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Creative Writing Retreats

Up your word count and learn with great authors on residential writing retreats.

 

Online Creative Writing Courses

Get writing with the online courses.

Competitions

Get your work read by top literary agents, win cash prizes and get published in the creative writing competitions.

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Discover great new authors and read great stories with Retreat West Books.

2018 Short Story Prize and Flash Fiction Prize shortlist

January 21, 2019
Drum roll…finally we have the shortlist. Thanks to all the writers on the longlist for their patience while Louise and I re-read the stories many times. We agreed on most of the stories below straight away but there were a few where we had to debate. Our final decision is below, and the names of the authors can now be revealed too. Congratulations to all on the shortlist below and well done to everyone who made the longlist too. All of the following writers will receive a cash prize and have their story published in paperback and ebook by Retreat West Books. The stories have now gone to the judges to read. Paul McVeigh will be choosing the top three for the short stories and Kathy Fish for the flash fictions. Results in February. This year’s prize will open in March and we have some great new judges lined up already. 2018 RW Short Story Prize Shortlist Between The Times by Richard Buxton Future Shock by Lorri Nicholson I Visit My Dad Every Thursday by Dave Murray Like A Dog by Rhys Timson Something Else by Sophie Kirkwood The Lost Letter by Lucy Duggan The Stutter by Alexis Wolfe The Tailor’s Shears by David Butler Will You Go Out Tonight by Joanna Campbell Satellite Presence by A.C. Koch 2018 RW Flash Fiction Prize Shortlist A Beige Spot by Manisha Khemka Broken Shackles At Her Feet by Dean Gessie Burger Raid by David McVey Connor And His Amazing Ejector Boots by James Ellis Gold Band by Niamh McCabe How to Friend Your Shadow by Frances Gapper Let It Snow by Gwenda Major Old Woman Cooking Eggs, Diego Valesquez 1618 by Fiona Mackintosh Sticking Point by Sherry Morris The Problem Is by Xanthi Barker   Best of luck to all of these writers for the final judging round.    

2018 RW Short Story Prize and Flash Fiction Prize Longlists

December 20, 2018
Many thanks to everyone that sent their short stories and flash fictions for this year’s prizes. We received 200 short stories and 148 flash fictions, which is the most to date and the first time we have received enough money from the entry fees to cover the costs of running the competition! It’s great that the reputation of our annual prizes are growing and we hope to receive even more entries for the 2019 prizes. Congratulations to all of the writers that have made the longlists below (readings are still anonymous until we’ve chosen the shortlist so please don’t reveal which story is yours if it’s listed here) and good luck for the next round. 2018 Short Story Prize Longlist A Beginner’s Guide To Stammering Between the Times Buon Appetito Change Cuckoo Divisional Board Minutes, Etc Exit Stage Right Fatal Mistakes Future Shock Hide, Barricade, Look For A Weapon, Prepare to Fight For Your Life I Visit My Dad Every Thursday Letting Go Like A Dog Minding Your Own Mojigangas Old School Satellite Presence She Lives Sleeping Beauty Snow Day Something Else Tears From Uncle Ray The Blank Page The Creature’s Grip The Gold Cheongsam The Great Escape The Lost Letter The Professional The Storm Singer The Stutter The Tailor’s Shears The Taken Will You Go Out Tonight   2018 Flash Fiction Prize Longlist Angel Hair A Beige Spot Beneath The Pond Broken Shackles At Her Feet Burger Raid Childish Things Connor And His Amazing Ejector Boots Going Undergound Gold Band How To Friend Your Shadow Ice Cream Last Bite Of The Kipper Let It Snow Mayim Momma Newling Old Woman Cooking Eggs, Diego Velasquez 1618 Snakes And Snails Something In The Air Sticking Point The Boar The Last Encampment The Mountain The One Thing Hate Can Never Take Away The Pretender The Problem Is This Day, This Dawn You Needn’t Be A Bird To Fly Wilder’s Day In Court   Well done everyone. We’re going on a festive break now and will be re-reading these stories in January to choose a shortlist of 10 for each category that will go to the judges for the final decision. All shortlisted writers will receive a cash prize and be published in the annual anthology. The shortlist will be announced by the end of January 2019 and the winners in February. The 2019 Prizes will open in April. Happy festive season!

Winners of the Protest themed flash competition

November 28, 2018
Thanks again to everyone that sent stories for this competition. And thanks to all the shortlisted writers for their patience while I made the decision. It was great to see so many different takes on the protest theme. Winner: Lumpen by Jennifer Riddalls Why I chose it: This is beautifully written and despite the harrowing subject matter, filled with hope. The narrator’s voice perfectly blends despair with the underlying belief that things will change for the better. As it recreates the building of the wall between East and West Germany in 1961, the story shines a light on the ways societies today are being led down the same divisive path, while also leaving us with the message that there will always be those who protest against it and spread a message of togetherness, peace and love.   Runner-Up: The Candidate by Hilary Ayshford Why I chose it: Firstly because of the strong voice coming though and because the protest was one that most people would never find out about but a major turning point in the narrator’s life. It shines a light on the absurdity of job recruitment and the way that businesses feel they have rights over their employees lives and minds way beyond the job they are paying them to do. Great stuff and a protest I’m sure that most of us have wanted to make at some point.   Runner-Up: Ted, Sylvia by Jason Jackson Why I chose it: Great take on the theme and the writing crackles and zings with life. I like how it’s not clear if the narrator is unreliable or not. Is her actor husband having an affair with his leading lady, or is it all in her head? The ending is great, leaving you to make up your own mind for how things play out for these characters.   Congratulations to our winning writers!   If you’d to be in with a chance of winning up to £400 in cash prizes and getting published on the website then the next themed flash competition closes on 30th December. The theme is Running Away. Get all the info on how to enter here.