Competition time for Wells Festival of Literature

  Posted: 23.03.20 at 11:25 by Liz Bowskill

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Calling all you creative Cheddar folk - maybe you have some extra time on your hands?

Pick up your pens all you poets and writers, and weave the warp and weft of your words and enter the Wells Festival of Literature’s competitions.

There are cash prizes to be won for your poetry, short stories and books for children. The organisers are pleased to welcome a notable judge for each genre this year.

The poetry competition judge will be Jo Shapcott. Jo has an impressive track record which makes her eminently qualified to pick out the very best in poetry.

She is a poet herself, an editor and a lecturer. She holds the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry and has also won the National Poetry Competition, the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, the Costa Book of the Year Award, a Forward Poetry Prize and the Cholmondeley Award.

The fantastic number of entries for the poetry competition last year, reaching nearly 1,000, has resulted in an increase in prize money for this year.

This places the Wells festival’s prize money within the top 10 of British poetry competitions. The first prize will be £1,000, second prize £500 and third prize £250, plus a prize for a local author of £100.

The judge for the young poets will be Victoria Adukwei Bulley. Victoria is a poet, writer and filmmaker.

She has a range of experiences to call upon to pinpoint the very best young poets as she is the winner of a 2018 Eric Gregory Award for promising British poets under 30 and has held artistic residencies in the US, Brazil and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The first prize for young poets is £150, second prize £75 and third prize £50 plus a year’s subscription to the Poetry Society.

The organisers are pleased to welcome Duncan Minshull as the judge for the Short Story competition.

Duncan has a wealth of experience having worked for more than 20 years as a senior producer at BBC Radio for programmes such as Book of the Week, Book at Bedtime and The Essay and Short Story.

Duncan is now a freelance audio producer and writer. His latest book, showcasing his passion for walking, is Beneath my Feet: Writers on Walking.

Prize money for the Short Stories is £750 for the first prize, £300 for the second and £200 for the third prize, plus a prize of £100 for a local writer.

Fleur Hitchcock will judge the Book for Children competition. Fleur brings a local flavour to our judges having graduated from Bath Spa University with a distinction for her MA in Writing for Young People.

Her debut novel,Shrunk!, was The Sunday Times Book of the Week. She now has a further 16 books for young people to her name and also works as a children’s bookseller.

This will give her a great insight into what makes a really fantastic book for children. First prize for this competition is also £750, second prize £300 and third prize £200. The prize for a local writer is £100.

The Wells Festival of Literature is the largest literature festival staffed entirely by volunteers. It aims to promote a love of literature and all profits from the festival go back into state schools in the wider community to do just that.

This money provides for events and visits from poets and authors to the schools to inspire pupils of all ages to read and also to write. Two-and-a-half per centre of every £6 entry fee goes towards education projects.

The competitions will be open on April 1 2020 and will close at midnight on June 30 2020. All winners will be announced at the prize giving ceremony, one of the highlights of the festival, which will be on October 18 2020.

Go to the Wells Festival of Literature website here for details of all competitions.

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