Enter the NFFD Micro Fiction Competition

Sweets by Judy DarleyI’m excited to be one of the judges of the National Flash Fiction Day micro fiction competition 2019, along with the marvellous Diane Simmons, Angela Readman and Kevlin Henney.

We’re hungry for your most finely crafted, resonant unpublished words. Disturb us, discombobulate us, turn our expectations upside down and make us regard the world anew, or draw us into a life and move us, all in only 100 words or fewer.

The deadline is Friday 15th March 2019, 23:59pm GMT. You’re invited to submit up to three flash fictions on any theme.

Titles aren’t included in the word count.

First prize is £75.

Second prize is £50.

Third prize is £25.

The winning and shortlisted authors will be published in the National Flash Fiction Day 2019 anthology. Winning and shortlisted authors will also receive a free print copy of this anthology.

Find full competition rules and entry fees here.

You can read my interview with Diane Simmons, in which I talk about what I’m hoping to see in submissions, here.

I can’t wait to read your submissions. Good luck!

Submit tales of doorways to the NFFD Anthology

Azores pufferfish doorway by Judy Darley
Doors can mean so many things to so many people. They can offer refuge, or conceal threats, be locked, swing wide open, or simply represent new possibilities.

Doors are also the theme for the 2019 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology. The deadline for submissions is Friday 15th March 2019, 23:59pm GMT.

This year’s editors are Joanna Campbell and Santino Prinzi, who invite you to submit flash fictions up to 500 words in length.

They say: “We want you to open the door to stories wild with imagination. We’re looking for those creepy mysteries about doors we can’t find the key to. We want those funny tales of frustration when doors do exactly what they’re supposed to when we don’t want them to. Maybe the stories you want to share are about metaphorical doors, filled with the disappointment of doors that are closed to us or brimming with excitement at new opportunities.”

There’s a £2.50 submission fee for one entry, £4.00 for two entries or £6.00 for three (the maximum) entries. Free entries for low income writers are also available.

You can find full details here.

Submit to The Mechanics’ Institute

London Millennium Footbridge by Judy DarleyThe Mechanics’ Institute Review (MIR) is inviting submissions of short stories, poetry and non-fiction for issue 16 of their print anthology from writers across the UK.

MIR is a literary print and ebook publication that champions the short story as an art form, promoting diversity and opportunity for all while publishing new work of the highest possible standard.

This year they are inviting you to write in response to the word climate. “Are we living in a climate of fear? Is the climate changing? What does it mean to have a climate? We want you to take the temperature and send us your stories, non-fiction and poetry.”

They’re seeking unpublished short stories up to 5,000 words in length, up to three flash-fiction pieces, to a combined total of 2,250 words, a non-fiction piece (creative non-fiction, essays) of up to 5,000 words, or up to six poems, amounting to a maximum of six pages in total.

Only one submission per person per issue is permitted.

Submissions are welcomed from both new and established authors, but you must live in the UK.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm GMT on Friday 15th February 2019.

Find full details, rules and conditions, visit mironline.org/mir15-entry-form/

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Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2019 Short Story Competition

Beautiful skies, Victoria Park cr Judy DarleyThis annual competition is one of my favourites on the literary calendar. There’s no theme for you to base your story on – all you have to do is make sure you’re registered with the website www.writersandartists.co.uk, that the subject line of your email reads ‘W&A Short Story Competition 2019‘ and that you send it to waybcompetitions@bloomsbury.com.

Your story must be no more than 2,000 words long. The closing date for entries is midnight on Wednesday 13th February 2019.

The winner of the competition – along with two runners-up – will be announced on the W&A blog pages in March 2019.

Entry is free, but don’t forget to register before submitting your story. Continue reading

Submit your sculpture to the RWA’s new exhibition

RWA Open 166 Photo by James Beck

RWA Open 166. Photo by James Beck

Following a hugely successful annual Open Exhibition in 2018, the RWA Galleries in Bristol are branching out with a brand new Open Exhibition devoted to sculpture.

They say: “We’re inviting artists to submit their work to our Sculpture Open Exhibition in 2019. We’re so excited to be giving our gallery space over to the art of sculpture and all the disciplines within it.”

The exhibition will run from 12th March until 2nd June 2019, and you have a chance to be part of it.

“Submissions are welcome from artists from any stage in their career and all work is for sale, making it the perfect opportunity for artists to be discovered by collectors, galleries and the general public.”

This is an exceptional opportunity to showcase your work alongside some of the most renowned sculptors working today (including Invited Artist Ana Maria Pacheco) within the grandeur of the RWA’s grade II galleries.This year’s selection panel include internationally-known sculptors Ann Christopher RADaphne Wright and Kate MccGwire.

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Thursday 7th February 2019.

You can find the full details here, but here are a few of the rules:

  • Artists of all ages and experience are invited to submit
  • Submissions must be no more than three years old
  • Submissions must be for sale
  • No more than three works may be submitted per applicant
  • Work cannot have been exhibited previously at the RWA
  • A submission fee must be paid for each entry (find details of prices here) other than those by RWA Academicians
  • All works must be submitted online via the RWA’s Online Exhibition Submission System (OESS)

Good luck!

Curtis Brown Creative courses for aspiring novelists

Notebook and pen cr Judy DarleyAs the new year gets underway, why not rev up your writing skills? Curtis Brown Creative, the creative-writing school run by Curtis Brown Literary Agency, is inviting applications for an array of writing courses aimed at aspiring novelists, with London-based and an online options to choose between.

There are also lower-priced online ‘taster’ courses to give you the chance to work out if this is the right approach for you, or if you’re not ready to take on the full time and financial commitment required for their longer courses.

Learn to edit and pitch your novel, or get to the end of that all-important first draft, get insights and hands-on help from successful authors and experienced editors. The creative writing school was launched in 2011 and remains the only one run by a literary agency.

“I’m proud to say that over the past few years, many of our alumni have gained deals with major publishers,” says Curtis Brown Director Anna Davis. “Some of our former students have written international bestsellers, others have won prizes and several more have gained representation with literary agents and are working to edit their novels for publication. Yet more are still working away, often with the support of their former Curtis Brown Creative cohort. It’s great to see how many of our alumni stay closely in touch with their student groups long after their courses end.– have seen more than fifteen students secure book deals with major publishers and several others find representation.”

Find full details of how to submit here.

Enter the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize 2019

Bud. Photo by Judy DarleyThe Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize 2019 invites entries from women over the age of 21 who have written a novel “that marries literary merit with unputdownability.”

The judges say they’re equally open to literary fiction and genre fiction, as well as to young adult fiction and children, providing they are primarily word-based.

Your submission must be previously unpublished, and you must not have had other full-length novels published. However, having short stories, poetry, non-fiction or picture books published previously does not exclude you.

To be considered, you need to submit the first 40-50 pages of the novel via the online form and a five to ten-page synopsis of the remainder.

The entry fee is £12.

All shortlisted entrants receive a half-hour one-to-one consultation and editorial feedback from PFD literary agency. In addition, the 2019 winner will receive a cash prize of £1,500.

Shortlisted applicants will also be invited to the Annual Fiction Prize dinner at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, on Thursday 23rd May 2019.

Find out about previous winners.

For full details, visit www.lucy-cav.cam.ac.uk/fictionprize/how-to-enter, and make sure you follow the competition Terms and Conditions.

The closing date for entries is 12 noon on Friday 8th February 2019.

Become a woodland writer in residence

Arnos Vale light in the canopy. Photo by Judy Darley

Forestry Commission England is seeking two writers to share the stories of our country’s woodlands.

They ask: “What do forests mean to you? If you’re a writer with a passion for nature, we want to hear from you.”

The successful applicants of the Writers in the Forest opportunity will be invited to observe the Commission’s expert foresters, wildlife rangers and world-class scientists at work in a bid to understand the trees that make up the forests that still sprawl across sections of England. The works created in response to these experiences will form part of the centenary year celebrations of the Forestry Commission.

You will receive unique access to England’s forests, promotional support and a platform on which to share your work, development opportunities and £2,500.

The submission deadline is midnight GMT on 14th January 2019.

To apply, you need to send your CV and a pitch outlining your interest in the opportunity and how you might respond creatively to our nation’s forests, whether that’s through poetry, short story or something else entirely, providing it is rooted in words.

Pitches can take the form of up to 750 written words, a video of maximum three minutes durations via YouTube or via Dropbox/WeTransfer, or up to three minutes of audio via SoundCloud.

They say: “We’re looking for innovation and imagination, and welcome all forms of storytelling.”

Find full details here: www.forestryengland.uk.

BBC Upload wants your words

Pressed leaf1 by Judy DarleyIf you have a short story you’ve written that you’d like to hear on the radio and you’re based in the Bristol area, there’s an opportunity you shouldn’t miss.

DJ Adam Crowther invites writers, poets and spoken word performers from Bristol, Bath, North Somerset and South Gloucestershireto get in touch.

All you need to do is record yourself reading your piece, save it as an MP3 file, and upload it at BBC Upload.

If Adam selects your piece to share, he’ll give you a call to find out a few details, and you’ll be able to hear your poem or story on his evening show Upload with Adam Crowther.

Adam aired my short story ‘Pressed Leaves’ on 11th December 2018. ‘Pressed Leaves’ captures a moment in time in which a young girl, Anna, helps her mother clear out the artist’s studio of the grandfather she’s never met.

Listen to me read ‘Pressed Leaves’ here. It’s at about 1 hr 13 min in. #fictionontheair

A literary winter solstice

Dusk by Judy DarleyThis year’s Solstice Shorts Festival hosted by micro publisher Arachne Press takes us from the 2017 theme of Dusk into the apex of the fleeting hours of sunlight with Noon.

For 2018, the Winter Solstice is on Friday 21st December in the UK. While it may not have the latest sunrise or earliest sunset, in terms of daylight, there are eight hours, 49 minutes fewer than on the Summer Solstice.

Marking this special date, Solstice Shorts Festival unfolds in Greenwich and across the UK with prose, poetry and music all centred on the day’s centre.

Everyone who submitted and had their creative works selected should have been informed by now. Congratulations!

Organiser Cheryl says: “This year the festival celebrates the highest the sun gets, which in December, isn’t very far, depending on where you are. In Greenwich, home to Solstice Shorts and the accurate measurement of time, noon on 21st December will be at 11.58. So I guess we’ll be starting a bit before twelve to make sure we mark it appropriately, although of course, in Aberdeen noon isn’t until 12:06, and Cork 12.31!”

Find full details of what’s happening where and how you can get involved at arachnepress.comAnd while you’re at it, why not save yourself some precious time and buy one or more of their 2018 anthologies as festive gifts for your loved ones?

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