Competition Winners for July-August (open theme)

With apologies for the delay in publishing these results, I am pleased to share the names of the winners from our July-August open-themed competition:

Competition Winner:
No Brainpickers for Her, by Glen Donaldson

Other Reader’s Choices:
Itsy and the Toothbrush, by Tim Alan White
Blossoms and Branches, by Amy B. Moreno
Star Shell, by Fran Egan
That which must remain unnamed, by Solomon Son
No Resus, by Rose Little

Congratulations to all our winners and choices and thank you to so many for entering our competition! We love reading your entries each month, and it’s fantastic to see some of the same authors sending new entries for each theme. The competition is growing all the time, and it’s lovely to be in touch like this and to have the privilege of reading your work.

The winning pieces will be published at didcotwriters.wordpress.com over the coming weeks. Click ‘Follow’ on the site to receive them direct to your inbox as they come out.

Our current theme is Apple – Trees – Woodland (pick one or use all three), and runs until the end of December. A new theme will be announced on 1st January.

Still looking for Christmas gifts? Why not check out our anthologies (available on Amazon for fast shipping around the world, or if you can wait till mid-Jan we can post it direct from Didcot): http://bit.do/didcotwriters-publications

New competition theme: Sept-Dec

As we focus on getting our next anthology out in time for Christmas, the next theme is going to last for a mega four months! And as such we actually have three themes for you. You do not have to hit all three in one piece – though they are linked.

If you want to enter more than one piece, the usual procedure applies: your first entry is free, and you can enter as many additional pieces as you like for a fee of £5 each. Simply email didcotwriters@gmail.com to let us know how many you’ll be sending and we’ll send you a PayPal money request. If you don’t let us know, we’ll only accept the first entry from any author.

The theme for this autumn is: Apple – Trees – Woodland

Maybe your story is set in an orchard or a forest, perhaps your protagonist is named Apple, or the woods feature as a metaphor for the dark days of their youth. Maybe your characters are trying to construct a family tree, or your story is about the Root and Branch petition and the English Civil War. It’s up to you how you interpret the theme, so maybe take a walk down the nearest tree-lined avenue and see what you come up with!

Full guidelines are at didcotwriters.wordpress.com, as well as the link to the Google form where you can submit your work.

Winners for May-June, Stranger

Thank you to our Reader for taking the time to look through all the entries from earlier this summer – this competition gets bigger every time! If you’d like to be a Reader in a future month, email didcotwriters@gmail.com and let us know a bit more about yourself.

The winner is:
Stranghers, by Sergio

With additional Reader’s choices as follows:
El Camino del Peligro (The Road of Danger), by Amy B. Moreno
The baby with skin the colour of walnuts, by Margaret Gallop
Blood Orange, by Freya Dolby
Familiar Strangers, by Verity Sayer
Logan Square East, Philadelphia, PA, by Ruth Sabath Rosenthal

Congratulations to all! The winning pieces will be published on this site on Mondays over the coming weeks. ‘Follow’ our site at didcotwriters.wordpress.com to receive these straight to your inbox as they are published, and, if you’re already subscribed, maybe forward this email to a friend so that they can sign up too.

New competition theme…

Our May-June theme ‘stranger’ has now ended, and our July-August competition is now open for submissions.

Our new theme is: …
There is no set theme for our summer competition – that’s right! – for the first time ever, you can send us whatever you like – within the rules, please note the word limit is still 500 words. So send us your best work – your first entry is free, and you can enter more than once for £5 per additional entry – just message us to let us know and we’ll send a PayPal request.

The book: in addition to the usual Reader’s Choices being published online, we will also be considering all entries for publication in our next anthology – which will be published in time for Christmas. This is the last competition this year where entries will be considered for print and ebook. If you have previously entered the competition EVER (since it began in 2016) we will already be reading your work, so there’s no need to resubmit past entries – though feel free to do so if they’ve been substantially reworked since then.

Deadline for submissions: 31st August 2020
Click here for full guidelines.

As usual, you can send prose, script or poetry; fiction or non-fiction; a complete story or an extract of a longer work. The word limit is 500 words.

Submissions will be read anonymously, and the Reader’s favourites published on this site. (Want to be a Reader for a future theme? Get in touch via didcotwriters@gmail.com.) In addition, entries will be read by an editor, who will select pieces for publication in print/ebook. We will contact you separately about this if your work is chosen.

We will aim to announce the winning pieces as soon as possible after the close of the competition, but please bear with us – it can take our Reader time if there have been a lot of entries! A single winner and a handful of other ‘Reader’s Choice’ pieces will be published on this site shortly thereafter – usually a week or two after the competition closed. Read work selected as ‘Reader’s Choice’ in previous competitions here.

Winners for Mar-April: ‘A Fundamental Change’

We are already part-way through June! Our current competition theme is ‘stranger‘, so do check out our guidelines if you have a story, poem, script, etc you’d like to submit before the end of the month.

Meanwhile, here are the winners from our March-April competition, themed ‘a fundamental change’ –

Winner:
It came from a far off land, by Paul Chiswick

Other Reader’s Choices:
The Language of Flowers, by Shehrazade Zafar-Arif
It’s All In The Mind, by Jan Brown
Game Theory, by Ruth Sabath Rosenthal
When We Lost It, by Nora Nadjarian

We have continued the trend of attracting more and more entrants for each competition, so welcome to all new participants, congratulations to those whose work was selected for publication, and thank you to our Reader for reading every entry and selecting their favourites.

The winning pieces will be published on our site on Mondays, along with a bio of the Reader and their reasons for choosing each piece, as usual. Follow this site (pop-up in the bottom right) to receive these straight to your inbox as they are published.

The current competition and the next one (July-Aug) will be the last two for which entries will be considered for our competitions anthology, which will be published in time for Christmas – so if you’d like your work to be included in the book, don’t forget to enter one (or more) of our competitions. Your first entry each time is always free, and you can enter more pieces for a fiver each – details are on the site.

Meanwhile you can check out our previous anthologies at bit.do/didcotwriters-publications, where you can also join our mailing list (on the contacts page) to find out about online events taking place.

Winners for Jan-Feb (cloud)

Thank you to everyone who entered our first competition of 2020. Now running every two months, we had more entries this time than ever before – there were 75 eligible entries (and a few that went way over the word limit and were therefore not considered).

And the winner is:
A Cloudy Morning in the Middle of June, by Hannah Oliver

With special mentions as Reader’s Choices going to:
Beyond the Clouds, by Alex Fraser
Cloud Animals, by Esther Amis-Hughes
Cloud Moods, by Roshna Rusiniya
Nimbus Rentals, by Edwin J Staples
Saving Us, by Alyce Merry
Wave Cloud, by Jessica Joy

Congratulations to all, and don’t forget to check out our theme for March-April, ‘a fundamental change’, at didcotwriters.wordpress.com. The winning pieces will be published on our site on Mondays.

Reminder of our March-April competition theme – ‘a fundamental change’

Dear all,

In these trying new circumstances, we hope you’re making time to relax, read, write, and perhaps ponder the way that one simple change has a knock-on effect for so many other parts of life (as in our new competition theme, ‘a fundamental change’ – see below).

We’re about to announce the winners of our ‘cloud’ competition which ran Jan-Feb this year; the winning pieces will be published on this site on Mondays over the next few weeks: Follow the site (click on the pop-up in the bottom right) to receive them straight to your inbox.

Meanwhile, I wanted to remind you of our March-April competition theme, which is a bit different to usual. Rather than a simple word prompt, it’s more of a conceptual theme. Full guidelines and the link to the google form where you can submit your entries are at didcotwriters.wordpress.com – here’s a bit more info about the theme:

a fundamental change

This isn’t just a simple word prompt, what we want you to do is invent an interesting presumption that affects the events in your story (nb: ‘your story’ can be presented in the form of prose, poetry, a script, etc, as usual). State your premise in a sentence at the top of your piece or make it the title (not included in the word count), and go from there.

For example, how does it affect your story if: people live in trees, the strength of gravity is fading, or animals are reincarnated? What would happen to your characters if all conversations have to be conducted in writing, if you are only allowed to marry people who already have the same surname, or if we all receive universal basic income?

Change one fundamental thing, and follow it through – we look forward to seeing what you come up with!

March-April theme: a fundamental change

We’ve had more entries than ever before for our Jan-Feb competition (even taking into account that we gave you twice as long)! We’re going to send these through to our Reader right away, and the winner of the ‘cloud’ theme and other Reader’s Choices will be published on this site following on from the current ‘Leap Year’ winners.

Meanwhile, our March-April theme is going to be a bit different to usual. Rather than a simple word prompt, it’s more of a conceptual theme. Full guidelines and the link to the google form where you can submit your entries are at didcotwriters.wordpress.com – here’s a bit more info about the theme:

a fundamental change

This isn’t just a simple word prompt, what we want you to do is invent an interesting presumption that affects the events in your story (nb: ‘your story’ can be presented in the form of prose, poetry, a script, etc, as usual). State your premise in a sentence at the top of your piece or make it the title (not included in the word count), and go from there.

For example, how does it affect your story if: people live in trees, the strength of gravity is fading, or animals are reincarnated? What would happen to your characters if all conversations have to be conducted in writing, if you are only allowed to marry people who already have the same surname, or if we all receive universal basic income?

Change one fundamental thing, and follow it through – we look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Winners for December: LEAP YEAR

It’s almost the end of February, which means we’re about to experience something that hasn’t happened for the last four years: a leap year! Perhaps you can use your extra day for writing and enter our competition? See didcotwriters.wordpress.com for details of the current theme and guidelines.

Our theme last December, in anticipation of this moment, was ‘leap year’ – and our winners are:

Winner:
Déjà Vu, February 29, 2020, by Karla Linn Merrifield

Reader’s Choices:
Leap Day, by Adele Evershed
Spaces, by John West
The Cycle, by Anthony Timofte
The Deportation Letter, by Kirtan Savith Kumar
The Legs, by Zoe Chater

Congratulations to all our entrants, and thank you to our Reader. Make sure you Follow this site to receive the winning pieces straight into your inbox as they’re published!

Competition winners for November – SHIVER

November seems like a long time away now, but some days are still pretty chilly – so please enjoy our winter-themed stories over the next few weeks! The winners of our November competition, themed SHIVER, were –

Winner:
My First Ice Cream, by Shalom Jacobs

Reader’s Choices:
Not a Single Shiver, by Alice Coen
The Caller, by Marsha Webb
The Imaginary Friend, by Robbie Porter
Wanted, by Jess Chua
Evolution or Murder in the Forest? by Isabel Flynn

You can read all these pieces here over the next few weeks, or Follow the site to receive emails straight to your inbox as each piece is posted.

Our current theme is CLOUD, and the competition is open until the end of February 2020. And if you would like to be Reader in a future month, please get in touch at didcotwriters@gmail.com.