Questions we have been asked, not always frequently, but perhaps in need of a response none the less!
It’s the first time we’ve tried anything like this. We are tiny organisation (basically one person plus some occasional help) so we need to keep it simple this first time, and something we can cope with. Also, as part of the prize is to read your winning story AT the festival in Greenwich, this isn’t going to be a lot of use to people outside the UK. As with the judges recommendation prizes, which are also UK specific. Plus our funders for the Festival are UK only. We have fine and ambitious plans for future years, if this first festival goes well. including reading at sunrise in every Northern Hemisphere Time Zone with a land mass… (anyone who wants to help this particular fantasy to reality please get in touch!) and creating 15 minute folk operas… It’s not because we don’t like you or something, just trying not to over-reach. We’re sorry to disappoint all those who don’t qualify.
The funding for the Festival requires ‘match funding’. This means that we have to find money from as many different sources as possible, to make the festival viable. Keeping the competition completely anonymous so that we don’t accidentally either favour or over compensate for favouring our existing authors means paying for software and temporary staff. And of course if you want your story judged by people of the calibre we have found, we have to pay them! Of the £5 we charge, we only get £3.75. It doesn’t go far!
You get your story read at the festival. If you come and read it yourself, you get the reading fee and expenses. You get the opportunity to get involved in the workshops and show a potential employer what you are capable of in terms of teaching creative writing (If that’s your interest). You get published – and we pay royalties! And if you really impress the judges you get one of 5 additional prizes – 4 x membership of Spread the Word and 1 x membership of New Writing South. And every one of the 12 winners gets a stack of books and a silly trophy.
When are you announcing the winners?
Shortlist will be announced Friday 7/11/2014 and the winners will be announced at The Story Sessions on Wednesday 19/11/2014 (during Short Story week)