The competition is closed, and the judging begins! Thank you to everyone who has submitted a story for our 2016 short fiction prize. We are thrilled – and a little overwhelmed – by the volume and range of submissions we’ve received. We have almost 150 eligible entries, with entries in almost every genre, sent from every continent – except, we think, Antarctica. It’s already evident that the standard is very high, with entries from a great mix of early-career authors and experienced, prize-winning writers. There is so much talent out there. We have ghost stories and love stories, magic-realism and fantasy, crime fiction and comedy. We have minimalist stories and lyrical stories. We have dirty-realist stories that present a slice of domestic life, and we have stories painted on broad canvases, in which whole societies are in peril.
Alas, we have only three prizes to award, so we apologise that there is no way we can give all entries the recognition that they deserve. Please know how grateful we are that you shared your work, and please remember that with so many strong pieces our choices will inevitably be subjective.
We had originally intended to announce a shortlist of ten stories and to choose the winners from those, but due to the volume of entries we now plan to make our selections in two stages. In the first instance our aim is to narrow the field to a longlist of 30 stories, and this will be announced on Monday 15th February. We will announce authors by their name (or pen name) but, so as not to hinder non-winning entrants’ chances of publishing their stories elsewhere, we will not publish story titles at this stage. Please be patient as we try to choose between so many excellent pieces of writing, and thank you again to everyone who entered. Finally, please look out for details of the 2017 prize submission call!
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a final call for the Online Writing Tips short fiction prize. We are inviting short stories of between 2000 and 5000 words on any theme. The competition is open to writers based anywhere in the world, it pays cash prizes, and it’s completely free to enter. You’ve got to be in it to win it!
Many thanks to MD Commerford who has sent us an excerpt from his story, ‘Watching Bees’. We’ll leave this post live for a week, during which time we’ll welcome any constructive comments. At the end of the week, the author will receive a free critique from one of our writing tutors. (If you’d like to share your work for critique, please see here for all the necessary information.)
MD Commerford is a mature student who has spent the last six years studying for an English Literature degree with the Open University. Having caught the creative writing bug, he’s just started an MA in English with a focus on creative writing at the University of Hull. He has written several short stories under the name MD Wilder, contributed to various blogs, and entered several poetry and fiction competitions. He enjoys the craft of writing and is constantly looking for feedback that can help him improve. You can find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wilderwrites and he tweets at @thewilderwrites
Watching Bees is a 3000-word piece of fictionalised life writing aimed at adults. Here’s an extract – feedback welcome!
I am over my mother’s knee. So close I can smell her Opium even though my nose is clogged with snot. Tears are blurring the floral print of her summer dress. I am wailing my unintelligible apologies over and over into fabric. She is using a hard soled Scholl shoe. It is her favourite instrument to beat me with. Each clap exploding on each word as she repeated that: Children. Should. Honour. Their. Father. And. Mother
read full extract and feedback comments
This week’s featured market is Whiskey Island.
Whiskey Island is a non-profit literary magazine that has been published in one form or another by the students of Cleveland State University for over 30 years.
They are an attractive literary magazine that operates exclusively in print.
According to their submission guidelines page, they are looking for writing that surprises with language and plot.
This week’s featured market is Bartleby Snopes, a literary magazine who “aim to publish the finest fiction on the web”.
The online magazine publishes two stories per week, and round up each month with a Story of the Month competition, which is decided by the readers. The winner of each month’s competition receives $25 and publication in their semi-annual print magazine.
But what’s particularly great about Bartleby Snopes is their response time. Typically, they will respond to submissions within a week. If you like to get snappy submission responses, take a look at our blog featuring the 5 Fastest Responding Literary Magazines.
But that’s not all. Bartleby Snopes annual dialogue contest offers big cash prizes – last year they distributed $2300 between their 5 winning writers. The 2015 competition closes on September 15th, so if you have a short story (max. 2000 words) comprised entirely of dialogue, get your entry into them! See their full guidelines here.