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.

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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.

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.

Submit stories on a ‘clean vs green’ theme

Leaf & raindrops by Judy Darley
The Green Stories crew are inviting short stories on the theme of ‘clean vs green’ for their latest competition, closing to entries on 21st July.

First prize is £500. Entering is free.

The competition has been devised as a way of myth-busting: “Often when promoting waste reduction and reduction of high-energy activities, such as running hot water, we come up against health and safety issues. Some of these are valid, but many are misinformed.”

The judges are seeking engaging fictional stories that help readers understand how over-cleaning can mean that we kill our bodies’ ‘good’ bacteria through over-use of harsh cleaning products.

“Your challenge is to write a short story (between 1000 and 3000 words) that helps to raise awareness and shift attitudes, especially for those people who assume that the more detergent the better.”

You’ll also need to provide around 200 words on the thinking around your story and how it meets the criteria.

The Green Stories website has story briefs and suggestions to inspire you, as well as plenty of information to make sure you get the details rights.

Find full details here: www.greenstories.org.uk/upcoming-competitions/short-story-clean-vs-green/ 

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 Bristol Short Story Prize

Bristol hot air balloons cr Judy DarleyGot a story shuffling about inside your head? The Bristol Short Story Prize 2022 is open for entries. The closing date is 4th May 2022. Submissions can be up to a maximum length of 4,000 words.

The writing competition prizes

First prize is £1,000. Second prize is £500, and third prize is £250.

An additional prize of £100, The Sansom Award, in recognition of the contribution to Bristol publishing of John and Angela Sansom, will be presented to a Bristol writer selected by Angela Sansom. The Sansom Award winning story will also be published in the print edition of Bristol 24/7 magazine.

Each of the 17 remaining shortlisted writers will receive £100. The 20 shortlisted stories will be included in Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 15published by Tangent Books.

Entry costs £9 for each submission, but there are 250 free online entries available to those for whom the entry fee is a barrier to submitting to the 2022 Bristol Short Story Prize. Those wishing to enter using the free entry option may do so via the online entry facility.

The 2022 BSSP Judging Panel comprise Tom Drake-Lee, Irenosen Okojie and Jessica Taylor.

The 2021 Bristol Short Story Prize was won by Isidora Cortes-Monroy for her story, Cake for the Disappeared. Amanda Ong won second prize and Sarah Tinsley was awarded third prize.

The 2020 Bristol Short Story Prize was won by Florida-based writer Stephen Narain.

The 2019  Bristol Short Story Prize was won by Sydney-based writer Cameron Stewart for his story Black Snow.

The 2018 Bristol Short Story Prize was won by Dizz Tate  for her story, Cowboy Boot. 2nd prize went to Chloe Wilson. You can read an interview with Dizz about her win, here. Chloe Wilson has been signed by literary agent Kate Johnson of the New York-based MacKenzie Wolf Literary Agency.

Find the full competition rules here.

For full details or to enter, go to www.bristolprize.co.uk.

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 Rialto’s Nature and Place Poetry Competition

Dragonfly nymph by Judy DarleyThe Rialto is inviting you to send in your nature and place-inspired poetry for their competition celebrating the natural world. With our personal universes shrunken to the spaces within walking distance of our homes, wildlife has begun to gradually take back the streets, making this the perfect topic for our peculiar times.

What have you glimpsed in your pond, on your windowsill, in the places for the most part now vacated by humans?

The deadline for entries is Friday 1st March 2022.

Hosted by The Rialto in association with the RSPB, BirdLife International and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, the competition will be judged by Pascale Petit, whose seventh collection, Mama Amazonica (Bloodaxe, 2017), won the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize 2018 – the first time a poetry book won this prize for a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry best evoking the spirit of a place.

Nature and Place Poetry Competition Prizes

1st prize – £1000
2nd prize – £500
3rd prize – £250

Once the current pandemic restrictions are lifted, one entrant will receive a personal tour with celebrated nature-writer Mark Cocker of his most cherished wildlife places in East Anglia.

How to submit your poems

You can submit up to six poems in one batch. The entry fee for the first poem is £7 (including an administration fee). The fee for each subsequent poem in the batch is £4.

If you wish to submit more than six poems you will need to make a second submission, which will include a second administration fee.

Find full details of how to enter here.

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

Curtis Brown Creative courses for aspiring writers

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, including plenty of online options.

Whether you want to dig into specific genres such as historical, psychological or YA and children’s fiction, or want to untangle the knots of editing and pitching your novel, there are opportunities to gain 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.

Upcoming courses include a one-day ‘Edit Your Novel’ course with the Rewrite Doctor aka Anna Davis from 15th February, and an intensive online five-day short story writing course with award-winning short story-writer Cynan Jones, starting on 21st February.

“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.”

Find full details of upcoming courses here.

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.

Submit your manuscript to Soft Skull Press

Sad Ghost Cereal cr Judy Darley

Soft Skull Press invites un-agented authors to submit complete manuscripts until 21st July 2021.

They describe themselves as “a home for projects that dissolve categories and hierarchies, provide an alternative to dominant narratives, and make room for new and unexpected ideas and feelings. We aim to create lasting and transformative relationships with writers, and to continually reimagine how a book can be written, published, and sold.”

They publish adult literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and hybrid projects. At this time they are especially seeking and encouraging submissions from BIPOC writers and underrepresented voices of any race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, class, and physical or mental ability.

Authors of accepted submissions retain full copyright license to their work.

For your chance to be published by Soft Skull Press, upload your full manuscript and a statement of intent to their Submittable queue.

There is no submission fee.

In the ‘cover letter’ field, include:

  • A one-paragraph summary of your project
  • The total word count
  • A brief author bio
  • Your contact information

Please submit only one manuscript.

They welcome simultaneous submissions, but ask that if your work is accepted elsewhere, you withdraw your submission promptly.

They also advise: “Please send your work only if you feel it is ready to be read; we will not be accepting updated versions of the same work once submitted.”

Find full submission 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.

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.

Submit tiny flashes to Paragraph Planet

Hot Water by Judy DarleyI’m growing increasingly addicted to Paragraph Planet. This fabulous website publishes a single 75-word flash fiction every day (word count includes title). The stories selected are brilliantly diverse and powerful. Visiting each day feels akin to pond dipping – you never quite know what wonders will appear.

They’re also a great place to submit to. Their online submission form is easy, and free, to use, and while there isn’t payment for writers, there is notoriety up for grabs. Each story is shared via Twitter to more than 3,600 followers.

The picture above is the one I created for my story Leavings, which is available to read in the Paragraph Planet archive section – just scroll to December 30th.

Isn’t there something satisfying about crafting a piece that exactly hits 75 words, including title, and ensuring it’s still meaningful? If you write, I urge you to give it a try, and if you read, swing by to read today’s tiny yet powerful offering.

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

Call for puppet show scripts with eco-oceanic themes

Marionette shop, Prague cr Judy DarleyCommonwealth Resounds are seeking an original 45-minute script to engage audiences with the challenges facing the world’s oceans.

The deadline for submissions is 15th February 2020.

This open call comes via Commonwealth Writers and aims to connect a writer from the Commonwealth to work in collaboration with the Young People’s Puppet Theatre, the Commonwealth Resounds, the Purcell School for Young Musicians, and the Commonwealth Blue Charter.

The chosen script will be interleaved with original music by exceptional high-school-age musicians, and performed with string marionettes in London and Hertfordshire in September 2020. “The selected writer will develop the script with guidance from professionals experienced in scriptwriting for puppetry.”

The ocean theme should include one or more of the issues currently being tackled by the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Groups:

  • Coral Reef Protection and Restoration
  • Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods
  • Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance (marine plastics)
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Ocean and Climate Change
  • Ocean Observation
  • Sustainable Aquaculture
  • Sustainable Blue Economy
  • Sustainable Coastal Fisheries

In the first instance Commonwealth Resounds invites you to provide a summary of your proposed storyline and a description of the characters in the play, within a maximum of 500 words.

This must be submitted by 15th February 2020, and the preferred storyline will be selected by the end of February. The script will need to be completed by the middle of May 2020.

The selected writer will receive £250 on completion of the script, covering the production in September, and a further £250 royalty each time the script is used in a subsequent production. (For clarity royalties are paid per production, not per performance of a production.)

Find full details and links to useful guidelines on scriptwriting here.

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.