With poor sleep such a common complaint, reading a short story at bedtime is a helpful way to unwind at the end of the day and lead naturally into a restful night’s sleep.
That’s why A.Vogel Dormeasan and Your Healthy Living have teamed up once again to run a national short story writing competition.
If you have always thought you could write a short story, or have written short stories but never had them published, why not enter this free competition? You could win one of the four cash prizes - including the £500 first prize - and see your story in print!
You choose the topic and genre - for added inspiration why not read the winning stories of 2011. We are looking forward to receiving your first entries soon!
WHEN TO ENTER
Now! Entries can be submitted at any time before 31 October 2012, but there's no need to wait until then, as each month one of the best will be picked and an excerpt printed in Your Healthy Living and the full story online. These monthly picks will win £50 each.
The A.Vogel Dormeasan Short Story Competition 2012, in association with Your Healthy Living magazine, will run from 1 April to 31 October 2012.
Entries can be submitted any time during this period, but must be received no later than midday on 31 October 2012.
Four prizes will be awarded - First prize £500; second prize £300; and two joint third prizes of £100 each.
Entry is free and is open to UK residents only.
Submitted entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been previously published.
The competition is not open to members of A.Vogel or Your Healthy Living staff or their immediate families.
Entries should be in English with a minimum length of 1,500 words; maximum 3,000 words. Apart from erotica, there is no restriction on subject matter.
Entries should be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org using Microsoft Word or as a pdf. Postal entries can also be accepted and should be addressed to:
The A.Vogel Dormeasan Short Story competition
Your Healthy Living
Three Hills Farm
Entries must double spaced on one side of the paper, with page footers showing title, pseudonym and page number only, and accompanied by a completed entry form available from participating retailers or online at www.avogel.co.uk/story or www.yourhealthyliving.co.uk. Postal entries will not be returned so please keep a copy. No corrections can be made after receipt.
Email entries will be acknowledged electronically. If you require acknowledgement of receipt of a postal entry please enclose a stamped addressed postcard marked ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.
Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but A.Vogel and Your Healthy Living will have the unrestricted right to publish any story, either in full or as an excerpt, on websites and in any subsequent anthology. Entrants must be prepared to take part in publicity.
No competitor may win more than one overall prize. The judges' decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.
Submission of an entry to the A.Vogel Dormeasan ’ Write a Short Story for Bedtime’ competition implies acceptance of all the rules of the competition.
READ THESE TIPS ON WRITING YOUR 2012 SHORT STORY BY COMPETITION JUDGE AND AUTHOR ANN BURNETT
So you’re sitting there with a blank piece of paper or a blank screen and nothing is coming. You need to warm up. Set your phone or oven timer to five minutes, open a book or newspaper, pick a word at random and write whatever comes into your head about that word. Stop when the timer goes. Here are some to get you started: bubbles, school children, jug, crystal. Get writing!
Your story must have tension. A story isn’t interesting if it doesn’t have tension. Tension comes from wondering what is going to happen next. It can involve fear, puzzlement, excitement, romance, surprise, anger. The reader has to want to turn the page to find out what happens next.
The reader has to like the main character. But they have to be real. They can’t be absolutely perfect. That’s boring. Nobody’s perfect. We all have our flaws and that’s what makes us interesting. So make your characters true to life, not clichés or stereotypes.
The reader should engage with your story. They must be working out for themselves what is going on and what the characters are like. Don’t tell them that your character is feeling down. Show the reader by their actions and dialogue that they are depressed.
What your character says should replicate real speech - but not exactly. We um and er and repeat ourselves, leave sentences dangling and use repetitive phrases like you know, every few words. This is boring to read and slows down the story. Cut it out. Similarly, when giving your character an accent or a dialect, use it sparingly to hint at it, rather than rendering all their speech into it.
HOW TO SET OUT YOUR MANUSCRIPT
- Use 12pt type, eg Times New Roman, and plain white A4 paper.
- Type on one side of the paper only, using double spacing.
- Indent the first line of each paragraph rather than leaving an extra line space between paragraphs.
- Leave good margins all round (at least an inch)
- On each page, type the title, your pseudonym, and a page number. (Footers can be used for this.)
- Complete the entry form giving your name, address and other details including word count. Please do not put your name on the story itself; only your pseudonym.
- For postal copies, please use a paperclip, not a staple.
Download: entry form
For queries/ submissions: email@example.com