Competition with Writers & Artists: Win a writing retreat

We’re delighted to be working with Writers & Artists, the annual Yearbook and website from Bloomsbury dedicated to helping writers learn and get published, to offer a free place at the Plotting Retreat in November, which takes place in a listed thatched cottage on the beautiful beach shown above.

You can get all of the competition details on the Writers & Artists website but in short, you need to write a story of up to 1,000 words set at the beach. Entry is free and the winner will get to join us at the Plotting Retreat where Richard Skinner, novelist and head of the Faber Academy Fiction Programme, and Amanda Saint, novelist, short story writer and Retreat West founder, will be teaching.  Two runners-up will get a book bundle.

The Writers & Artists team will choose a longlist from all entries, Amanda Saint will choose the shortlist; and Jane Elmor, novelist and Open University Creative Writing MA tutor, will choose the winning 3 stories from them.

Find out more and how to enter on the Writers & Artists website.

Get more info on the Plotting Retreat here.

Short Story Retreat Winner!

Thanks again to everyone who entered the competition. This has been such a hard choice to make. I’ve spent days re-reading the shortlist and thinking about the stories while out walking. I really wish there was enough space at the house to give everyone a place – but there isn’t and I also couldn’t afford to!

So, after much pondering, I am delighted to announce that the winner of the competition to win a place at the Short Story Retreat with Paul McVeigh is…

Last Judgement by Rose McGinty

What really made this story stand out as the winner was the completely original take on the prompt, and the grand scale of the world we are presented with in such a small piece. The narrator’s voice is strong from the very first line and although it is a dystopian vision of our world, it feels like we’re not too far from it being very real and it shines a light on our social issues without ever seeming preachy.

Read It

Well done and congratulations, Rose! I look forward to seeing you at the retreat in June.

And I need to give a mention to these three stories that were in hot contention for the prize:

  • Selkie Song by Marianne Paget – beautiful imagery and two distinct points of view made this stand out.
  • Caveat Emptor by Carol Caffrey – brilliant voice and it left me wanting to know more.
  • The Rift by Elinor Perry-Smith – surreal, fast-paced and quite an experience with a really distinctive narrative voice.

Short story retreat long and shortlists

Thanks to everyone that entered the competition to win a place at the short story retreat at a thatched cottage on Chesil Beach. I have really enjoyed reading all of the entries and I’m so impressed by the standard. There were more than 70 stories submitted in total and it has been a tough job coming up with these long and shortlists. The winner of the retreat will be announced on Friday 22nd April. Choosing the final winner is proving to be a very hard choice!

Longlist (A-Z by story title)

  1. A Marriage in Winter by Sarah Baxter
  2. An Extra Ordinary Pilgrimage by F.E. Clark
  3. An Expedition by Sara Roberts
  4. Another Beach by Rebecca Russell
  5. At the beach with Bill and Chrissie by Jude Higgins
  6. Away from Home by Anne O’Leary
  7. Beached by Downith Monaghan
  8. Between the Waves by Caroline Sutherland
  9. Blackout by Carys Puleston
  10. Boats Against the Current by Chris Thomas
  11. Brothers by Ingrid Casey
  12. Caveat Emptor by Carol Caffrey
  13. Chesiled by Marie Gethins
  14. Dead Rain by Cheryl Behr
  15. Doolally Tap by Sarah Edghill
  16. Ebb and Flow by Eimear O’Callaghan
  17. Endangered by Christopher Stanley
  18. Fog by Julie Noble
  19. Forty two by Rose Stevens
  20. Hold Your Breath and Count to Ten by Jan Kaneen
  21. In Plain Sight by LV Hay
  22. Jimmy Choo Shoes by Shannon Savvas
  23. Last Judgement by Rose McGinty
  24. Monsoon by Erika Cule
  25. Nomada by Tina Freeth
  26. Sea Path by Isobel Brown
  27. Selkie Song by Marianne Paget
  28. Shelby Cove by Ann O’Keife
  29. Slip by Lisa Derrick
  30. The Arc of Lust by Marie O’Halloran
  31. The Boat Trip by Dan Purdue
  32. The Freedom of the Sea by Hannah Persaud
  33. The Rift by Elinor Perry-Smith
  34. Throwing the Bones by Sarah Baxter
  35. To Be The Beach by Mandy Huggins

 

Shortlist (A-Z by story title)

  1. An Extra Ordinary Pilgrimage by F.E. Clark
  2. An Expedition by Sara Roberts
  3. Brothers by Ingrid Casey
  4. Caveat Emptor by Carol Caffrey
  5. Chesiled by Marie Gethins
  6. Fog by Julie Noble
  7. Forty two by Rose Stevens
  8. Jimmy Choo Shoes by Shannon Savvas
  9. Last Judgement by Rose McGinty
  10. Selkie Song by Marianne Paget
  11. The Freedom of the Sea by Hannah Persaud
  12. The Rift by Elinor Perry-Smith
  13. Throwing the Bones by Sarah Baxter
  14. To Be The Beach by Mandy Huggins