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Writers' & Artists' Blog

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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Draft One Complete... Now What?

‘The End’ – when I wrote these words I:

A.      Cried

B.       Did a cartwheel in a field

C.       Drank prosecco on a school night

Draft one complete. Now what? No, seriously, now what?!

About 20,000 words too long, my characters changed names every couple of chapters and I’ve spent about three pages describing a bath.

I floated in the ‘I’ve finished’ bubble for a short while.  I had a break from it all, got married, went on holiday, came home and opened my Word document again…

Oh God.

What. A. Mess.

‘A dirty draft’, ‘a brain splurge,’ or (my favourite), ‘a vomit draft’… I learnt these delightful phrases when frantically googling for the ‘what next’ answer.

I have to say, ‘vomit draft’ is the one I identify with most.  I don’t know about you but it invokes the most relatable imagery.  My messy …

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Winner Announced: Writing for Children & YA Competition

It hasn't been easy for our judge Linda Strachan. Faced with an impossible choice, to pick one from six brilliant stories, she's finally delivered her verdict.

But before we reveal the winner, Linda has a few words to say about what she was looking for in the story. 

Linda: It was a very difficult decision to make as all of the shortlisted stories were strong and appealed for different reasons. I wanted a story that was well written, original in concept and yet still able to grab the reader it was aimed at and made me want to read on.  

Writing a synopsis is always a challenge but it was also important to understand where the story is going and if it would be strong enough to sustain any initial promise to a satisfying conclusion.

So, without further ado, we can announce that the winning story is...

Wildlands by Emma Murphy

Congratulations, Emma!  

LindaI was torn between all the stories on the shortlist, but Emma's entry combined great writing with a …

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Shortlist Announced! Writing For Children & YA Competition

Ahead of the announcement of our winner on Monday, we're delving a bit deeper into the 6 shortlisted entries. Read on to find out a bit more about each story. 

Demon (ish) by Jenny Ireland

12 year old Carey makes a deal with a demon. The demon will help her bring her mum back from the dead under the condition that Carey helps her graduate at Halloween. Problem is, this demon is hopeless at being evil, it’s her last chance to pass, and Halloween is imminent. If the demon fails to graduate, she’ll be dusted, and she’ll drag Carey to the underworld with her.

Hallowsgate - Olivia Wakeford

London, 1884. Fred thinks if he can prove himself as an apprentice at his father’s time emporium, his father will reveal something - anything - about his long-lost mother. When his fourteenth birthday arrives, he’s sure his dream is about to come true. Except for one small problem - his father is closing up shop, and sends Fred away to work in a train yard. 

Desperate to know what’s …

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Merry Christmas from Writers & Artists

With Christmas fast approaching, if you're not just yet in the festive spirit then we hope our book giveaway get you there.

If you haven't yet got your Christmas reading lined up, then be sure to keep your eyes peeled from Monday 16th December to Tuesday 24th December, as we'll be giving away some brilliant titles. 

To enter, it's simple: watch out for our Christmas tweet every morning and just RT and follow to be in with a chance of winning.

Here's the line-up of books featured:

Monday 16th December: Dark Skies: A Journey into the Wild Night by Tiffany Francis

Tuesday 17th December: The Mother of all Jobs by Christine Armstrong 

Wednesday 18th December: Bone China by Laura Purcell

Thursday 19th December: Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-McGinnis

Friday 20th December: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Saturday 21st December: Ravi's Roar by Tom Percival

Sunday 22nd December: She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey

Monday 23rd …

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