Our three competitions this year are:
  • a Short Story up to 1,500 words
  • a Poem with a maximum of 40 lines
  • a piece of Flash Fiction up to 500 words.

The Judges in each category will be:

Short Story: Tabatha Stirling
Poem: John McCullough
Flash Fiction: Michael Loveday

There is no upper or lower age limit for entry, but entries in each category will be judged according to the same criteria.

There will be cash prizes of £100, £40 and £25 plus a Litfest trophy for the top three places in each category, and highly-commended entries will also receive a trophy. The top-placed entries in each category will be included in a Litfest 2019 Anthology.

Exciting additional prize for local writers!  NEW WRITING SOUTH is offering a bespoke 1-1 Writer’s Surgery for the most promising fiction writer living in Sussex, plus free membership for one year for three Sussex-based runners up.

Rules of Entry:

  1. Entries will be accepted from 1st December 2018 until midnight on 30th June 2019.
  2. The theme for Poems, Short Story and Flash Fiction is the same: In Other Words – an exploration of difference, otherness, new perspectives and expanding horizons, to be interpreted as the author sees fit.
  3. Entrants may submit up to three pieces in each category of Poem, Flash Fiction or Short Story (i.e. a maximum of 9 pieces).
  4. Format as double or 1.5 line spaced in 12 pt font, single-sided A4, with page numbers if necessary. DO NOT include your name anywhere on the entry.
  5. Each entry must be submitted as a separate PDF document by email to comps@hastingslitfest.org.
  6. Multiple entries may be submitted as separate attachments to the same email.
  7. Each piece must be accompanied by an entry fee of £5.00 via PayPal (card payments also accepted). Please purchase as many ‘tickets’, at the foot of this page, as you wish for each category.
  8. Please include on the covering email your full name, address and a contact number, title(s) and category/ies of entry, and a payment ticket number. If you have paid to enter more than one category or more than one piece in any category, these numbers will be unique for each piece.
  9. If you wish to enter by post, please send your document(s) and cover sheet as above together with a cheque for the appropriate fee payable to ‘Hastings LitFest Ltd’ to our registered address: 127 All Saints Street, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3BG.
  10. The Longlist in each category will appear on the Hastings Litfest website in late July/early August 2019 and the shortlist by mid-August. Shortlisted entrants will be notified individually.
  11. The winners in each category will be announced and prizes awarded at our Festival closing event on Sunday 1st September 2019, in Hastings at the Royal Victoria Hotel.

The Judges

Tabatha Stirling

Tabatha Stirling lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her family and a depressed beagle called the Beagle. A published author and poet, Tabby signed with Unbound for her debut novel, Blood On The Banana Leaf, in August 2016.  She is a great fan of everything zombie, literary fiction, specifically beautifully written stories with a bit of menace (Lesley Glaister, Jean Rhys, Joyce Carol Oates), writing set in Asia & Africa, (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Doris Lessing, Gil Courtemanche) and epic fantasy that makes her want to beg for the trilogy (Robin Hobb, Pierce Browne, Hugh Howey, Angela Carter).  A delicious slice of historical fiction doesn’t go amiss either.

John McCullough

John McCullough’s first collection of poems The Frost Fairs won the Polari First Book Prize in 2012 and was Book of the Year for The Independent and a summer read in The Guardian‘s Best Books for Summer and was shortlisted for the Ledbury-Forte prize. He has written commissioned poems for the British Museum and British Film Institute and teaches creative writing at New Writing South and the Open University. He lives in Hove.

Michael Loveday

Michael Loveday’s debut flash fiction novella, Three Men on the Edge, is published by V. Press (2018). His writing has appeared in The Spectator; Flash: the International Short-Short Story Magazine; Funny Bone: Flashing for Comic Relief; and the National Flash Fiction Day Anthology 2017. He is a Director of the National Association of Writers in Education. Website: www.michaelloveday.com

Blog: www.pagechatter.org
Follow Michael on Twitter: @pagechatter

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