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Writing competition deadline coming up

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HAVE you ever read someone else’s short story and thought: ‘I could do better’? Ever had the urge to pick up a pencil and let a stream of creative consciousness flow onto paper?

If so, stop whatever you are doing right now and get writing – you have fewer than five weeks left to enter this year’s JEP Writing Competition.

The competition, sponsored by Rathbone Investment Management International, is open to amateur Island authors and offers prizes of £100 for each category winner, in addition to £50 and £25 for runners-up and third-placed entries.

There are two categories in the competition, short stories and flash fiction.

Writers will be divided into four age categories for the short-story section – 6–8, 9–13, 14–16 and 17 and over – with the flash-fiction category open to all ages.

The maximum word limit for short stories is 1,500 and flash-fiction writers have 128 words to juggle with.

The judging panel for the competition comprises former JEP picture editor Peter Mourant, Rathbone client director Matthew Sutton, Haute Vallée English teacher Kate Sibcy and local author Erren Michaels (read her top writing tips below).

All winning entries will be published in a special supplement included with the JEP. The closing date for submissions – which must be sent by email to writingcompetition@jerseyeveningpost.com – is midnight on Friday 31 August.

Entrants must currently reside in Jersey. All entries must include the writer’s name, home address, age at the time of submission and phone number, and must be clearly marked for the correct category.

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TOP TIPS FOR BUDDING WRITERS

ISLAND-based writer Erren Michaels, author of Jersey Legends and Jersey Ghost Stories, is one of the judges for this year’s JEP Writing Competition. Here she dispenses five top tips for aspiring short story writers:

1. Beginnings

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Try to grab the judges’ attention right away. If you engage someone’s interest at the start of your story then it’s more likely they are going to be interested all the way through.

2. Presentation

The judges will enjoy your story more if it’s readable, so think about things like punctuation, sentence structure and paragraph length.

3. Write what you know

It’s a cliché, but if you are writing about a genre that you understand, then you’ll be able to bring a passion to your subject matter that will come across upon reading.

4. Originality

Try and make your story stand out from everybody else’s. Get as weird and wonderful as you want, as you really want to capture the judges’ attention.

5. Have a go!

Just have a go. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect or not. All writers have to start somewhere! Just submit it and if you win that’s great, and if you don’t, it’s still great practice.

For more information, visit jerseyfestivalofwords.com.

David Edbrooke

By David Edbrooke
Journalist

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