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On the 26th we are having a session of thought and craft as our speakers Dennis Conlon and Sean Heslin lead us through talks and activities, as we explore the concepts of Developing Character Voice and Developing Authorial Voice.
It is a free event, though donations are encouraged. Any level of writing ability is welcome and we invite anyone who has an interest to come along and enjoy an evening of expanding writing concepts in unexpected directions.
Calendar will be updated as and when required
|23rd||Poetry Workshop @ Fables Fest @ Edge Hill University|
|29th||Last day for subs! Also EGM and Guest Speaker Bob Stone|
|26th||‘Voice’ Workshop with Dennis Conlon and Sean Heslin|
|30th||Final Submissions for Poetry Competition|
|12th||Southport Festival – Creative Workshop, Atkinson 11am|
|31st||Joan Nicholson Award Judging – Bob Stone|
|21st||Poetry Adjudication TBC|
|31st||Final submissions for Short Story competition|
|20th||Xmas Readings and Last meeting of 2018|
|10th||First meeting of 2019|
|28th||Last day for annual subs|
On the 23rd March (a Friday) we will be delighted to be taking part in the inaugural Fables Fest, a gathering of literary types from all over the North for a day of discussions and wordy enjoyment.
We will be doing an hour long poetry workshop at 11am, and everyone is more than welcome to come down and see what is happening.
Chief Judge: Alison Chisholm
Alison has written 11 poetry collections and had her work broadcast on both TV and radio. She lives in Southport and has been teaching poetry and creative writing for over 30 years. She has written courses for the Merseyside and North West Open College boards, as well as running workshops across the UK, including at Swanwick, NAWG Festival of Writing, The Writers’ Holiday, Fishguard, The Writers’ Summer School, and Relax and Write weekends. Currently, Alison works as a poetry consultant and regularly contributes to Writing Magazine.
RULES: Please read carefully
Envelopes should be sent to:-
Southport Writers’ Circle Poetry Competition
60 Dinorwic Rd,
Please DO NOT send entries by recorded delivery or send any other confirming material such as return postcards.
Online entries CLICK HERE
This year’s standard of entries was just as high as previous ones and our shortlisting team had real trouble filtering out the best for Joanne to peruse. The most common theme this year was ‘Divorce’ which was a new one for us, but the perennial ‘Ghost story’ showed its face more than a few times in the literary mix. Globally, entrants were fairly spread out, with France, Spain and New Zealand being represented this year and also a small story from the Isle of Skye.
Every entry though had a different idea as to what was a good story and many of them were exactly that, however, as ever, the massed ranks of creativity were whittled away to leave us with but a scant handful of winners. Well done to them and to everyone else who entered.
Those who did not make the cut, we encourage you to keep trying, as one day it could be you on that ethereal winner’s podium claiming a prize for your excellent writing.
Judges Report – Joanne Reardon
First Prize: Giving Him Back – Valerie Bowes
Understated and assured writing which pulls the reader into a world where nothing is quite as it seems. Three children spending an unremarkable day at the beach building sandcastles and playing football are disturbed by a young child who has wandered into their space. When the eldest child, Mara, tries to return him to his family she finds that this simple task is not as easy as she imagines. This is a gentle ghost story just strange enough to undermine our expectations but familiar enough to imagine ourselves in the same predicament. It does what all good short stories do and captures a whole lifetime in an instant and although the reader has to work to get to the final twist in the story, the trouble is worth it. The writer creates an engaging and believable world full of longing and regret.
Second Prize: Hara-kiri – Richard Stephenson
Another story where a familiar world becomes something completely unexpected and the reader is shaken out of complacency into a world altogether darker and more unsettling. The writer paces the narrative with care starting by establishing the familiar banality of office life where spreadsheets and data are analysed in detail and where one badly misjudged decision can bring down a corporation. So far, so familiar, but our sense of equilibrium is challenged by events in the story and the elegance of Japanese ritual combines with British stiff upper lip to take a dark turn, which lingers in the reader’s mind long after the story has ended.
Third Prize: Old – Marcia Woolf
This was a moving story where moment by moment emotions find themselves poised on a knife’s edge as though one wrong word or move could break the carefully wrought tension. This matches the content and tone of the story which takes place in the aftermath of a funeral where long held secrets remain stubbornly unresolved. Despite the final confrontation between mother and son being a little too predictable which tends to lessen the tension overall, the story nevertheless has credibility and honesty which would easily connect with a reader.
Highly Commended: Stranger, Stranger – Robert Kibble
Nothing is quite as it seems in this story where a parent’s worst nightmare is realised as a child disappears in the London Underground. There are some good narrative decisions here – the first person narrative voice creates genuine warmth and honesty and the use of the immediate present holds the reader in the grip of the narrator’s fears. Bringing in a second first person narrative does slightly undermine the control of the narrative, it being hard to convince of two personal stories in such a short space of time, but genuine promise in the writing here all the same.
If Walls Could Talk – Pamela Trudie Hodge,
Parka Billy – Juliet Hill
On the 18th January we are holding a gentle evening of encouragement for those who have promised themselves that they would write more this year, with activities designed to stimulate in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
It will be at our usual venue of Parenting 2000 at 8pm.
Activities so far include:
Making a Character Breathe
Hello writers! Just to let you know that the Short Story 2017 is in it’s final stages of judging, however the winning announcement is being postponed till January.
General public availability of results will be after the Awards Ceremony on 25th Jan, but main winners will be informed sooner than that so we can sort out prizes and so on.
Watch this space…
Just so you are all aware, the next few weeks have shifted around a bit:
7th Sept – Normal meeting
14th Sept – No Meeting – Going to see members play Tadpoles at 81 Renshaw Street, Liverpool at 7.30pm.
21st – Mills and Boon Night In Honour of Roger Sanderson
Tonight at the usual venue we are having one of our always excellent Workshop nights, so feel free to come down and exercise your creative juices.
Also! Short Story 2017 is officially launched, with Chief Judge Jo Reardon lined up to sift the winners from the piles of creative talent. Note- the address for entries has changed this year, so check the rules carefully.
First prize: £150 Second prize: £80 Third prize: £30
Closing date: 31st October 2017
Online entries CLICK HERE
Chief Judge: Jo Reardon
Jo’s fiction has been published in magazines and anthologies including The London Magazine and Mafia and she was runner up in the Cinnamon Short Story Prize 2014. In collaboration with artist Iain Andrews her short story, ‘My Mind’s Eye’, was published at the Warrington Arts Festival (2012) and ‘Still Life with Blackbirds’ at the Corinium Museum, Cirencester with artist Richard Kenton Webb in 2016. She also writes for radio where she was a Producer for many years at BBC Radio Drama. Jo studied Creative Writing at UEA and Lancaster University and is now a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Open University. Passionate about the short story, she is looking forward to reading the shortlisted entries hoping to find something that will surprise, delight, maybe even shock but above all, hold the reader in its hand from start to finish.
Optional – Paper saving single-spaced entries encouraged.
Send postal entries to:
Short Story Competition
Online entries CLICK HERE