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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Winner Announced! W&A Working-Class Writers' Prize 2020

We're pleased to announce the results of our 2020 W&A Working-Class Writers' Prize 

Firstly, here are our two brilliant runners-up with a few words from our judge Lisa McInerney on why they made the cut. Congratulations to the following writers:

The Half Life of Snails by Philippa Harry Holloway

Lisa: "Philippa’s story was fully-realised. Her writing shows a deft touch, and the synopsis proves she’s got a great concept and the plotting chops to succeed with it."

The Voices of Rats & Birds by Joshua Holton

Lisa: "Josh displays a knack for detail and knowing exactly how much of that detail to deliver to make an intriguing read. I think the concept driving the novel is extremely powerful."

Another big congratulations to our four other shortlisted writers, for whom, Lisa was so impressed, she decided to create another category. Highly Commended places go to Denise Rawls, Hana Fazal, Din Havolli & Lou Kramskoy.

Our runners-up and Highly Commended writers will receive …

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Creating The Yearbook


The creation, collation, editing and publishing of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook every year is a team endeavour.

Six months of intense effort results in 832 print pages, 2 e-book versions, and an online subscription database; running alongside is the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook (480 pages). 

The various stages through which the content travels, is a perfect illustration of the publishing process more generally: how a book in its different formats is produced, managed and delivered to market. The schedule we work to might be slightly swifter than for some books, but I hope this digest of who does what when will provide some insight into the book publishing process.

Preparation: In January each year our editorial team plan the content for the next edition: what’s new (and what’s not). We agree a schedule and budget, consulting colleagues in production and sales well in advance of publication date providing a cover, blurb, catalogue and other copy …

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What Happens When You Put 14 Crime Writers on Lock-down?

I still have the message in my WhatsApp Authors thread:

 What do you guys think about putting together a charity crime anthology?

Like all the best ideas, it was thrown out without any real forethought or belief it would be taken up. I went downstairs to make a cup of tea. When I came back, there were fourteen replies flashing on my phone. They all said the same thing, or variations of it.

 I’m in

Great plan

Let’s do it!!

 And just like that, Afraid of the Light, was born. Of course, we had no way of knowing then it would hit #2 on the Kindle charts on publication day (just pipped to the number one slot by Stephen King) and go on to sell nearly a thousand copies in its first week with all proceeds being donated to the Samaritans.

Nor could we possibly know the world would be in lock-down when we launched it. And although putting out a new book in these circumstances was unusual to say the least (partying on Zoom is most definitely not the …

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Winner Announced: W&A Short Story Competition 2020

We're pleased to announce the results of our 2020 Short Story Competition! 

Firstly, here are our two brilliant runners-up with a few words from our judge Kerry Hudson on why they made the cut. Congratulations to the following writers:

Sunburn by Rose-Glendon Doyle

Kerry: "What I was so impressed by in this piece was the quality of the writing and, in particular, the writers ability to use description in such a unique way that it felt you were reading about something fairly familiar for the very first time or suddenly seeing it from an entirely unique perspective. This is a poignant story that is full of heart."

A to Z of Wendy Harrison by Shelley Hastings

Kerry: "I loved this funny, thoughtful and entirely different take on what a person's narrative might look like. The voice and writing and so distinctive and I would happily have read much more of this piece."

We're pleased to announced that this year's winner is Rachel Bower with her story, Potted Plants.

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Shortlist Announced: W&A Short Story Competition 2020

Thank you for your patience while we made our way through all of the brilliant entries for our 2020 Short Story Competition. Reading hundreds upon hundreds of entries while we moved to remote working was a challenge, but it also reiterated the importance of stories for us and why we love what we do.

We enjoyed losing ourselves in your wonderful words and we thank every single person who entered. You helped us to forget about the world outside for a little while. 

However, a shortlist had to be decided. So without further ado, here it is!

An A to Z of Wendy Harrison by Shelley Hastings

Funeral Blues by David Butler

Gyuri's Trip To The City by Gabor Fellner

Potted Plants by Rachel Bower

Sunburn by Rose Glendon-Doyle 

Happy New Year by Justine Bondare

The winner will be announced on our website blog pages no later than 15th April, by judge Kerry Hudson. We will also announce the two runners-up.

And a little something for everyone who entered the competition. …

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