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Archive for the ‘Literary Competitions’ Category

Scarlet Stiletto Short Story Competition

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on August 29, 2012

Asimov did it, Laura K Hamilton did it (in her first Antia Blake books). What’s that?

They wrote mysteries, cross-genre mysteries.

Clan Destine Press are offering a Cross-Genre Award ($300) in the:-

19th Scarlet Stiletto Awards Crime short story competition now open

 

Sisters in Crime Australia’s 19th Scarlet Stiletto Awards, Australia’s only crime writing competition for women, are now open with a record $5350 up for grabs.

Note: the increases in the Harper Collins 1st prize and the Allen & Unwin’s and 2 new awards:

  • Athenaeum Library ‘Body in the Library’ competition $1000/$500 runner-up for the best crime story containing the words ‘body in the library’.
  • Catherine Leppert Award for ‘best environmental theme’ ($250).

Other prizes include:

Harper Collins 1st prize (now $1000) plus the coveted scarlet stiletto trophy

Kill City Bookshop 2nd prize ($400)

The Cate Kennedy 3rd prize ($350)

Allen & Unwin Young Writers’ Award (now $500) for writers 18 or under.

The Kerry Greenwood Malice Domestic Award ($500)

Clan Destine Press Cross-Genre Award ($300)

Benn’s Books: Best Investigative story ($200 voucher)

ScriptWorks Great Film Idea Award: ($200)

Pulp Fiction Bookshop: Funniest Crime Award ($150 voucher)

Thanks also to Spinifex Books

To explore what makes a winning story, you might want to readScarlet Stiletto: The Second Cut, a collection of 22 winning stories from the last four year of the competition, and the  reprint of Scarlet Stiletto: The First Cut, a volume of 26 stories from the first 13 years,  published by ClanDestine Press for SheKilda 2011: Australian Women Crime Writers’ Convention, Sisters in Crime’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Scarlet Stiletto: The Second Cut was The Age’s ‘Book of the Week’ on 17 December last year. (Copies can be ordered here)

The 19th Scarlet Stiletto Awards close on August 31, 2012. Entry fee: $10. Maximum story length: 5000 word. Entry forms are available here or by writing to Sisters in Crime Australia, GPO Box 5319, Melbourne 3001

Further info: Contact Carmel Shute, National Co-convenor, Sisters in Crime Australia 0412 569 356 cshute@internode.on.net

(Via Carmel Shute, National Co-convenor)

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Posted in Crime and Thrillers, Literary Competitions, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Felicity makes the Final Three of the Text YA Fiction Competition

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on July 19, 2012

We’re doing a Squee! for Felicity, regular ROR blog reader and guest poster.

(See Fel’s post on using research to give authenticity to your writing. She talks about her time on the tall ship and a balloon ride).

Felicity (writing as Louise Curtis) entered her book Heart of Brass in the Text Young Adult Fiction Prize. She was delighted to hear she’d made the final three. While her book didn’t win, this is an excellent result and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for her!

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Editors, Literary Competitions, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A short story competition for writers of mysteries

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on June 22, 2012

Since I began interviewing spec fic writers I’ve noticed that many of them also write mysteries*. I think the world building needed to write SF or fantasy is similiar in some ways to the world building needed to craft a mystery.

Here’s a short story competition run by the Sisters in Crime (Australia) – The Scarlet Stiletto Awards.  The only caveat is that it is open to women writers, because this is the Sisters in Crime, not Siblings in Crime. This is the announcement:

19th Scarlet Stiletto Awards Crime short story competition now open

Sisters in Crime Australia’s 19th Scarlet Stiletto Awards, Australia’s only crime writing competition for women, are now open with a record $5350 up for grabs.

Note: the increases in the Harper Collins 1st prize and the Allen & Unwin’s and 2 new awards:

  • Athenaeum Library ‘Body in the Library’ competition $1000/$500 runner-up for the best crime story containing the words ‘body in the library’.
  • Catherine Leppert Award for ‘best environmental theme’ ($250).

Other prizes include:

Harper Collins 1st prize (now $1000) plus the coveted scarlet stiletto trophy

Kill City Bookshop 2nd prize ($400)

The Cate Kennedy 3rd prize ($350)

Allen & Unwin Young Writers’ Award (now $500) for writers 18 or under.

The Kerry Greenwood Malice Domestic Award ($500)

Benn’s Books: Best Investigative story ($200 voucher)

ScriptWorks Great Film Idea Award: ($200)

 

Pulp Fiction Bookshop: Funniest Crime Award ($150 voucher)

Thanks also to Spinifex Books

 

To explore what makes a winning story, you might want to read Scarlet Stiletto: The Second Cut, a collection of 22 winning stories from the last four year of the competition, and the  reprint of Scarlet Stiletto: The First Cut, a volume of 26 stories from the first 13 years,  published by ClanDestine Press for SheKilda 2011: Australian Women Crime Writers’ Convention, Sisters in Crime’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Scarlet Stiletto: The Second Cut was The Age’s ‘Book of the Week’ on 17 December last year. (Copies can be ordered via Sisters in Crime web site. )

The 19th Scarlet Stiletto Awards close on August 31, 2012. Entry fee: $10. Maximum story length: 5000 word. Entry forms are available or writing to Sisters in Crime Australia, GPO Box 5319, Melbourne 3001

Further info: Contact Carmel Shute, National Co-convenor, Sisters in Crime Australia 0412 569 356 cshute@internode.on.net

*Watch out for my noir-paranormal-crime The Price of Fame.

Posted in Crime and Thrillers, Literary Competitions, Nourish the Writer, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Short Story Competiton

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on June 20, 2012

The New Zealand Writers College short story competition is open to both NZ and OZ writers (who have had less than 4 short stories published). Winning or placing in competitions is a good way to establish your writing credentials.

The theme is: Full Circle.

See here for details.

It is a very reasonable first prize ($1000).  You can see archived winning entries here.

(With thanks to Sonny Whitelaw, (writer of Stargate books among other things), for bringing this to my attention).

 

 

Posted in Creativity, Literary Competitions, Nourish the Writer, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Opportunity for Writers

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on May 29, 2012

The QWC Hachette Mauscript Development Program has opened again. This is not genre specific, in fact it is not even fiction specific, so you might have a non-fiction book to submit.

Submissions close 5pm, Thursday 12th July.

You can download the Application Guidelines here and the Application Form here.

Posted in Literary Competitions, Mentorships, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry, Writing Craft, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

The Terry Pratchett First Novel Award 2012

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 2, 2012

Calling all unpublished writers…

THE TERRY PRATCHETT ANYWHERE BUT HERE, ANYWHEN BUT NOW FIRST NOVEL AWARD

‘Sir Terry Pratchett had this to say:

Anywhere but here, anywhen but now. Which means we are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory).’

All the competition terms and conditions are available at the above link. Best of luck!

 

Posted in Creativity, Literary Competitions, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Eye of the Beholder: litcomp judging and grant assessment

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 24, 2011

This week Margo Lanagan, four time World Fantasy winner, is talking about her experiences judging literary competitions and grant applications. Take it away, Margo …

I’ve just finished two simultaneous 3-year stints, one as a judge for the Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award, managed by Allen & Unwin, one as a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.

This means that for great slabs of the past three years, I’ve read little else but novel-length manuscripts by authors 35 and younger, or grant applications with supporting material.

This post isn’t about how to write a Vogel winner or a winning grant application. Sit me down and give me a coffee and I’ll rattle on about that for as long as you like. This post is about what these tasks are like from the inside—what joys and frustrations do they bring?

The frustrations are probably shared by any ‘slush-pile’ editor or literary agent.

  • The sheer quantity of material you have to get through, combined with
  • the fast-oncoming deadline and
  • the fact that you need to make some intelligent contribution to discussion on assessment day,

means that you never feel you’re giving each competitor or applicant quite the amount of attention she or he should get. You can’t read every word of every submission; you’re always wondering whether it’s okay to take the shortcuts you have to just to get through.

Particularly with the Vogel and the Lit Board’s Emerging and Developing grant categories, you also have to be spectator to a lot of running into brick walls—not the authors’ own, original and peculiar brick walls, but the same kinds of brick walls you remember running into yourself, that pretty much every new writer hits:

  • choosing the wrong book to write
  • stretching a sketch’s/short story’s worth of material out to song-cycle/novel length
  • describing every object and slant of light in an inconsequential room
  • in novels, being so scared of dialogue that you omit it completely.

Those are just a few of the larger issues an MS can have; there are also the regular mini-blows dealt to grammar, tone and characterisation. You have to keep on reading and maintain an open mind even while an author is repeatedly kicking you out of their story with errors, odd phrases or outright howlers.

One other frustration is a side-effect of too much joy. There are good and bad seasons for these competitions and assessments. When there are too many good entries or applicants, but the pot of money doesn’t grow, it can be disheartening to cast numerous worthy entries/applications aside with only a reader’s report or the hopeful message to the author that they came quite close and should apply again.

On to the joys.

Novels, stories, plays and poetry are mostly written alone. But judging and assessing, even though I’ve done the bulk of the work in solitude, have admitted me to wonderfully fruitful and inspiring gatherings with fellow authors, critics, booksellers, publishers, theatre people and tech-heads. Fascinating people in themselves, these colleagues have arrived at the assessment meeting via the same seemingly-never-ending tunnel of intense work and thought as I have. Sitting around the table sharing our experiences of that journey, hearing how each person’s been struck by totally different aspects of the submissions, wondering at this person’s articulateness or that one’s blunter passion for the entry/submission at hand—it’s been a privilege, and I’ll miss it that a lot.

There are the times when I’ve read 20 unremarkable submissions in a row and begun to doubt whether I have any critical faculties, let alone whether they’re in tip-top form. Then I’ve opened the next file in the folder (both the Vogel judging and the Lit Board assessment processes have gone electronic during my terms) and found a work of skill, integrity and clear purpose, by an author who’s been prepared to revise and polish until the novel or the poem or the new-media project shines, and I realise that yes, I do have instincts and opinions about what’s good and bad, and here is what I’ve been looking for.

This pleasure in watching the cream rise during the judging or assessment process, and then seeing the very cream of the cream rewarded, and knowing my vote has counted towards that, is what has made worthwhile these marathons of reading, annotating, time management, e-squabbling or debating around the assessment table, and agonising over scores.

With my own writing and day-job to fit everything around, it’s been a mad, madly busy three years. I don’t think I’ll ever commit myself to doing so much obligatory reading again, but I’ll never regret that I did.

If anyone is interested Margo could write a post on the fine art of writing grant applications.

Margo is the author of award winning short story collections like Spike, White Time and Black Juice which won  two World Fantasy Awards. Her novel Tender Morsels won the Printz Honor Award. Her latest anthology is Yellow Cake.

Margo’s blog.

Margo on GoodReads

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Grant Writing, Literary Competitions, Nourish the Writer, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »