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A post by Sally O’Reilly

We live in a culture obsessed with speed: fast-food, Twitter, overnight celebrity, instant make-overs and cutting edge techno-gadgets. We drive too fast, desperate to get ahead literally as well as metaphorically. And when we get home we surf TV, scroll through Facebook, eat, drink and talk on the phone. Apparently, the only thing we want to slow down in the modern world is the ageing process – and it’s no surprise that our solution to that problem is a quick injection of Botox or a lunch-time facelift.

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Applications Now Open for the $10,000 Steinbeck Fellows Program
Applications are currently being accepted for the Steinbeck Fellows Program of San José State University. The program offers emerging writers of any age and background the opportunity to pursue a significant writing project while in residence at SJSU.

The emphasis of the program is on helping writers who have had some success, but not published extensively, and whose promising work would be aided by the financial support and sponsorship of the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies and the University’s creative writing program. While the program in named in honor of John Steinbeck, there does not need to be any direct connection between Steinbeck’s works and that of the applicant.

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The Digital Writers’ Festival describes itself as ‘an online carnival dedicated to what happens when technology and the written world collide’. Organised by Australia’s Emerging Writers’ Festival, the Digitial Writers’ Festival is the only event of its kind, with all of its programming taking place entirely online.

Starting on 1 November and running for eleven days, the 2016 festival program aims to connect and inspire emerging writers from around the globe. All events will be live streamed via and available to anyone with access to the internet. The majority events are free.

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Deadlines and details do sometimes change, so please check the relevant websites (linked in bold) for all the latest terms and conditions. For more writing competitions and writing-related news follow Aerogramme Writers’ Studio on Facebook and Twitter.

Indiana Review Fiction Prize
This competition is open to short stories up to 8000 words in length. The winner receives US$1000 and publication in Indiana Review. The final judge is author Aimee Bender and all entries will be considered for publication. Entries close on 31 October.

Chris O’Malley Prize in Fiction
is offered annually by The Madison Review. The winning story will be awarded US$1000 and publication. Entries may be up to 30 pages. The Madison Review also runs the Phyllis Smart-Young Prize in Poetry. Entries for both prizes close on 1 November.

Commonwealth Short Story Prize
is an annual award for unpublished short fiction open to citizens of the 53 Commonwealth countries. The prize covers the five Commonwealth regions: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean and Pacific. One winner will be selected from each region, with one regional winner to be selected as the overall winner. The overall winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize will receive £5000 and the remaining four regional winners receive £2500. Entries close 1 November.

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We Need to Talk About Money:

A guest post by Yi Shun Lai

The other day my husband fixed our bathroom sink with a video on YouTube, and I read a tutorial on how to build a wall planter.

So I was kind of surprised when I saw someone in an online writer’s community I’m in ask whether or not we thought her MFA program should be teaching her about the business of publishing. I mean, if I can learn rudimentary Spanish from an app, surely this person, who’s paying thousands of dollars to learn how to have a career in the written arts, should expect to learn how to . . . well, have a career.

I guess a little background is due: I’m a writing coach and editor. I’m also a novelist, and I edit nonfiction at a literary magazine. I cut my teeth in the consumer magazine world, and write marketing copy and teach workshops. In short, I make my living with words. I have an MFA myself, from an institution I chose specifically because its faculty comprised working writers, and a certificate in publishing from what is now the Columbia Publishing Course (when I graduated, it was still the Radcliffe Publishing Course). I got much of my writing-business acumen on the job, and when the time came to write and query my novel, I learned almost everything from friends who were literary agents, and, eventually, more timely information from my MFA program.

I’ve noticed a few things that crop up again and again when folks talk about writing and what place business has in it, and where and how you should learn these things. I’ll address them from my point of view below. And I invite you to partake in a conversation about them in the comments. Here we go:

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Boulevard Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers

Boulevard is accepting entries for its annual short fiction contest for emerging writers. The winner will receive US$1500 and have their story published in the magazine.

Boulevard is an American literary magazine established in 1985 and based at St. Louis University in Missouri. Boulevard aims to publish the finest in fiction, poetry and non-fiction and was described by Poet Laureate Daniel Hoffman as ‘one of the half-dozen best literary journals’. The magazine has been edited throughout its history by Richard Burgin, a five-time Pushcart Prize winner.

Boulevard’s Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers is only open people who have not yet published a book of fiction, poetry or creative non-fiction with a nationally distributed press. Stories may be up to 8000 words and must be previously unpublished.

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Study Storied Women with Iowa’s International Writing Program

This October the University of Iowa’s acclaimed International Writing Program is offering a new free online course.

The course, How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women, will focus on female authorial voices and female literary characters. Through class videos, readings and writing assignments participants will be invited to experiment with the creation of fictional characters, scenes and stories.

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