many aspects of health, inequalities are widening. The most deprived can now expect at least 19 fewer healthy life years than their most affluent counterparts.

“Fast forward 10, 20, 50, 100 years. Where are we headed? What are the consequences for our health, for us as individuals and as a society, if we keep on this trajectory? RSPH and the Health Foundation want your help. We want talented creative writers with an interest in health and wellbeing to help us imagine a dystopian future (near or far) where the consequences of the social and commercial determinants of health are played out.”

The story should shed light on the lack of choice people currently face about the factors that shape their health and wellbeing such as work, education, housing, social networks and communities. These factors are largely outside of individual control and are influenced by political, social, economic, environmental and cultural factors.

If this idea captures your imagination, submit a short story of up to 5,000 words (no minimum) to the Health: from here to where? short story competition by Sunday 11 June 2017.

“We would like the stories to convey the implications of not taking action now on the factors that shape health and wellbeing.”

Entries will be judged by an expert panel of authors and health experts, based on their imagination, readability and thought-provoking nature.

The winning author will receive £1,500, while a selection of highly-commended entrants will receive £500 each. Winning and highly commended stories will be published in electronic form and a limited edition print booklet illustrated by artist Thomas Moore. The author will also have the opportunity to take part in press and publicity around the competition.

Find full details of how to enter, plus vital info on the subject you’re drawing inspiration from.

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

Enter The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2017

Joseph Quinn and Erin Doherty in Wish List at the Royal Court. Photo by Jonathan Keenan

Joseph Quinn and Erin Doherty in Wish List by Katherine Soper

Fancy seeing your words performed on stage? The Bruntwood Prize invites playwrights of all levels of experience to submit original, previously unperformed and unproduced plays.

The winner will receive £16,000 and a full production of their play at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Entries can be submitted online at www.writeaplay.co.uk. The closing date is 6pm on 5th June 2017.

“What we want is writers who think big and aren’t afraid to take on challenging subjects or write for large spaces,” says Michael Oglesby, Bruntwood Prize judge, and Founder and Chair of Bruntwood. “Since we founded the Bruntwood Prize it has grown into a prize of major significance. The writers who have won previously have gone on to great things and I hope we find more great talent this year.”

The 2013 Bruntwood Prize was won by Anna Jordan for her play YEN, which received its world premiere at the Royal Exchange in February 2015.

A partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and property company Bruntwood, the Prize is an opportunity for writers of any background and experience to enter unperformed plays. Submissions will be judged by a panel of industry experts for a chance to be one of four winners and win part of a prize fund totaling £40,000. Since its inception in 2005, more than 7,000 scripts have been entered, £160,000 has been awarded to 15 prize winning writers and eight winning productions have been staged.

Erin Doherty as Tamsin Carmody in WISH LIST by Katherine Soper. Photo Jonathan Keenan

Erin Doherty as Tamsin Carmody in Wish List by Katherine Soper.

In 2015 Katherine Soper became the fifth overall winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. Her play Wish List premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2016 before transferring to the Royal Court Upstairs from 10th January – Saturday 11th February 2017).

The competition is open to anyone over the age of sixteen, in the British Isles. All scripts are judged anonymously by a team of skilled readers and the final ten will be judged by this expert judging panel.

Broadcaster and journalist Kirsty Lang chairs the 2017 judging panel. She’s joined by the award-winning screenwriter Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk, C4; Doctor Who, BBC), previous Bruntwood Prize winner Phil Porter (The Miser, West End; Vice Versa, RSC; The Cracks in my Skin, Royal Exchange Theatre), stage and screen writer Lucy Prebble (The Effect, National Theatre; Enron, Royal Court, Chichester Festival Theatre, West End & Broadway), Director Lyndsey Turner (Hamlet, Barbican; Chimerica, Almeida; Posh, Royal Court & West End and Associate Director of the National Theatre), award-winning actor Don Warrington (King Lear, Royal Exchange Theatre & BBC Four; Death in Paradise, BBC), and Royal Exchange Theatre Associate Artistic Director, Matthew Xia. Chairman of Bruntwood, Michael Oglesby CBE completes the panel.

“The Bruntwood Prize has grown to become much more than a competition and is now a significant event in the theatrical life of the country,” comments Michael Oglesby CBE, Chairman of Brentwood. “It provides a unique opportunity for aspiring playwrights to have access to a network of opportunities which help them to bring their plays to the stage. Challenging plays that make an important statement about the world in which we live are my particular favourites. I’m greatly looking forward to reading the entries which never cease to amaze and surprise.”

Each of the winners will enter into a development process with the Royal Exchange Theatre. The winning scripts, will be announced at an awards ceremony in Manchester this November.

All entries for The Bruntwood Prize are made online. The process happens in four steps. You will need:

  • A pseudonym, or a name that’s not your own
  • A contact email address
  • An address in the UK or Republic of Ireland or British Overseas Territory or British Forces Post Office
  • A title for your play
  • Your finished play in a single document (PDF, DOC, or DOCX)

Don’t forget, the closing date for entries is 6pm on 5th June 2017.

For full details of how to enter, visit www.writeaplay.co.uk.

All images in this post were taken by Jonathan Keenan and supplied by The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at Judy(at)socket creative(dot)com