Celebrate writing at Manchester Literature Festival

The-Royal-Exchange-Manchester-cr-Judy-Darley

This year’s Manchester Literature Festival promises a programme of buzzing, thought-provoking events celebrating writing in all its forms from 7th-23rd October.

Curated by Manchester Literature Festival Co-Directors Cathy Bolton & Sarah-Jane Roberts, this year’s themes are Friendship, Family, Joy, Grief, Community, Solidarity, Imagination and Love.

From master novelists Maggie O’Farrell, Damon Galgut, Kamila Shamsie, A.M. Homes, George Saunders and Jon McGregor to emerging writers Okechukwu Nzelu and Yara Rodrigues Fowler, plus poets Jackie Kay and Malika Booker, not to mention guest actors, scriptwriters and broadcasters Rob Delaney, Ruth Jones, Sheila Hancock and Nihal Arthanayake, there will be plenty to inspire and intrigue.

The festival also examines what divides us and brings us together, celebrating pioneers and change-makers with events with historian David Olusoga, musician Cosey Fanni Tutti, fashion icon Edward Enninful, novelists Mariana Enriquez and Max Porter, Juan Pablo Villalobos and Paulo Scott, poets Inua Ellams & Yomi Sode, Roger Robinson & Johny Pitts and more.

Find the full MLF line-up and download the brochure at manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk.

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

The Commonwealth Foundation seeks tales of healthy communities

Crowd on Welsh Back Bristol. Photo by Judy Darley

adda, the online magazine of the Commonwealth Foundation. is inviting writers to submit creative works of non-fiction, short fiction, short graphic fiction and poetry on the theme of healthy communities.

They ask: “What does health mean to us as individuals and as societies? How does the climate crisis impact our health? What is the relationship between health access for all and justice? How do we imagine a world with health and care at its centre? What if we never got ill? Or if we were all doctors?”

This is a fantastic writing prompt. What issues can you highlight or invent through your words?

They are interested in works that speak creatively to questions around the idea of healthy communities, which might include creative reflections on physical and mental well-being, disability justice, sexual and reproductive rights, LGBTQIA+ healthcare, the art and practice of indigenous medicine, among others.

The deadline for submissions is 4th October 2022 at 23:59 in your time zone. 

To have your work considered, you must be a Commonwealth citizen aged 18 or over.  

Submission guidelines 

Entries should follow the following guidelines:

. Creative non-fiction: 2000-5000 words 

. Short fiction: 2000-5000 words

. Short graphic fiction: finished work of 15-20 pages or potential panels of illustrations (and a rationale) which can be fully developed within a month 

. Poetry: up to 2 poems (50 lines in total).  

Entries must be original and submitted in English, although other languages can form part of the work for context.

Only one submission per writer will be considered. If you plan to submit a fiction piece to the 2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, you can send the same work, provided you inform them in the form.  

Previously published work, whether in print or online, in whole or in part, will not be considered. 

Up to 30 pieces will be selected by a team of readers and editors and will be published on  adda  between February and May 2023. Writers whose work is accepted for publications will be paid a  fee.

Find full details of how to submit your work here. 

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

Brooklyn Book Festival celebrates literature city-wide

Brooklyn. Photo by Miltiadis Fragkidis on UnsplashBrooklyn Book Festival (BKBF) returns with a hybrid offering in 2022, with online and real world events to choose between from 25th September to 3rd October.

The Brooklyn Book Festival was launched in 2006 as a one-day event to address the need for a free, major literary event that embraced the diverse constituencies of New York City. It has since grown to include city-wide Bookend events, its flagship Festival Day with 300 authors and a Literary Marketplace with 250 independent and major publishers, and the BKBF Children’s Day that celebrates childhood reading. The Festival’s credo is “hip, smart and diverse”.

There are three elements to the festival. Throughout the Festival week, literary-themed Bookend events bring poetry, film, performances and more to all five New York City boroughs – the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.

On 25th September, Virtual Festival Day welcomes authors and audiences from around the world to enjoy compelling author conversations.

On 1st October, Children’s Day celebrates childhood reading with workshops, performances, readings from popular and emerging authors, and more.

They say: “The mission of the Brooklyn Book Festival is to celebrate published literature and nurture a literary cultural community through programming that cultivates and connects readers of diverse ages and backgrounds with local, national and international authors, publishers and booksellers.”

They add: “The Brooklyn Book Festival is New York City’s largest free literary festival and connects readers with local, national and international authors and publishers.”

Authors taking part include Elif Batuman, Angeline Boulley, Joyce Carol Oates, Paisley Currah, Hernan Diaz, David Duchovny, Jennifer Egan, Kate Gavino, Keith Gessen, Ayana Gray, Mohsin Hamid, Heather Havrilesky, Sheila Heti, Marlon James, Margo Jefferson, Mariame Kaba, Meiko Kawakami, Ryan La Sala, Yiyun Lee, E. Lockart, Casey McQuiston, Ottessa Moshfegh, Meghan O’Rourke, Jess Ruliffson, Salman Rushdie, Esmeralda Santiago, Namwali Serpell, Nadia Shammus, Warsan Shire, Vladimir Sorokin, James Spooner, Ryann Stevenson, Emma Straub, Gengoroh Tagame, Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, Linda Villarosa and Jacqueline Woodson. Find the full line up here.

Sign up for their newsletter to discover information on highlights as it becomes available.

Find full details here: brooklynbookfestival.org.

Photo of Brooklyn Bridge by Miltiadis Fragkidis on Unsplash.

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

Dive into Bath Children’s Literature Festival

Child reading cr Julian Foxon Photography

© Julian Foxon Photography

Hungry for writing inspiration or simply got young book-worms to entertain? Bath Children’s Literature Festival returns this autumn with ten days of fantastic, imagination-stirring events.

The festival runs from Friday 23rd September – Sunday 2nd October 2022, with events for all ages.

Don’t miss History and Mystery with Lindsay Galvin and A. M. Howell on Tuesday 27th September 2022.

There’s a focus on happiness, diversity and nature, with storytelling, draw-alongs and events from poet Rachel Piercey, Jenny Pearson, Benjamin Dean, Tessa Yates, Sarah Surgey, Maudie Smith, Rachel Morrisroe, Emma Carroll, Hannah Gold and Simon James Green, plus a great workshop for grown ups on finding the heart of your story with Tanya Byrne.

Plus there are the usual assortment of events with comedians turned children’s authors including David Baddiel, Rosie Jones and Richard Ayoade.

Not able to travel to Bath? In 2020 and 2021, Bath Festival hosted the online Reading is Magic Festival instead. with writers, illustrators and poets from across the globe taking part. You can watch online events recorded during both festivals for a small one-off fee of £5.

Image supplied by Bath Festivals. Photo by Julian-Foxon-Photography.

Find details at bathfestivals.org.uk/childrens-literature.

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

Enter Mslexia Fiction Competitions 2022

Mum's eye view cr Judy DarleyThe Mslexia Fiction Competitions are open for entries.

There are three categories this year: Novel for Children/YA, Short Story, and Flash Fiction. The deadline for each is 19th September 2022.

Prizes include manuscript feedback and agent introductions, plus publication.

Mslexia Novel for Children or YA competition – everything you need to know

  • Judged by Cressida Cowell, Chloe Seager and Imogen Russell Williams, this competition is open to unpublished novels of at least 20,000 words in any genre for children and/or young adults.
  • Submit first 5,000 words only in the first instance. Longlisted entrants will be asked to submit finished manuscripts later in the judging process
  • Entry fee: £26
  • 1st prize £5,000.
  • The winner and three finalists will also receive manuscript feedback from leading editorial and mentoring agency The Literary Consultancy,

Plus

  • Pitch training at a day-long professional workshop in Newcastle upon Tyne, where participants will learn to summarise and present their book in an effective way.Plus
  • Personal introductions to agents and editors at a Talent Party in central London. Both the workshop and Talent Party are arranged in partnership with New Writing North. 
  • Mslexia will contribute a total of £100 towards each finalists’ travel expenses.

Mslexia Short Story competition 2022 – everything you need to know

  • Judged by Diana Evans, this competition is for unpublished complete short fiction of up to 3,000 words in any genre and on any theme.
  • The entry fee is £12.
  • 1st prize £3,000.
  • Three additional finalists will each receive £100
  • The winning entry and three finalists will be published in the December 2022 edition of Mslexia.
  • The winning entry, three finalists and eight further shortlisted stories will be published   in Mslexia’s ebook anthology, Best Women’s Short Fiction 2022, due out in December 2022.

Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition 2022 – everything you need to know

  • Judged by Audrey Niven, this competition is for unpublished complete short fiction of up to 300 words in any genre and on any theme
  • Entry fee: £6
  • 1st prize £500
  • Three additional finalists each receive £50
  • All four winning entries are published in the December 2022 issue of Mslexia
  • Winning entries plus eight more shortlisted entries will be published in Mslexia’s inaugural ebook anthology Best Women’s Short Fiction 2022.

Visit Mslexia’s entry instructions for a more comprehensive guide on how to enter, and be sure to read the full rules before submitting.

Find full details at www.mslexia.co.uk. Good luck!

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

Submit your words to the Moth Nature Writing Prize

Moth by Judy Darley

The Moth Magazine invites you to enter the Moth Nature Writing Prize. The deadline for entries of nature-inspired short stories, non-fiction and poems is 15th September 2022.

The judge is Max Porter. His Sunday Times bestseller Lanny was longlisted for the Booker Prize and the Wainwright Prize and shortlisted for the Waterstones and Foyles Book of the Year. His first novel, Grief is the Thing with Feathers, won the Sunday Times/Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year and the Dylan Thomas Prize, and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize.

Max says: “‘If you are engaged with being alive on this planet just now … and you are not terrified about the future half the time, you are not paying attention.”

The Prize will be awarded to the writer of the short fiction, non-fiction or poem that the judges deems to best combine exceptional literary merit with an exploration of the writer’s relationship with the natural world.

The prize is open to anyone over the age of sixteen, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. Your submitted work must be no longer than 4,000 words.

Prizes

The winning entry will be published in the winter issue of The Moth.

The winner will receive €1,000 and a week-long stay at Circle of Missé creative retreat in the most southern part of the Loire Valley.

There is a fee of €15 per entry.

Visit www.themothmagazine.com for full details.

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

Enter the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

Arnos vale portal. Photo by Judy Darley. A natural formation of growing wood or vine that seems to hold a circle of light.

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award celebrates outstanding short fiction and poetry from around the world. The deadline for entering the award is 31st August 2022, making this the perfect time to get polishing your poetry and prose.

Prizes include publication within Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology plus £2,500 for the winner of each category. Winner of the short fiction competition will receive a consultation with literary agency Redhammer Management, while the Poetry winner will have a Full Membership to The Poetry Society. To whet your appetite for creating more literary works, the winners will also receive a one-year print subscription to Granta and books courtesy of Bloodaxe Books and Vintage Books.

  • Poetry entries should be no more than 40 lines
  • Fiction entries should be no more than 2,000 words

There’s no theme – just submit your finest story or poem offering your own unique window on a slice of the world!

Entry fees are £18 for short fiction and £12 for poetry.

For full details, visit aestheticamagazine.com/creative-writing-award/how-to-enter/

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

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Enter Chestnut Review’s Prose Chapbook Contest

Salisbury horse chestnut. Phot by Judy Darley
Chestnut Review launched its first ever Prose Chapbook Contest in 2021 and is keeping up the trend for 2022. Editor Maria S. Picone invites you to submit any kind of prose manuscript, whether that’s fiction, CNF, or hybrid forms. A single powerful story is as welcome as a series of vivid flashes.

Submissions are open until 1st September 2022,

Maria S. Picone says: “We are looking for smart, daring manuscripts that overtake us, break us, and rebuild us with beautiful language. We welcome all forms of prose manuscripts: fiction, CNF, or hybrid. Hit us with one powerful story or delight us with a series of flash. Blur genres or stay true to form. Surprise us. Challenge us. Manuscripts with more than one piece should feel cohesive and coherent.”

The manuscript’s length should be between 5,000 and 12,000 words in total, which amounts to approximately 20-30 pages.

The winner will receive $600 and 20 copies of their published chapbook. Chapbooks will be published through Chestnut Review via a print-on-demand provider. The winner will earn 30% royalties, distributed annually on all copies sold.

The winning chapbook will be advertised in Chestnut Review and on social media, and will be featured for sale on Amazon.com and via https://chestnutreview.com/.

The winning author will be interviewed in a feature in the Summer 2023 issue of Chestnut Review.

Find full details here: chestnutreview.com/contests/

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

Enter The Masters Review Award for New Writers

Lake Michigan beach.Photo by Judy DarleyThe Masters Review is inviting entries for its Summer Short Story Award for New Writers.

The deadline for submissions is 28th August 2022.

The winning story writer will receive $3,000, an agency review and publication online.

Second and third place finalists will be awarded publication, agency review and $300/$200 prizes respectively.

Participating agents include: Nat Sobel from Sobel Weber, Victoria Cappello from The Bent Agency, Andrea Morrison from Writers House, Sarah Fuentes from Fletcher & Company, and Heather Schroder from Compass Talent.

The judge is Chelsea Bieker, author of GODSHOT and the new collection Heartbroke

Crucial details

  • $20 entry fee
  • $3000 1st prize
  • $300 2nd prize
  • $200 3rd prize
  • Stories must be under 6,000 words in length
  • Previously unpublished stories only
  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed
  • Emerging writers only; writers with book-length work published or under contract with a major press are ineligible. Authors with short story collections are free to submit unpublished work, as are writers with books published by indie presses)
  • Deadline: 28th August, 2022
  • No identifying information on your story

Find full details here.

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

Edinburgh Book Festival welcomes word-lovers

Edinburgh Book Festival. Shows people in a park enjoying the literary festivalThis year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival is on from 13th-29th August 2022, with more than 550 world-class performers, musicians and thinkers from 50 countries contributing to over 600 events touching on the theme ‘All Together Now.’

The programme builds on the hybrid format developed over the past two years, with live, in-person events, many of which are also available to stream or watch at a later date. Expect a celebration of the imagination, ideas and issues at the heart of books and stories, offering new perspectives on the world around us.

Authors taking part this year include Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, Vietnamese American poet Ocean Vuong, Outlander writer Diana Gabaldon, plus Noam Chomsky, Jack Monroe, Alexander McCall Smith, Denise Mina, William Dalrymple and Armando Iannucci. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon steps up  for two events, interviewing novelist Louise Welsh about her new novel The Second Cut, and  Brian Cox about a life on the Scottish stage and his role in television hit series Succession. There are also events with some of the world’s most beloved children’s authors, including Jason Reynolds, Cressida Cowell, Julia Donaldson, Michael Morpurgo and doctor turned writer and doctor-turned comedian and author Adam Kay.

The festival’s director Nick Barley says: “The world has changed immeasurably since 2019: we’re learning to live with the effects of the pandemic and war in Europe – but we’re also beginning to imagine what a better future should look like. Exploring these issues in inspiring conversations with scientists, historians, poets and novelists is exactly where the Book Festival comes into its own. I’m thrilled that thanks to Baillie Gifford, every young person coming to a Schools event gets a free ticket and a free book this year. With all online events and a selection of our in-person theatre tickets also available on a Pay What You Can basis, we’re doing everything we can to make the festival accessible to everyone.”

Find full details of the Edinburgh International Book Festival programme.

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.

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