H.E. Bates Short Story Competition
** The 2013 Competition’s Winners are announced here **
The long-running H.E. Bates Short Story Competition has opened and this year’s judge is Jane Wenham-Jones.
Herbert Ernest Bates, CBE (1905–74), better known as H. E. Bates, was an English writer and author. His best-known works include Love for Lydia, The Darling Buds of May, (starring David Jason and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Pam Ferris amongst others) and My Uncle Silas. Bates was born on May 16, 1905 in Rushden, Northamptonshire, and educated at Kettering Grammar School. After leaving school, he worked as a reporter and a warehouse clerk.
Before the competition details, here’s a little about Jane:
Jane Wenham-Jones is a well-known author and journalist who regularly appears on radio and TV. She is a columnist for Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special and her local paper the Isle of Thanet Gazette as well as being the agony aunt for Writing Magazine. She has published four novels: Raising The Roof, Perfect Alibis, One Glass Is Never Enough and, most recently, Prime Time as well as two non-fiction books – Wannabe a Writer? and Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of? She lives with her family in Broadstairs, Kent, where two of her novels are set. Her latest book – 100 Ways to Fight the Flab – was published in 2014. For more info see www.janewenham-jones.com and www.wannabeawriter.co.uk
Jane also blogs at http://janewenhamjones.wordpress.com and has recently made a TV pilot for aspiring authors which can be watched on www.wannabeawritertvshow.com.
Run by the Northampton Writers Group (of which I am Chair and therefore a first-round judge :)), the details of the H.E. Bates competition are on http://www.hebatescompetition.org.uk (with the rules / entry details at http://www.hebatescompetition.org.uk/index3.asp) and below:
- Write us a short story on any theme or genre of your choice.
- Entries must be no longer than 2,000 words in length.
- Email / postal entries accepted.
- The competition is open to all writers, from anywhere in the world.
- 1st Prize £150; 2nd Prize £100; 3rd Prize £50
- Special prize for the best story written by a Northamptonshire writer £50 (not awarded if the story has won 1st, 2nd or 3rd Prize).
- In addition, a prize of £50 will be awarded for the best story by a writer who is under 18 years old on the closing date for entries.
- The entry fee is £4 for each story submitted or 3 stories for £10 (£1 for each story submitted by an Under 18 writer). Entrants are invited to submit as many stories as they wish.
- The initial judging panel will comprise members of the Northampton Writers’ Group.
- The Head Judge is Jane Wenham-Jones (details above). Previous judges have included Della Galton, Stephen Booth, Katie Fforde, Sue Moorcroft, and Judith Allnatt.
- Closing date for entries is midnight (UK time) on Monday 3rd November 2014.
- Prizes will be awarded at a prize-giving ceremony in January 2015 at The Moulton Theatre, Northampton.
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I have to say (well, I don’t have to but I’m being kind) that one of the stories I read last year didn’t have a beginning or end (only a middle) so lost points for that (I start at 10 and work downwards). Nick, our competition organiser, let it go through to the panel which I wouldn’t have done as to me it wasn’t a short story so he’s clearly kinder than me. :) We’ve also had some in the past that have been over the word limit and these days (with word counters on most word processing packages) there’s no excuse for being disqualified for that reason.
So there you have it. Nick (who gets your stories first, removes the names then distributes them), myself and the other group members look forward to reading your stories. I always say I’m firm but fair (you can hear how I critique in one of my red pen podcasts) and whilst I can’t be bribed (unless it’s with banoffee pie), if you have any questions feel free to email me.
The Northampton Writers’ Group (critique group) meets every other Thursday night in central Northampton, England – do email me if you’re local and are interested in joining. More details on Writing Groups.