Essex Book Festival's 500-word short story winners
Here is the shortlist:
Gold Medal Father by Liz Andersen
2020 Vision by Hollie Hughes
1am Blessing by Oliver King
Something Beginning with L by Gary Kittle
The Hanging Man by Jo Norris
Flowers by Bella D’Arcy Reed
Announcing the shortlist, chair of the judging panel Andrew Burton said that the jury was impressed by the quality of the entries. ‘There is clearly a great wealth of creative writing talent throughout Essex and I hope that the support package we have set up for the shortlisted writers will help them develop, flourish and grow in confidence on their writing journey.’
The shortlisted writers will attend a development day in early February, hosted by Chelmsford Library and led by overall competition judge Professor Andrew Cowan, Director of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. As well as taking part in a creative writing workshop on the day, each writer will receive a one-to-one script surgery with Andrew Cowan and will receive a small financial commission to help develop their story. Three of the shortlisted writers will regularly blog about their experience of the development process and these blogs will be posted at www.essexbookfestival.org.uk
At 8pm on Tuesday 12 March at the Mercury Studio Theatre in Colchester, all six shortlisted writers will read their stories at the Essex Book Festival’s Less is More: Celebrating Shorter Fiction event, which will also feature readings from regional short story publishers Unthank Books and from flash fiction expert David Gaffney.
The overall Get it Writ winner will be announced at 7.45pm on Wednesday 20 March at Witham Library at the Essex Book Festival Kindling Short Stories event, which also includes readings from début novelists Peggy Riley and Brian Kimberling, both authors being published this spring by Tinder Press, a major new UK imprint which specialises in shorter fiction.
The theme of the competition was ‘the legacy of summer 2012’ and entrants were encouraged to interpret this as freely and imaginatively as they wished, using no more than 500 words.
The Essex Book Festival is a month-long annual celebration of literature which takes place across the county during March. Operated by an independent trust, the Festival is supported by the Arts Council England, England, Essex County Council and the University of Essex. Get it Writ is additionally supported by Essex County Council’s 2012 Legacy Team.
See their website to see the full programme of this year’s festival.