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.

Short Story Competition
Entries may be on any subject and should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length.

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
Entries may be on any subject but must not exceed 40 lines in length.

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
Stories in this category may be on any subject. We ask, however, that the stories are aimed at readers aged 9+; this allows entrants to write either middle grade or teenage novels. We also ask for the first three chapters only, plus a synopsis

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 in October. Immediately preceding this, the shortlisted poets will be invited to read their entries.

Terms and Conditions

For full terms and conditions click HERE

The deadline for all entries is midnight on 30th June 2017

Enter Online

Click HERE for instructions

Enter by Post

Printed entries must be on A4 paper and accompanied by the entry form and payment. To ensure anonymity, please do not put your name or address on the poem or on either of the stories. Click HERE for the entry form.

Payment in sterling (cheques or postal orders payable to Wells Festival of Literature). Please include a stamped self-addressed envelope or postcard if you would like a receipt, and keep a copy of your work.

Send your entry to WFL Competitions, 2, Knapp Hill House, Wells, Somerset BA5 3HT

Shortlisting, judging, prize-giving, reading of shortlisted poems

Prizes for all three categories (Poetry, Short Story and A Book for Children) will be presented on Sunday 15th October 2017. All shortlisted participants will be notified in advance.

Before the prize-giving, shortlisted poets will be invited to read their successful entries in a poetry reading celebration. All are welcome to this culmination of the competitions, and the occasion offers poets and members of the public the opportunity to meet and enjoy each other’s achievements.

All shortlisted poems will be printed in the admission ticket / programme which will be available from mid September. Please note, the Poetry Society advises us that a poem’s appearance in this entry ticket does not constitute ‘publication’.

Following the poetry readings, the prizes will be awarded for all three categories and a list of the successful authors/ poets, together with the titles of their works, will be posted on the Wells Festival of Literature website after the conclusion of the ceremony. All poems from the short list will also be included.

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