2017 Competitions

This year, to celebrate our Silver Anniversary, we have raised the prize money to 1st: £750, 2nd: £300 and 3rd: £200 in all three categories. We are continuing to offer the Hilly Cansdale local poetry prize of £100 and the Wyvern local short story prize, also £100. In addition there will be a £100 local prize in the Book for Children category.

The competitions have now all closed and entries are being considered for shortlisting. We were delighted with the quality of the entries in all three categories, and with the quantity. We seem to receive more submissions every year!

Deciding on the shortlist is a time-consuming job and is unlikely to be completed before mid-September. All those who are shortlisted will be contacted in person as soon as the list is compiled – but please don’t expect to hear anything before the last week in September.

Short Story Competition
Maria McCann Short Story Judge - Wells Festival of LiteratureThe judge will be Maria McCann, author of As Meat Loves Salt which was an Economist Book of the Year. Maria also wrote The Wilding which was longlisted for the Orange Prize and was a Richard and Judy Book Club choice. Her most recent novel Ace, King, Knave was equally well received. She has also contributed to various anthologies, most recently to Why Willows Weep and Beacons.
Poetry Competition
Gillian Clarke Poetry Judge - Wells Festival of LiteratureGillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales from 2008 – 2016, will judge the competition. Gillian, one of our leading modern poets, was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010 and the Wilfred Owen Award in 2012. She has written for radio, and has translated poetry and prose from Welsh. Her last collection Ice was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Award in 2012 and her next collection Zoology is due to be published in August 2017.
A Book for Children Competition
Steve Voake A Book for Children Judge - Wells Festival of LiteratureSteve Voake will judge this category. His award-winning novels for young adults include The Dreamwalker’s Child, The Starlight Conspiracy and Blood Hunters. He has also written the Daisy Dawson and Hooey Higgins series for younger readers and Insect Detective, a non-fiction picture book. A senior lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University and a tutor for the Arvon Foundation, Steve regularly runs writing workshops for gifted and talented children as well as providing talks and creative writing workshops in schools across the country.
The judges will also present prizes at a special ceremony that will take place in the Bishop’s Palace during the Festival on Sunday 15 October, starting at 4.30pm. Preceding this, at 3.30pm, the shortlisted poets will be invited to read their work. Entry to these events is free.

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