Tag Archives: Competitions

2016 UoG Novel Writing Contest Shortlist Announced!

21 Nov


That’s right, folks.  The long wait is over: our in-house judges have read through this year’s manuscript submissions to the UoG Novel Writing Contest and have whittled it down to a shortlist of six.  Submissions were anonymous, and these six will be sent on to our external judge, literary agent Becky Thomas, of the Johnson & Alcock Literary Agency in London.  This year’s shortlist includes a mix of undergraduate and postgraduate students.  We’ll have our fingers crossed for everybody, and hope to announce the finalists and overall winner at this year’s anthology launch (more on this shortly!).

For now, in alphabetical order by author (followed by year of study at time of submission)  here is the The 2016 UoG Novel Writing Contest Shortlist:

  • All The Things We Knew by Senja Andrejevic (MA)
  • The Enlightenment Effect by Loz Apperly (2nd year)
  • Half-Life by Heather Cripps (3rd year)
  • Winter and Spain by Sam James (2nd year)
  • Mayflies by Pamela Keevil (MA)
  • Mama by Mark Webber (MA)



Submission Window for UoG Novel Contest 2016 Officially Closes!

4 Aug

Photo by Markus Spiske

Phew – it’s been quite a ride, folks.  As ever at UoG our students left things till the last minute, and submissions for our 2016 Novel Writing Contest were coming in right up until midnight on the deadline (July 31st) and, in some cases, beyond.  We’ve officially now closed up shop (as you might deduce by the somewhat ominous, Poe-esque photo) and the judges will be going through the slushpile this month, with the goal of announcing the shortlist near the start of the autumn semester.  The top entries will be forwarded to our judge, Becky Thomas at Johnson & Alcock, who will select our first, second, and third prize entries.  We look forward to seeing what you’ve come up with this year!

Compass Anthology Launch & 2015 UoG Novel Contest Results

12 Nov

2015-10-28 07.58.31It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks here at UoG, with a plethora (big word alert) of exciting events and happenings.  One of the biggest was the launch of the Compass anthology, the latest addition to the New Writing series showcasing the best work by students on our BA, MA, and PhD programmes.  The event on campus included launch promotions and readings by nine brave contributors, and the turnout was tremendous.  Afterwards a large portion of the audience trekked across Cheltenham for further fun, food, and drinks at The Swan pub.  The editorial team – MA students from last year’s HM7106 module – wanted to thank all those who supported the event, and helped make the night such a success.

Phil BowneCoinciding with the launch was the announcement of the results of the 2015 UoG Novel Writing Contest.  The selections were sent to us by literary agent Becky Thomas, now of Johnson & Alcock, who picked the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners.  In what was a very close competition, graduating student Meg Paul received 3rd prize; MA graduate Keely O’Shaughnessy earned 2nd prize, and the 1st prize went to graduating 3rd year Phil Bowne.  Each received a cash prize (£25, £50, and £100 respectively) and feedback from Becky regarding their novel entries.  A big congrats to our three winners, those who made the shortlist, and all the other entrants.

Next year’s anthology will be opening its editorial office soon, and the novel contest is an annual event so keep your eyes firmly fixed to this blog for news about the 2016 submission call in the spring.

Novel Writing Contest Shortlist!

13 Oct

This week, the much anticipated shortlist for the 2015 UoG Novel Writing Contest has been revealed.  It was a competitive field and the judges did not approach it lightly: it required much deliberating and soul-searching and debating before they eventually came to a decision.  But that moment has come.  Before pulling back the curtain, we would like to thank all those who entered – the standards were very high.  As with our inaugural competition, we have narrowed the field down to a shortlist of six to be sent on to literary agent Becky Thomas, who is our finals judge and will pick the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner (each of whom will receive a cash prize, and critique).  In alphabetical order by author, the shortlist of six is:

  • Eva by Phil Bowne
  • Year One by Heather Cripps
  • The Masterpiece by Rod Griffiths
  • Paper Boats by Keely O’Shaughnessy
  • Claro by Meg Paul
  • All the Things We Knew by Senja Andrejevic

Congratulations to all who entered, and in particular our shortlisted entrants.  The three winners will be announced at this year’s anthology launch, for Compass: New Writing IV, on Tuesday October 27th at 6.45 p.m. in TC001/TC002A.  So come along to what’s shaping up to be a brilliant event.


Team UoG Strikes Again

5 Oct

The other week Creative Writing Lecturer and BA Course Leader Tyler Keevil was down in London to read at Waterstones Picadilly for the most recent Word Factory short story salon.  He performed alongside, and was in conversation with, Diriye Osman, Toby Litt, and Carys Davies, recent winner of the Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize for her stunning collection, The Redemption of Galen Pike.  The readings and interview with host Cathy Gavin should be on WordFactory.tv shortly, so you’ll be able see Tyler hamming it up if you’re not sick of hearing him in your classes.

More importantly, on the same night Word Factory announced the winners of its Neil Gaiman-inspired short story competition, Fables For a Modern Word.  So imagine Tyler’s surprise when he looked out in the audience to see UoG MA student Rod Griffiths in the crowd, who had entered the contest and come to support the event.  Then, to both their delight, Rod’s piece, ‘A Ghost’s Story,’ was revealed as one of the winning entries.  The challenge?  To complete a fable based on Gaiman’s opening line: ‘Long ago, in the days when there were still fish in the oceans and cars on the roads, there lived a woman who was not afraid of governments…’  Rod’s winning piece will be published on the Word Factory website, and possibly in a forthcoming anthology; he also wins a year’s free entry to all forthcoming Word Factory events.  Below is a pic of Rod with judges Toby Litt and Cathy Gavin, and other winners from the night.

Word factory

Stroud Short Stories

14 Mar

The Compass anthology may have moved on to the next stage of the editorial process, but there are other new and exciting publishing opportunities fast approaching.  One of them is the latest Stroud Short Stories Competition, which is aimed at writers in Gloucestershire (and welcomes submissions from students here at UoG).  Full details and contest guidelines are available on their website.  The main point to note is that they accept both published and unpublished work, so if your piece has been accepted elsewhere (including Compass) you’re still free to submit it to them.  The deadline is a week today, on Saturday March 21st.  As usual, ten selected authors will get to take part in a reading event at the Stroud Valleys Artspace, and their work may also be included in a forthcoming print anthology.  Good luck and do us proud!

stroud short stories image 2

Announcing the Second Annual UoG Novel Writing Contest!

1 Feb

bookFor those who haven’t submitted, you have less than 24 hours to send your novel excerpt and synopsis to the Myriad First Drafts Novel Competition, which closes tomorrow at noon.  If you don’t have anything ready, fear not: as one window of opportunity closes, another opens here at UoG.  That’s right, folks: the 2015 UoG Novel Writing Contest is now officially open.  You have four months to draft, rewrite, polish, and hone your opus (or a 3,000 word extract thereof, and a synopsis) and get it in to us.  We will be accepting submissions from today, February 1st, until May 31st, 2015.  As with last year, the contest will be judged by literary agent Becky Thomas, of the Fox Mason agency, who will select from our shortlist her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners – each of whom will receive a professional industry critique as well as a cash prize.  Please check out our full submission guidelines and our main contest page for further details.  As Becky’s critique of last year’s winning entry demonstrates, the contest represents a real opportunity for students to make an industry connection and further their writing careers.  So what are you waiting for?  Get writing!

Myriad First Drafts Contest

17 Jan

Whew.  The new (and slightly extended) Semester 1 has finally drawn to a close, with the majority of BA and MA assessment having been handed in this past week.  Congratulations to all for making your deadlines (we hope) and take satisfaction in knowing the workload now passes to your tutors, who will be furiously (as in busily, not angrily) marking during the inter-semester week.  Now that you have a bit of respite, we thought we’d draw your attention to a great opportunity for new and upcoming writers.  We have had several guest speakers from Myriad Editions visit the course this year (more on this later) and the Brighton-based publisher is known for supporting and nurturing new talent; most notably, they run an annual writing competition entitled ‘First Drafts,’ which is open to all authors who’ve yet to publish a book.  The focus is on novels and short story collections, but in the initial instance you don’t need to have a full manuscript: just your sample chapters and synopsis.  It’s perfect for those on our Novel Writing Module (HM6105) and Creative Commissions & Proposals (HM7105) as many of you will already have a project in hand.  The prize includes a writing retreat at the beautiful West Dean College.  If you’re interested, the deadline is February 2; check out their guidelines by downloading the First Drafts Competition 2015 flyer, or through the Myriad website – and good luck!


Inaugural UoG Novel Writing Contest Winner Announced!

8 Dec

Last week, the launch of Carnival: New Writing III was made even more exciting (if that was possible) by the announcement on the night of the winner of our inaugural UoG Novel Writing Contest.  For those playing catch-up, the contest is open to all students enrolled on our Creative Writing BA or MA courses, or studying with us for a PhD – as well as exchange students, joints, and even students taking a single Creative Writing module.  The shortlist of six entries was sent to our judge, literary agent Becky Thomas of the Fox Mason Agency, who selected her three finalists.  Of those, we’re very proud to announce that the 1st place winner, and recipient of the £100 prize, was PhD student Duncan Dicks.  Becky provided a professional industry critique for all three finalists, and here is an extract from her critique of Duncan’s novel, Matlock:

I loved the central character, the setting, the coming of age element, the mystery of the Mappe and the conflated emotions of those formative years…It felt very Kes or Son of Rambow to me. It was the most rounded of the entries in that I liked the premise and the writing.  I’d be very keen to see how this develops.

Congratulations to Duncan, as well as to fellow finalists Jane Durston and Hayley Barnes.  Many thanks to Becky for acting as our judge, and we are happy to announce that the contest will become an annual feature on our course.  Watch this space for details of the 2015 contest, as the submission window will be opening soon!


Finalists Duncan Dicks, Jane Durston, and Hayley Barnes with Course Leader Tyler Keevil

Inaugural UoG Novel Writing Contest Finalists Announced!

28 Nov

fox_mason_headerIt’s been an exciting semester on the course, with further staff and student publications, prizes won, and the launch of the hugely popular, student-led magazine Show Don’t Tell.  This week has been particularly buzzing as we gear up for the launch of Carnival, the latest anthology from our in-house New Writing series.  To add to the excitement, we recently heard back from Becky Thomas at the Fox Mason agency, who has selected the three finalists in our inaugural UoG Novel Writing Contest, from the field of six shortlisted entrees.  Becky spoke highly of all the entrees, and narrowing down the field was a very difficult task.  However, it had to be done, and we’re now in a position to announce the finalists.  Drum roll, please…the novels still in contention are:

  • ‘Things We Should Have Done’ by Hayley Barnes (BA student)
  • ‘Matlock’ by Duncan Dicks (PhD student)
  • ‘The Good Housewife’s Frontal Lobotomy’ by Jane Durston (MA student)

A big congratulations to our finalists, as well as the other shortlisted entrants.  The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be announced at the Carnival launch next week, and the prizes given – including cash and a professional critique, courtesy of Becky and her team.  So if the suspense (and the way we’re dragging this out) is driving you nuts, you’ll have to come along on the night to find out who’s taken top spot!

Stroud Short Stories

7 Sep

After a summer of writing success for staff, current students, and alumni, here at UoG’s Writing School we’re gearing up for Induction Week in just over a week’s time.  Time to fire up those laptops, get out those notebooks, and sharpen those pencils in preparation for another year of writing, workshops, and procrastinating.  However, for those who are already chomping at the proverbial bit, can’t wait to get started, and have been developing new work over the holiday, this news flash is for you: Stroud Short Stories is currently seeking submissions from those who’d like to perform at its regular reading event.  Previously it was only open to those in the Stroud area, but the doors have been blown open and they’re seeking the best work from across Gloucestershire.  Ten stories will be selected from those submitted to be read at Stroud Valleys Artspace, in front of an appreciative audience.  Sound like your thing?  The deadline is September 28th, and the readings take place in October.  Check out the full rules and submission guidelines on the Stroud Short Stories website.  As for the rest of you, well, time to rouse yourselves from that summery slumber, shake yourselves off, and limber up for the autumn semester.  See you in a couple of weeks!

stroud short stories image 2

Space Newspaper – call for submissions

23 Mar

The University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union newspaper, Space, is inviting submissions of poetry and flash fiction for its next issue. The competition is open to all students at the University and it aims to find and showcase great student writing. The deadline for the next issue is midday on Wednesday 28th March. Flash fiction must be under 500 words. Poetry should be under 40 lines, although exceptions will be considered. There are no restrictions on forms. You can send your submissions or any questions to samkemp@connect.glos.ac.uk. This is an excellent opportunity for your work to reach a wide readership – good luck!


Anthology Deadline this Wednesday

4 Mar

The window for submissions to the University’s Creative Writing anthology, Smoke, will close at midnight this Wednesday (7th March); please note that under no circumstances will we be able to accept submissions received after that date. Thank you to everyone who has submitted so far. The standard, for both prose and poetry, has been high. All received submissions have been acknowledged within one working day, so, if you’ve not heard from us, please write to smoke@newwriting.org to confirm your entry has been received. If you would like your work to be considered for publication and still haven’t entered, please see the submission guidelines. Good luck!

Smoke Anthology

7 Feb

The deadline for the 2012 University of Gloucestershire Creative Writing Anthology, Smoke, is now just one month away. To be considered for publication, submissions must reach us by midnight on March 7th. We are inviting students to submit no more than 4000 words of prose and/or up to six poems. Please read the submission guidelines carefully before sending your work.

Contest For Young Writers

18 Jan

For those students who’ve just handed in stories for assignments, and are feeling particularly confident, you might consider taking it further and submitting your work to the contest being run by Gentlemen Press – a small press publisher based in Birmingham. They aren’t offering payment, but winners will be published in their anthology, and receive free copies of the publication – as well as being invited to attend the launch. However, the contest is limited to writers 21 and under (based anywhere in the UK). It also has specific guidelines regarding subject matter. They say:

The title of the anthology is Objection to Perfection and entrants are encouraged to use this title as a starting point for their pieces. Below you will find a list of topics that you can focus on for your short story. The winners will be the most creative writers whether it’s writing in email or texting format or submitting a story that is backwards this is a chance to play with your words.

Body image
Friends and relationships
Beliefs and tradition
Values and expectations
Bullying and repression/oppression
School and education

You can find out more on the Gentlemen Press website here: http://gentlemenpress.com/

Stroud Short Stories: submissions call

19 Dec

Stroud Short Stories is a night of short stories held at Stroud Valleys Artspace, John Street, Stroud. It features selected authors reading their short fiction and takes place three times a year, in February, July, and October. The next event is on Sunday 12th February and the deadline for submissions, on the Valentine’s-related theme of ‘Love and other Blows of Fate’, is on Sunday 15th January. To submit, please e-mail a short story of between 50 and 1500 words to stroudshortstories@yahoo.co.uk. For more information, check out their website or Facebook Page.

Non-fiction Writing Contest Submission Call

14 Dec

The London Library is running a non-fiction competition in collaboration with The Times. It’s open to all 3rd year undergraduate students across the UK, and first prize pays big dividends. I’d also say that the given topic – ‘The future of Britain lies with the right-hand side of the brain’ – is just begging to be subverted and undermined, particularly by a tough-talking, sharpshooting, analytically-minded Creative Writing student (from U of G, of course). If you feel up to the challenge, you’ll find the submission guidelines below, as well as a link to the competition website:

The London Library is delighted to be working with The Times and FreshMinds on this inaugural competition, open to all final year undergraduates studying at higher education institutions across the UK. This is an opportunity to expose your critical writing skills to thousands of readers – the winning piece will be published in the comment pages of The Times and in The London Library Magazine. (Please note this is not a creative writing competition). The winner and runners-up will also have the opportunity to spend some time with journalists at The Times as part of a mini-internship.

Rules of Entry
Submissions should be no longer than 800 words. The winner will be the entrant whose work, in the opinion of the judges, demonstrates the greatest creativity, clarity and originality of thought, and confident handling of the subject matter.

All entries should be received by The London Library by midnight on 12th January 2012. The judging panel will select a shortlist of four entries, to be announced in April 2012. The judges will choose a winner from this shortlist, to be announced in June 2012. Please ensure you read the Rules of Entry and Terms and Conditions before submitting your work. You can view the website here.

Short story opportunities in November

2 Nov

Deadline: Fri 25 Nov 2011. Maximum word count: 3500
Paraxis are looking for new short stories on the theme of ‘Transformation’. They say ‘We are open to all kinds of fiction, but you would have to work incredibly hard to convince us that including any of the following in your story is a good idea: fairies, vampires, zombies, werewolves, spaceships, dreary domestic wrangling.’
Find more information here.

Deadline: Sun 27th Nov 2011. Maximum word count: 5000
Duality are looking for previously unpublished short stories on the theme of ‘home.’ They say: ‘Duality Books is a collaboration between writers and illustrators to produce editions of books based on a central theme. The aim is to promote – individually and collectively – work through the book by having it distributed to as many people as possible.’
Submission information is available here.

Deadline Wed 30th Nov 2011. Maximum word count: 1200
The inaugural ‘Write Exposure’ prize is ‘an exciting new National competition, launched specifically for the promotion of budding writers.’ They say: ‘The Write Exposure Prize for Short Fiction and Poetry is an exciting opportunity for previously unpublished writers to not only feel the immediate rush of success with a cash prize, but to have their winning piece published on our web site, complete with a short biography of you and your work.’
Click here for more information and to apply.

Good luck!