Writing Competitions Now Open

Hastings Literary Festival has launched its writing competitions for 2020, offering prizes of up to £200 as well as support packages for emerging local writers. Last year writers from Hastings, St Leonards and Bexhill fought off stiff competition from hundreds of national and international entries to win prizes in the competitions. This year’s contest again features short story, flash fiction and poetry categories as well as new competitions for writers of black and minority ethnic (BAME) origin and young writers.

Short stories can be up to 2,500 words, poetry up to 40 lines, flash fiction up to 500 words and short stories in the BAME category up to 5,000 words. Entrants can choose the topic of their choice for the short story, poetry and flash fiction categories. Entries for the BAME short story competition should be on the theme of climate change. 

There are three prizes for the short story, poetry, flash fiction and BAME short story competitions: winner £200; runner-up £100 and third place £50. New Writing South is also offering a bespoke one-to-one writer’s surgery and free NWS membership to the most promising prose writer living in Sussex plus free membership for one year for a Sussex-based entrant from the short story, poetry and flash fiction categories.

The winner of the BAME short story competition will be awarded a weekend writer’s retreat at The Studio, just outside Hastings, courtesy of arts organisation B&R Productions. www.bandrproductions.co.uk/the-studio-creativeretreat 

Full details including prizes and rules are available at www.hastingslitfest.org Details of a new writing competition for under-18s will be available soon.

The poetry category will be judged by John McCullough, author of three critically-acclaimed poetry collections. Tabatha Stirling, commissioning editor of Stirling Publishing, will judge the short story and writer Sarah Leavesley, who is editor at V.Press, will judge the flash fiction section. Writer and director Christine Harmar-Brown will judge the BAME short story competition.

Hastings Literary Festival celebrates its third year in 2020 and runs from Thursday, August 27 to Sunday, August 30. Since it began in 2018 it has hosted nearly 100 events and welcomed a host of internationally-renowned writers including Sir David Hare, Patrick Gale, Sophie Hannah, Kerry Hudson, Salena Godden, Sally Gardner, Kevin Brooks, Simon Mawer, Sarfraz Manzoor, Maggie Alderson, Alice Roberts and Kei Miller. 

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