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Welcome to the Writers Connect! Newsletter

Welcome to the Writers Connect! newsletter.

Writing is a human experience. It’s about connection with everyone and everything around us.

We understand you’re busy. So the newsletter usually has just four or five main items of content. A brief but satisfying read.

In this issue:

  • Write Here, Right Now: What’s Happening in Writing
  • Word of the Day. An unusual word to keep your writing fresh
  • Interesting Fact
  • Writing Inspiration

Write Here, Right Now: What’s Happening in Writing

In this issue, we explore writing competitions that close at the very end of July 2020.

For competition closing dates, bear in mind these relate to the time zone where the competition originates, so check the relevant site.


Comp 1: Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award

It’s heartening these organisers encourage simultaneous submissions. They acknowledge that ‘writers have the right to continue promoting and offering their work while waiting for the decisions of literary organizations’

About: Hidden River Arts offers this award for an original collection of short stories. Previous publication of individual stories is acceptable (see conditions on organiser’s website)

Open to: International writers in English. Multiple submissions, and simultaneous submissions (i.e. submission elsewhere)  accepted

Word count: No limit

Theme: Appears to be open. Check with organiser

Closes: 30 July 2020

Entry fee: $20 (US)

Prize: $1,000 and publication by Hidden River Press

Information and entry here: https://hiddenriverarts.wordpress.com/awards-deadlines-and-guidelines/hawk-mountain-short-story-collection-award/



Comp 2: 12th Casa África Essay Prizes

This inclusive competition allows essays in Spanish, French, Portuguese and English

About: Original and unpublished essays on African themes to enhance people’s knowledge of the African continent – written in Spanish, English, French or Portuguese

Open to: International, 18+

Word Count: 15,000 minimum to 20,000 maximum

Theme: Climate change in Africa

Closes: 31 July 2020

Entry fee: Free

Prizes: €2,000

Information here: http://www.casafrica.es/en/agenda_europa_africa.jsp?DS28.PROID=916523



Comp 3: Seán O’Faoláin Short Story Competition

What a fabulous opportunity for short story writers to visit beautiful Ireland, COVID allowing…

About: Original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in English. Multiple and simultaneous submissions accepted

Open to: International

Word count: Maximum 3,000

Theme: Any subject, in any style

Closes: 31 July 2020

Entry fee: €18

Prize: First = €2,000 + publication + accommodation at Cork International Short Story Festival + 1-week residency at writer’s retreat. Let’s hope COVID allows, because read on! ‘Located just outside the colourful village of Eyeries on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Anam Cara is a tranquil spot structured to provide support and sanctuary for people working in the creative arts. It offers private and common working rooms as well as five acres of walking paths, thirty-four nooks and crannies, a river cascades and a river island, gardens, and a labyrinth meadow. Editorial consultation is also available.’ Wow! Second prize = €500 + publication. Four Runners-Up = €250 + publication

Details here: https://www.munsterlit.ie/SOF%20Page.html



Comp 4: Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award

An exciting opportunity for young poets to strut their stuff and be published

About: Work must be original and unpublished and written in English

Open to: Young poets 11—17 internationally writing in English

Word Count: Any length

Theme: Open

Closes: 31 July 2020

Entry fee: Free

Prize: First 15 winners = publication in anthology + attendance at residential writing course at one of the prestigious Arvon Centres, or mentoring from a professional poet (age dependent). The 85 commended poets = publication in online anthology and names in print anthology.

Guidelines & entry here: https://poetrysociety.org.uk/competitions/foyle-young-poets-of-the-year-award/



Comp 5: Winchester Poetry Prize 2020

While I’m sure all writing competition judges look for the ‘wow factor’ in writing, the judge of the Winchester Poetry Price actually says so: ‘Then there’s that extra thing, the wow-factor … the moment a poem becomes literature’

About: Previously unpublished poems on any theme

Open to: Anyone 18+

Word Count: No longer than 40 lines (excluding title)

Theme: Any subject, any form or style, in English

Closes: 31 July 2020

Entry fee: £5 first poem, £4 each subsequent poem

Prize: First = £1,000. 2nd = £500. 3rd = £250

Details here: https://www.winchesterpoetryfestival.org/prize



Word of the Day


Did you know that the name of this snuggly garment originates from a Persian word pāy-jāmeh (‘leg clothing’)? The word was only introduced into English around 1800.



Interesting Fact

In English, loanwords – words that are borrowed from other languages – make up an astonishing 80% of the English language and represent around 350 other languages.



Get Inspired

Spanish author Rosa Montero, renowned journalist and correspondent for Spain’s El País newspaper, has an interesting perspective on writing: ‘The truth about being a writer is that you do not choose the stories you tell; the stories choose you. Therefore, you do not choose characters either. Novels are like dreams you dream with your eyes open; they are books which appear in your head with the same apparent immediateness as they appear in your dreams at night.’ In speaking about her novel Te trataré como a una Reina (I will Treat you like a Queen), she says, ‘I almost went crazy because my characters did not let me say what I wanted and kept forcing me to speak about things I had … [not intended] to mention. So I came to the conclusion that I had to be true to them, because they had a life of their own.’

If you’re interested in reading an article by Rosa Montero, here’s a great one published in El País about cultural prejudices and stereotypes: Never Mind the Bullfights https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/mar/30/spains-changed-national-character

Keep well, keep safe, keep writing 🙂

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