Monday, 24 of October 2016

August Open House at United Agents

A series of specific days are open for submissions of:

  • Children’s and YA
  • Crime & thrillers
  • Commercial fiction
  • Literary fiction

See website for details

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Radio station showcases emerging writing talent in Birmingham and the West Midlands

Call for Short Stories and Voice Actors Now Open:

Tall Tales is a brand new fiction, drama and spoken word programme on Brum Radio, showcasing the very best emerging writing talent in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Each week, host Philip Ellis introduces a new work of fiction by a local author, brought to life by talented voice actors.

Stories of jealous lovers and lost youth, shady magicians and dangerous dinner parties, treacherous journeys and ghostly encounters — we’ve got a little something for everybody.

Tune in every Tuesday at 10:30pm for a new story by a different author. Episodes are repeated the following Sunday at 12:00pm.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook @BrumRadioTales

Short Story Submission Guidelines

Deadline: Midnight, Sunday 31st July

We are currently seeking short stories of all genres to be performed by voice actors in our second season, which begins in September. Writers must be from or currently live in Birmingham / the West Midlands.

Word count: Minimum 1,500 words. Maximum 4,000.

See website for details


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Dark fiction wanted by Dirge magazine

“Here at Dirge Magazine, we love dark fiction. Even more, we love something to look forward to, and we love getting lost in ongoing characters and worlds. We want to bring the very best of that to our readers. We want to get lost in your world.

We are looking for a monthly dark fiction serial series. We are offering a $200 advance and $50 each month for 12 months to the author who pitches the best series for our readers. We will also publish the serial as a collection.

Our first round of submissions will run from July 1st 2016 to July 31st. Here’s what we want from you:

  • A 100-200 word pitch for your serial. Outline what it’s about, give us a brief sketch of characters and themes; the elevator pitch for your story.
  • A 1-2 sentence outline for all 12 entries. These don’t have to be detailed, just show us the arc you imagine your story taking over the year.
  • When you’re ready, email this to:

    Finalists will be chosen by August 7th, and given 3 weeks to complete a first chapter.”

    See website for more details

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    Infected Books invite pitches for zombie novellas

    The 25 word pitch and 250 word excerpt should be posted directly into a special, dedicated thread on the Infected Books facebook page.

    Readers are encouraged to like the entries that appeal to them. In fact, the more popular an entry is, the more it may draw the eye of some of our judges.

    The overall favourite, chosen by our judges, will be required to deliver their completed zombie novella (10K – 15K) to Infected Books immediately.

    If the manuscript is delivered, they will be offered a contract and published in October 2016. If the manuscript is not delivered, the next favourite entry will be chosen.

    See the website for full details


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    Chorley & District Writers’ Circle short story competition

    Chorley & District Writers’ Circle are holding their annual, national short story competition with prizes totalling £180. This year the theme is ‘Toxic’. It’s up to writers how they interpret the theme: we anticipate plenty of variety!

    Maximum word count is 2,500 and the closing date is earlier than usual: 10 August 2016. The shortlist will be judged by the competition’s sponsors: editorial consultancy Fiction Feedback

    The first prize is £100, second prize £50 and third prize £30. The three winning stories will be published in the Circle’s annual collection of writing, Aware, and by entering writers agree to that condition. Shortlisted entrants will be listed in Aware and online. Entry fee is £5 for one story, £9 for two or £13 for three. Subscribed members of the Writers’ Circle are entitled to one free entry.

    Stories are eligible for entry if they’ve been published online (not in print), provided they’ve not won first prize in any other competition.

    ‘We hope writers enjoy stirring our imaginations with interpretations of “toxic”,’ says the Circle’s chairwoman Dea Parkin. ‘As for judging criteria, they are as ever: interpretation of theme; originality of story; quality of writing, for example narrative drive, pace and flow, characterisation, plot and style; and quality of prose including grammar, spelling and punctuation. We hope that’s helpful and look forward to receiving your entry by August 10.’

    Submissions can be made by email or post. Email: Post: Chorley & District Writers’ Circle, The Writing House, 3 Dale View, Chorley, Lancashire PR7 3QJ.  Please submit a separate cover page with your name, contact details including email and phone, story title(s) and first line(s). Please ensure the story manuscript itself does not feature your name. If emailing, send the cover sheet and your story as two separate files attached to the same email. Payment is either by cheque to the Circle at the above address or by PayPal. Please ensure you provide details to enable the Circle to marry up your payment with your story submission.

    The Circle reserves the right to cancel the competition and refund entry fees if entries are insufficient to cover the prize fund. No entrant is allowed to win more than one prize.

    Please see the Circle’s website for details including PayPal details:

    Leave a comment Publishing Opening to Science Fiction Novellas

    During June , will open submissions for novellas of between 20,000 and 40,000 words that fit one of the following science fiction subgenres:

    • Time Travel
    • Space Opera
    • Near Future Thriller
    • Cyberpunk

    Check their website for details


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    Bedford International Writing Competitions (short story and poetry)

    Short Story Competition:

    For unpublished stories of up to 3,000 words on any theme.

    1st prize: £200 2nd prize: £100 3rd prize: £50 Bedford Prize £50 awarded to the best story by a Bedford writer

    Top ten shortlisted stories to be published online and made into an e-book anthology

    Entry fee: £5 one story, £10 three stories Concession for students

    Judge: Toby Litt Toby Litt is the author of several published novels and collections of short stories. Born in Ampthill and a former pupil of Bedford Modern School, Toby is now a lecturer in creative writing at Birkbeck College, University of London.

    Poetry Competition:

    For unpublished poems of up to 40 lines on any theme.

    1st prize: £200 2nd prize: £100 3rd prize: £50

    Top ten shortlisted poems to be published online and made into an e-book anthology

    Entry fee: £5 one poem, £10 three poems Concession entry fee for students

    Judge: Ian McEwen Ian McEwen has had his poems published in a variety of magazines as well as producing a pamphlet, The Stammering Man and his first full collection in book form, Intermittent beings. He is interested in opportunities to broaden the practice and appreciation of poetry, through readings, workshops or residencies.

    Find out more about both competitions and enter online by going to:

    All entries must be received by 30th September 2016

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    National Writers Conference (Birmingham)

    Saturday 16 July 2016, 9.30am – 4pm, Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT

    This July Writing West Midlands is launching its first ever National Writers’ Conference in Birmingham, featuring inspiring keynote speeches and specialist subject sessions for emerging and established writers.

    In partnership with University of Birmingham, this intensive day of talks, discussions and presentations brings together the individuals and organisations to help creative writers in a range of genres get the best from their talents.

    The conference succeeds the annual Writers’ Toolkit run by Writing West Midlands, the region’s literature development agency, and will take place at Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston. Previous events have drawn a wide audience from across the region and beyond.

    The conference gives writers the pick of nine sessions with industry professionals including an exploration of the book trade, financial management, how to write for broadcast and podcast, and how to get booked onto festival programmes.

    For the first time, the conference also offers one-to-one sessions with an agent, a bookseller and a literature festival programmer.

    This year’s closing keynote speech is from award winning writer for children and young people, Bali Rai. Most of Rai’s stories are about modern Britain and his first novel (un)arranged marriage is a recommended read for KS3, whilst Rani & Sukh is now a set text for GCSE. He is a charismatic and inspiring speaker who has appeared on television and radio.

    Jonathan Davidson, Chief Executive of Writing West Midlands, said:

    “One of the many events, activities and projects run by Writing West Midlands, the National Writers’ Conference is an invaluable opportunity for writers to make new contacts, share ideas, and celebrate the world of writing.

    “This event brings them into contact with industry professionals, including agents, editors and publishers as well as providing a rare opportunity for peer networking and support.”

    The National Writers’ Conference is programmed and produced by Writing West Midlands, and supported by University of Birmingham.

    Tickets cost just £50 / £45 (concs) and includes a buffet lunch. To book, and for the full programme, see

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    Saturday 11th June, 1pm-2:30pm
    QUAD, Market Place, Derby
    Tickets £8/£6 conc.

    From or from QUAD Box Office on 01332 290606

    Ever wondered what an agent does for an author? Or how a publisher decides on the next big thing? Or what the publicity and marketing team do to get a book out there? Well here’s where you can get the answers!

    Join us for a fascinating panel session giving an unparalleled insight into the world of publishing with author Antonia Hodgson, who is also a publisher of twenty years’ experience, Penguin Life publicist, Julia Murday (both from Derby!) and a literary agent, Ella Kahn.

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    Troubadour International Poetry Prize

    Five great reasons for entering the annual Troubadour International Poetry Prize:

    • top prizes: 1st=£5000 + 22 more prizes totalling £2,000 + season tickets + Troubadour prizes (£100 restaurant gift voucher & champagne)
    • shortest turnaround: less than 7 wks from deadline (Jun 21) to contacting winners (Aug 8)
    • least conflict – with other major prizes as we’ve moved our deadline from October to June
    • no sifters/shortlisters – judges read every poem
    • prize-winners’ night – chance to read at the Troubadour alongside Jane Yeh, Glyn Maxwell & fellow prize-winners on Oct 31.

    Enter by e-mail or post, full details below & on website. And good luck with the poetry!

    (NB, there is an entry fee)


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