UK Short Story Competition Open Now!

Calling all British Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) writers- this competition needs your talent!

This year heralds the third annual BAME short story competition run by The Guardian Newspaper and 4th Estate team. The prize celebrates the talents of British ethnic minority writers who are in need of representation and promotion.

The winner will receive a chance to win £1,000, an exclusive one‑day publishing workshop and a taste of online publication.




Last year’s winner, Lisa Smith, had her story Auld Lang Syne published on the Guardian news website. The story follows a man in his 70s, Rufus Samuels, during an evening in jail after an altercation with his much younger girlfriend. It is a absorbing story of masculinity and ageing.

“Writing is exposing, so to have people from the literary world praise my work and reward it was a tremendous boost to my confidence.”

Sian Cain, Guardian books site editor and competition judge said of the short story:

“(It’s) a perfect example of what the short story can do when the form is at its best: containing as much of an emotional blow as that of a 800-page novel, regardless of its brevity.”

The prize is open to all Black, Asian, minority ethnic writers aged 18 or over who live in the UK or Ireland.

Judges include award-winning writer Reni Eddo-Lodge, journalist Sarah Shaffi, Mostly Lit podcast co-host Alex Reads, agent Elise Dillsworth and 4th Estate commissioning editor Anna Kelly.

Manuscripts of up to 6,000 words should be submitted to 4thestate.co.uk/prize.

Deadline for entries is the 1st of June 2018.

Entrants will have to wait until September for the winner announcement.




Winner of the Bad Sex Award is announced!

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The Bad Sex Award nominees will have to wait no longer to see if they are winners of the tongue-in-cheek literary prize.

The all-male group nominated for their strange or gross depictions of sex included Gerard Woodward, William Wall, James Frey, and a particularly rapey scene written by Haruki Murakami (dude, gross, don’t do that).

The winner was announced at a lavish ceremony hosted by retro pop star Kim Wilde at the In & Out (Naval & Military) Club in London.

James Frey and his book Katerina won with his awkward and cringe-worthy passage describing… Well, you know.

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5 cringe-worthy contenders for Bad Sex Award 2018

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The Bad Sex in Fiction Award has been honouring authors’ terrible sex scenes since 1993. Established by Rhoda Koenig, literary critic, and Auberon Waugh, the then-editor of The Literary Review, the award targets creepy, strange, and gross depictions of sex and bodies. Any author of regular fiction (no overtly-erotic books or pornography) who has written a truly awful description of sex is a contender- and it honestly does not matter if the book is actually a fine piece of work otherwise.

Last year’s winner was Christopher Bollen, an American novelist whose passage describing the protagonist’s love interest is both weird and utterly unsexy:

“She covers her breasts with her swimsuit. The rest of her remains so delectably exposed. The skin along her arms and shoulders are different shades of tan like water stains in a bathtub. Her face and vagina are competing for my attention, so I glance down at the billiard rack of my penis and testicles.”

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Eleanor Farjeon Award Goes to Michael Morpurgo

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The winner of this year’s Eleanor Farjeon Award for Outstanding Contribution to the World of Children’s books is author Michael Morpurgo in what is a well deserved accolade for the celebrated children’s author.

The award is administered by the Children’s Book Circle and the organisation chose Morpurgo because of how he has inspired a deep passion throughout his career.

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Charlie Hebdo Survivor Philippe Lancon wins Respected Paris Book Prize

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When two militant gunmen burst into the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo magazine in 2015 it shook the entire world, and journalists and writers especially felt the price the journalists had paid for free speech.

Now three years later, journalist Philippe Lancon who was injured in the deadly attacks has won the Femina Prize, a prestigious award for his book, Le Lambeau, an account of the attack and how it has affected Lancon’s life.

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Books are My Bag Readers Awards 2018

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The Books are My Bag Readers Awards are back for a third year, offering their own unique award system. The Awards really are one of a kind, the only book awards curated by bookshops and voted for by booklovers.

This year the award has added a new category for poetry, alongside the seven existing categories. Books are My Bag asked you to vote and you did so in your thousands and the winners are now in for the Books are My Bag Readers Awards, sponsored by National Book Tokens.
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