Opportunities for Writers October and November 2014

 

Over 90 competitions, publication opportunities, fellowships and more.

Please check the relevant websites for all terms and conditions and be aware that entry fees are payable in many cases. 

Boston Review’s Aura Estrada Short Story Contest
will be judged in 2014 by Ruth Ozeki, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for A Tale for the Time Being. The winning author will receive US $1500 and have his or her work published in the summer edition of Boston Review. Entries close 1 October.

Vermont Studio Center
is the largest international artists’ and writers’ Residency Program in the United States, hosting 50 visual artists and writers each month from across the country and around the world. The Studio Center provides 2-12 week studio residencies on a historic 30-building campus along the Gihon River in Johnson, Vermont. The next application deadline is 1 October.

Zoetrope All-Story’s Annual Fiction Contest
has the aim of seeking out and encouraging talented writers, with the winning and runners-up’s work being forwarded to leading literary agents. A first prize of US$1000 is also offered. Stories can be up to 5000 words. Entries close 1 October.

Southern Indiana Review’s Mary C. Mohr Editors’ Award
will award a prize of US $2000 and publication for a poem or poems up to 10 pages long.All themes and subject matters are eligible and all submissions will be considered for publication. Entries close 1 October.

Bernheim Forest Writing Residencies
are offered in collaboration with Sarabande Books and Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest. The Bernheim Forest Writing Residency is located in a 14,000 acre forest and nature preserve located near Louisville, Kentucky. Residents receive a $500 honorarium and stay for between 4 and 12 weeks in a furnished cabin. Applications close 1 October.

Stinging Fly
publishes new, previously unpublished work by Irish and international writers. It has a particular interest in promoting the short story. Each issue also includes a mix of poetry, book reviews and essays, alongside occasional author interviews and novel extracts. Submissions reopen in October. Continue Reading…

Many people will simply recognise John Hodgman as the face of PC in the ‘Get a Mac’ commercials that aired on television between 2006 and 2009. But Hodgman is also a former literary agent and a very talented comedy writer. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and Wired, and he is the author of three books including The Areas of My Expertise, described as “a lavish compendium of handy reference tables, fascinating trivia, and sage wisdom – all of it completely unresearched, completely undocumented and (presumably) completely untrue, fabricated by the illuminating, prodigious imagination of John Hodgman, certifiable genius.”

In this video recorded for Radical Media’s THNKR, Hodgman shares his tips on how to make it as a writer.

For more about John Hodgman visit website or follow him on Twitter.

The American Library in Paris Visiting Fellowship

The American Library in Paris is a private, non-profit English-language library located in the 7th arrondissement. It was founded in 1920 by the American Library Association using cases of books sent to U.S. soldiers serving in France during World War I. Among the first trustees of the Library was the expatriate American author Edith Wharton, and Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein were both early patrons.

First awarded in 2013, the Library’s Visiting Fellowship offer writers and researchers the opportunity to pursue a creative project in Paris for a month or longer while participating actively in the life of the American Library. The project may be a book (fiction or non-fiction), long-form journalism, film or music.

Fellows receive a stipend of US$5000 to assist with travel and housing costs. Fellows are expected to present their work-in-progress to the public in a weekday evening talk at the Library, and to conduct one or two workshops for Library members on a subject of common interest.  Continue Reading…

Judging Your Own Work

4 September 2014 — 3 Comments

Judging Your Own Work - Brian McDonald

By award-winning writer and director Brian McDonald
Excerpted from Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate

 

A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
– Thomas Mann

Don’t write for other writers. People are drawn to writing for different reasons and many people do it to seem smart. If you have a good first act, most will never recognize it, because they’re not really clear on what a first act does. They know nothing of construction, but will turn their noses up at the idea of it anyway. The less they know about it the more they will object to it.

The one thing I have noticed about people who are exceptional in their creative work is that they are always trying to get better. That’s how they got good in the first place. These people judge themselves against the best work. They aim for the top.

Just worry about the craft and the art will take care of itself.

Continue Reading…

I.

Eleanor Catton, winner in 2013 for The Luminaries
“Read everything. You can learn from everything that has a narrative—books, of course, but also films, TV shows, computer games, advertisements, conversations, speeches, articles, the news. Read things you don’t like, and try to figure out why you don’t like them. Ask ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ as much as possible, and don’t be content with an easy answer.”

 II.

Hilary Mantel, winner in 2012 for Bring Up the Bodies and in 2009 for Wolf Hall.
“Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change. This is especially important for historical fiction. When your character is new to a place, or things alter around them, that’s the point to step back and fill in the details of their Continue Reading…

The Morland Scholarship for African Writers

Applications are now open the Morland Scholarship for Writers for 2015. Three scholarships of £18,000 (US $30,000) each will be awarded to writers who were born in Africa or whose parents were born in Africa. The 2014 scholarship attracted over 350 applications.

About the Scholarship
This scholarship is sponsored by the Miles Morland Foundation. The foundation’s focus is culture and education with a particular interest in writing. Other projects supported by the foundation include the Caine Prize for African Writing

The three successful applicants will each receive a grant of £18,000, paid monthly over the course of the 2015 calendar year. Each of the scholarship recipients will also have the opportunity to be mentored by an established author or publisher.

Continue Reading…

Research Tools Every Writer Needs

In this guest post historical fiction author Kelly Gardiner shares some of the wonderful free resources that writers can use to make the most out of their research time.

‘Do research. Feed your talent. Research not only wins the war on cliché, it’s the key to victory over fear and its cousin, depression.’ – Robert McKee, Story

All writers need research. Whether you’re writing a memoir based largely on your own life, a story set in a neighbourhood you know well, a fantasy in a created universe, or a feature article, research can add depth, verisimilitude, and those telling details that further plot or character.

I write historical fiction, which involves more research than some other forms – luckily, I love the process of imagining, seeking, finding, interrogating and then integrating (or not) material that helps me populate an imagined past and draw its people.

So here are a few things I’ve learned that can help you, no matter what form your writing takes.

Find, don’t search

It seems so easy to look stuff up, doesn’t it? A quick Google search, and there’s a world of information at your fingertips. But is it what you really want, and is it any good?

Some tips on searching well: first, start with a broad query then refine it. You can add extra words to it if they are useful refinements, but don’t just keep adding terms. Think about what material you want to find. Who would write that? Try to imagine the words they would use to describe it. A good example is health information. If you want to see results from a whole lot of health forums on which people discuss their symptoms, use common words. If you want to read informed medical advice, search using terms a doctor or medico might use.

Continue Reading…