Monday, May 18, 2009

Short Story Stuff

It's very hot here today, a sharav or hamsin, a hot desert wind, so I am staying in. I shall retreat to my cool cellar/workroom shortly, even though it means navigating the heat of the garden. Wish me luck. In the meantime, fellow Salt author and blogger Elizabeth Baines has an excellent article about the short story in the Writers Guild magazine:
...stories seem to me more like poetry than novels, and, having written both stories and novels, I’d also say that in this way they are harder (but also wonderfully satisfying) to write. And the experience of writing them is very different, I find. Writing a novel feels like an ongoing forwards rush (however non-linear the novel), but writing a story is like dropping a stone into water and watching the ripples as they form outwards in every direction.
Elizabeth ends on an optimistic note about the short story (and mentions me, thank you Elizabeth!). Read her article here.

A few more deadlines:
  1. I got an email this morning from the lovely folk at the City of Derby Competition, so I am assuming entries haven't been as plentiful as they had hoped. Here's your chance! £500, £250 and £150 for first, second and third places. Deadline is 31st May, word length 5000 words, previously unpublished stories only. £4 for the first entry, $3 for any subsequent entry, postal and online. International entries welcome!
  2. Also with a 31st May deadline is the VS Pritchett Memorial prize, offered by the Royal Society of Literature, which this year is in collaboration with Prospect magazine, and the winner will be announced at the Small Wonder short story festival in Charleston. Only open to citizens of the UK and Republic of Ireland, or those who have been resident for at least 3 years. Winner receives £1000, last year four runners-up were also announced. Entries must be unpublished and between 2000 and 5000 words. Postal entry only, £5 for each story, click here for the Entry Form (PDF).
  3. A competition to start writing a story for now is the Flatmancrooked short story competition, judged by the wondrous Aimee Bender. Word limit 7000 words, deadline Aug 15th, first prize $1000. The first 50 entrants receive a free copy of the magazine's Winter issue. Online entries only, $15 per entry. Entries must be "previously unpublished and unawarded, and not accepted by any other venue at time of submission or at any other point when the contest is open."
Also, writer service announcement: for those of you who entered the Binnacle Ultra-Short Competition, if you didn't get the email this morning, they are apologising for the delay and will have results by June 15th instead of May 15th. How kind of them to let us know, well-deserving of Vanessa's Courteous Editors Award!

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