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.

Competition winners for October (sugar rush)

The winners for our competition themed Sugar Rush, which closed at the end of October, are –

Winner: Flower Princesses Really Aren’t as Lovely as they Seem, by A.E. Stoffers

Reader’s Choices:
Golden, by Karla Linn Merrifield
Sugar and Spice, by Ian Marshall
Birthday Buns for the Class, by Georgina Richardson
Double-Edged, by Roshna Rusiniya

The winning pieces will be published online at didcotwriters.wordpress.com over the coming weeks on Mondays and Fridays, alongside the author bios and the Reader’s reasons for each choice. Follow the site (enter your email in the box in the bottom right hand corner) to receive them straight to your inbox as they are published.

Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to everyone who sent in work, and to our Reader for their time – we love seeing how you interpret the theme each month. I’ll be back in touch in December to announce the new theme and the winners of ‘shiver’.

Book launch success!

An extra post this week – to announce that we have launched our two most recent anthologies!

You can find out about all our publications on our publications page, and read about our next anthology call for submissions here.

A Night at the Railway Inn

ebook cover - thumbnail.jpeg

This book was launched on 4th Decmber 2019, and features sixteen portraits of the Railway Inn at various times in the last hundred years, making it the backdrop to a diamond theft, a murder, several unexpected discoveries, and a haunting. The stories range in style from haunting and serious to witty and comic, with each author giving their own take on the theme. The work went through two editing stages to ensure that all the stories agree with each other as regards the setting: the Railway Inn.

The book is available in paperback and ebook format here.

Museum Collection

ebook cover thumbnail.jpg

This anthology was launched alongside A Night at the Railway Inn in December 2019, includes short stories and poetry from thirty-five authors. Have you ever wondered what the story is behind some of the items behind the glass? Or what happens after hours in the offices upstairs? This book contains a range of answers to these questions and more.

You can read it in paperback and ebook format here.

Competition winners for September (buzz)

We’re very pleased to announce the results of our September competition (themed ‘buzz’) –

Winner: Summer Cicadas, by Kyra Dusk

Reader’s Choices:
What’s the Buzz? by Polaris
Bees, by Margaret Gallop

 

The winning pieces will be published online at didcotwriters.wordpress.com over the coming weeks on Mondays and Fridays, alongside the author bios and the Reader’s reasons for each choice. Follow the site (enter your email in the box in the bottom right hand corner) to receive them straight to your inbox as they are published.

Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to everyone who sent in work, and to our Reader for their time – we love seeing how you interpret the theme each month. I’ll be back in touch in December to announce the new theme and the winners of ‘shiver’.

Competition winners for June-August (museum)

Our summer competition seems a long time ago now, but we had so many entries (and, being a three-month competition, they were mostly three times the length) that we slipped slightly on our end-of-Oct deadline, and the winners have only just been announced (sorry)! They are:

Winner: A Winter-White World, by Rose Little

Reader’s Choices:
The Little Seaside Town, by Daren Carpmail
The Marriage Curator, by Jane Andrews

These entries and 32 other stories and poems from among the competition entrants, have been selected for publication in paperback. We will let you know where you can get hold of the book after the launch on Wednesday 4th December.

In addition, the two Reader’s Choices above will be published online at didcotwriters.wordpress.com over the coming weeks on Mondays and Fridays, alongside the author bios. Follow the site (enter your email in the box in the bottom right hand corner) to receive them straight to your inbox as they are published.

Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to everyone who sent in work, and to our Reader for their time – we love seeing how you interpret the theme each month.

Advance notice: next year we are going to be putting together a poetry anthology with two special guest editors, I’ll keep you posted on the themes and how to submit your work.

October competition theme: sugar rush

Many thanks for your interest in our September competition, themed ‘buzz’. The entries are now winging their way to our Reader, and the winning pieces will be published online soon. (I apologise that the Museum competition winners have not yet been announced – we have been rather sidetracked this month with publishing our newest anthology – see below.)

The competition theme for October is: sugar rush.

Tell us about that feeling of suddenly having energy, or how you feel when you have too much to do and add an extra spoon to your coffee. What might you need to get done today? Why might your brain need to run at a hundred miles an hour? Perhaps your friend is diabetic, and too much sugar might be fatal – or just what they need? Perhaps the kids had too many sweets at an event, or the dessert was laced with granulated poison? Interpret our theme as you like.

Find out more – and the link to the form where you should submit your work – at didcotwriters.wordpress.com.

First Contact – book launched!

This is Didcot Writers’ fourth anthology, a selection of thirty-one stories in a range of genres and styles:

From 1970s Africa to mass hallucinations heralding the end of the world, from a man haunted by the spirit of his dead grandmother to a search for justice involving a powerful figure, from a couple facing a life-changing event to estranged family members reaching out and finding each other – this collection of short stories explores what happens when they connect for the first time.

The book is available to buy as paperback and ebook at https://amzn.to/2NjSaCA. If you already have a copy, please leave a review, as it will help others to find it.

Local events in Didcot, Oxfordshire

If you are local to Didcot, or close enough by train, why not come along to one of our events? We run weekly writing sessions (bring your own work) and also workshops led by professional tutors. Our next three workshops look at: Dialogue in Fiction; Growing a Poem; and Writing Fear.

Find out more and sign up at bit.ly/didcotwriters-workshops.

We’re back!

Our summer competition has now closed, and we’ve had more entries than ever before! Thank you for your support. We will be in touch with authors by the end of September regarding competition winners and creating a print and ebook version of selected stories.

Meanwhile, our September theme is now listed at didcotwriters.wordpress.com:

buzz

What’s in the news today? What’s that noise coming from the electricity wires? Do you keep bees? Have you had a new haircut? Interpret our theme as you like!

As usual, we are open for submissions throughout the month, so do check out the full guidelines and send in your entries: any genre, any style of writing, with a 500 word maximum.

Summer 2019

Where did everybody go?

As we did last year, rather than doing three 500-word competitions over the summer months, we’re going to do one 1,500-word competition – the theme is ‘museum‘, and the deadline is 31st August.

What is on display behind the glass? Where did these things come from originally? Who works in the offices upstairs? What happens when the gallery doors close? What object of yours accidentally becomes an acquisition? What has been lost in the archive?

You can send either one longer piece, or up to three shorter pieces in the same document. Entry details are at https://didcotwriters.wordpress.com/.

The stories will be brought together in a printed anthology to be published alongside our anthology ‘A Night at the Railway Inn’ in time for Christmas.

If you’re ‘Following’ the site, you’ll next hear from us in September – have a good summer!