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International Competitions 2017
Short Story +++  Poetry +++  A Book for Children

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Wells Festival of Literature we have increased the prizes in all three of our competition categories.
These are now 1st: £750   2nd: £300   3rd: £200

In addition we will still be awarding the Hilly Cansdale local poetry prize of £100, the Wyvern local short story prize, also £100 and, this year for the first time, a local prize of £100 for A Book for Children.

Short Story Competition
Entries may be on any subject and should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length. The 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, Knavewas equally well received. She has also contributed to various anthologies, most recently to Why Willows Weep and Beacons. You can ‘meet’ her on our Coffee with… page.

Poetry Competition
Entries may be on any subject but may not exceed 40 lines in length. Gillian 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 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.

To enter our competitions, and to see the terms and conditions for 2017, please go to our 2017 Competitions page.

Good luck!

Maria McCann Short Story Judge - Wells Festival of Literature
Maria McCann will judge the Short Story
Gillian Clarke Poetry Judge - Wells Festival of Literature
Gillian Clarke will judge the Poetry
Steve Voake A Book for Children Judge - Wells Festival of Literature
Steve Voake will judge A Book for Children
WFL Cathedral

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