No April Tom Foolery!

april FoolFirst of all, let me say, none of this post, I can assure you, is an ‘April Fool’.

Apart from the fact that it’s past midday and therefore, traditionally, too late for April foolery (‘April Fool’s is dead and gone. You’re the fool for carrying on!’ and all that), I can’t be bothered – can you?!

If, like me, you entered the Writers & Artists’ short story competition (theme: ‘The Visit’), or even if you didn’t, then you might like to read the winning story and the two runners-up which are now up on the website, here.

They are.. interesting. The winner is beautifully written but it’s very sparse. It’s a bit ‘Hemingway-esque’ and I thought it was a surprising winner but it probably stood out from the crowd because it’s different (as, indeed, are the two runners-up).

I thought it was interesting that although judge Roshi Fernando could find no fault with her winner (rightly so), she was clearly not overly-impressed by the endings of the stories by the two runners-up. But endings are hard, aren’t they?

And if you fancy being a competition judge yourself (no payment but a chance to promote yourself and your writing and, let’s face it, it’s quite good fun ‘judging’ other people’s writing!), then scroll down for details of the Hysteria Writing competition, which is still in need of a couple of judges.

Here are a couple of FREE writing competitions, that you might be interested in entering:

1) Historic House Short Story competition (c/d: September 26th 2014)

Max 2,500 word story inspired by or set in a historic house (real or imagined). Run by Corazon Books in partnership with the Historic Houses Association (HHA). Free entry. First prize: £150, private tour and afternoon tea with owners of Levens Hall, Cumbria. Double Friends Membership to the HHA. Two runners-up prizes of Double Friends Membership to the HHA. Deadline: September 26th 2014. Full details and entry here.

2) The Write Time novel competition 20,000 – 100,00 word novel by writer aged 50+ (in the UK) who has not previously had a publishing contract. Run by Corazon Books in partnership with Mature Times. Free entry. First prize: Digital publishing contract with full editorial and marketing support, and royalties. First round: send synopsis and first three chapters Deadline: first round deadline is June 16th 2014. Full details and entry here.

3) And finally, this one’s not free and it’s only open to women (sorry, guys) – it’s the Hysterectomy Association’s poetry, flash fiction and short story competition (c/d: 31st August 2014)

Call For Judges

In an email I had today from the organisers, they stated that “we are still looking for another couple of judges for this year’s competition. If you would like to put yourself forward then please reply to this email directly and let me know. All our judges are given the chance to participate in an online interview designed to help promote them and their writing.”

And… Call for Writer-in-Residence

“We thought it might be nice to have a Writer-in-Residence for this year’s competition. The role is voluntary and will involve writing a blog post each month, between now and August (5 blog posts in all), about writing short stories, flash fiction and poetry. Their purpose should be to help our entrants understand what makes a good submission.

Our writer in residence will be able to promote themselves and their work through their blog posts and we’ll include a summary of their advice in this year’s anthology too.

If you’d like to put yourself forward please get in touch with your writing details and the url of a blog you currently contribute to.”

If you’re interested, then get in touch with Linda Parkinson-Hardman at the Association, email:

I quite fancy those roles myself but I think I’d rather enter the competition! (and presumably, you can’t do both!)

Let me know if you enter any of these competitions – and good luck!

This entry was posted in Blogging, Competitions, Short Stories and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to No April Tom Foolery!

  1. Wendy Clarke says:

    Lots of great info here – thanks Helen.

  2. Tracy Fells says:

    Hmm will check out the W&A winners, but I didn’t enter this one as ran out of time. Have volunteered for Hysteria judging – not planning to enter (coughs politely) as won it last year! The blog role sounds interesting too… Thanks, Helen 🙂

    • Tracy, I knew you were last year’s winner! (well done again) and I did wonder whether you’d be up for a judge’s role (or even the ‘writer in residence’). I’m sure it will be interesting to be a judge (you could probably get an article out of it…!)

  3. julielees says:

    I read the winning entries and they are certainly unusual. To be honest, when I first clicked on the page and saw the winner’s layout I thought I’d stumbled across a poetry or flash fiction competition, until I scrolled down further. The judge may have chosen them for their originality but can’t say they were the most enjoyable thing to read, and wasn’t sure where the second one was going at all. Still, what do I know? If this is what judges are looking for, I’m cursed.

    • Julie, don’t feel ‘cursed’! That’s the thing about competitions – they are so subjective. Another judge would probably have chosen a completely different 3 stories. But I do think it’s always worth trying to be original – either in your theme or your style. When there are lots of stories to be waded through, you really have to try to make yours ‘stand out’ from the crowd, even just to make it to the shortlist.

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