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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Shortlist Announced! W&A Working-Class Writers' Prize

We're thrilled to reveal the shortlist for the inaugural W&A Working-Class Writers' Prize! We had well over 200 entries and the quality of writing was some of the highest we've seen. It was heartening to see this prize resonate with so many writers and we're looking forward to coming back next year with another brilliant prize. 

Without further ado, we're pleased to announce the shortlisted entries. We thoroughly enjoyed dipping our toes into the stories – from a war-torn Nepal to the surface of Pluto – and we certainly don't envy the mammoth task of deciding a winner.

Thankfully our judge Natasha Carthew will be doing the deciding. 

In no particular order, the five shortlisted stories are:

PlutoshineLucy Kissick 

Mystic TreatsMeron Berhanu

The FootsloggersRobin Richards

Bruise Adrian Markle 

The Red Moon Trails – Nabin K Chhetri 

All our shortlisted writers will receive a copy of the latest edition of the Writers' …

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Writers & Artists at Bath Children's Literature Festival

Are you a writer of children's fiction? Love children's books? Then, we hope you're excited as we are for our events at Bath Children's Literature Festival this autumn! 

We're thrilled to be holding three events at this iconic festival. Below are details of what we've got lined up. We hope to see you there.

Writing Picture Books with Michelle Robinson

Monday 30th September 2.30-5.30pm

Join bestselling author Michelle Robinson for a masterclass on writing picture books. Bring along your ideas and get advice on developing great storylines, strong characters and perfecting your structure.

 Come along to hear more about Michelle’s journey and get advice and tips to sharpen your technique and gaining more confidence to let your imagination fly.

Book your place

Writing Middle Grade with Lucy Strange 

Tuesday 1st October 2.30-5.30pm

If you’re writing fiction for children ages 8 – 12, join Lucy Strange as she guides you through the essential elements of the writing …

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Taking Stock After Shortlisting Success

Since signing with a literary agency a few weeks ago, my novel seems to have developed a momentum of its own. It’s been shortlisted in the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Award and after giving me editorial notes and the opportunity to ‘cut and dig deeper,’ my agents now feel that it is ready to submit to publishers. I know that ready does not mean the same as finished; there will be many more revisions to come and an exciting part of that will be hearing how different readers respond. I feel lightheaded at the prospect, but it is also a moment to take stock.

Soon after the shortlisting announcement, I spoke to the mother of a boy I used to teach. I asked formally for her permission to dedicate my novel to her wonderful son, Mahad, who was brutally murdered in 2017. It was a painful conversation and very different to the ones we’d had years ago. She and I spoke almost daily in the playground when Mahad was ten years old, at the beginning and end of each school day during my teaching …

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Short Story Competition 2019: Winner Revealed!

Once again, the W&A Team have been inundated with entries for our annual short story competition, sifting through close to 1,000 in total. We hand over to Writers' & Artists' Yearbook Editor Alysoun Owen to announce this year's winner and two commended entries...


Each year, before I sit down to read the shortlist of entries to our annual Short Story Competition, I get a small thrill: excited to see what wide range of styles, themes and approaches I’ll have the pleasure to read. This year I’ve encountered tales set in present times and in the past; stories woven with magic realism and very real issues such as depression and alcoholism; poetic styles and a tale told in a first-person patois. Thanks to each of you for entering, and if you have not been successful this time do try again next year.

The three stories that made it to the final cut, are tales that are well-told, with a clear sense of structure, purpose and a narrative that drew me in from their opening lines.

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From Idea To Agent

In the first of her blog series for W&A, author Nicola Garrard shares her journey of getting an agent...

If you had asked me, just two weeks ago, how my submissions to literary agents were going, I would have said, ‘Fingers still crossed… should hear in three months.’ I had been sending off my submissions in batches of six and hoping for the best. It looked doubtful; I hadn’t paid for a Creative Writing MA, hired an editor or attended a writers’ retreat. My total spend on my writing career to date had comprised £17 on a copy of the Writers' & Artists’ Yearbook, £20 on a bargain Writers & Artists’ ‘How to Submit your Manuscript’ event in London.

The next week, everything changed.

Two emails appeared in my inbox from agents asking to see the full manuscript and two offering representation. 

A day later, an agent telephoned me. 

I had gone from what felt like months of encouraging rejections, to the kind of interest (and delicious lunches) I had only …

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