Tag Archives: Hilary Mantel

Lightship International Literary Prizes 2013

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I’m always excited to come upon new opportunities and competitions for writers of many disciplines, so here, with an approaching deadline of 30th June 2013 are the Lightship International Literary Prizes. I’m not familiar with the competitions, but am impressed by the patron, Hilary Mantel, and some of the judges, who include Tessa Hadley and M.J. Hyland, two personal favourites. The competitions are across a wide spectrum of form, from the first act of a theatre script, to poetry, flash fiction, memoir and short story, amongst others.

Lightship International Short Story Prize

Prize: £1,000
10 short-listed stories will be published in Lightship Anthology 3 (Nov 2013)

Judge: Tessa Hadley

Word limit: 5000

Deadline: Midnight GMT 30/6/13

Entry Fee: £12

Lightship International First Chapter Prize

Prize: Professional Mentoring / Possible Publication

Judges: M.J. HylandDavid Miller (RCW), Alessandro Gallenzi (Alma Books)

Word limit: 5400 (including one page synopsis)

Deadline: Midnight GMT 30/6/13

Entry Fee: £16

Lightship International Flash Fiction Prize

Prize: £500
10 short-listed flash fictions will be published in Lightship Anthology 3 (Nov 2013)

Judge: Etgar Keret

Word limit: 1500

Deadline: Midnight GMT 30/6/13

Entry Fee: £10

Lightship International Poetry Prize

Prize: £1000
10 short-listed poems will be published in Lightship Anthology 3 (Nov 2013)

Judge: David Wheatley

Word limit: 200

Deadline: Midnight GMT 30/6/13

Entry Fee: £8

Lightship International One Page Story Prize

Prize: £250
10 short-listed flash fictions will be published in Lightship Anthology 3 (Nov 2013)

Judge: Calum Kerr

Word limit: 300

Deadline: Midnight GMT 30/6/13

Entry Fee: £8

Lightship International Short Memoir Prize

Prize: £1000
10 short-listed short memoirs will be published in Lightship Anthology 3 (Nov 2013)

Judge: Rachel Cusk

Word limit: 5000

Deadline: Midnight GMT 30/6/13

Entry Fee: £12

Lightship International First Act Prize

Prize: Professional Mentoring / Possible Production of Full Length Play at The Cockpit Theatre, London

Judges: Anthony McCartenMicheline SteinbergDavid Whybrow (Cockpit
 Theatre Director)

Word limit: 6000 (including one page synopsis)

Deadline: Midnight GMT 30/9/13

Entry Fee: £18

For full details of all competitions please go to: www.lightshippublishing.co.uk

If you have any queries please email Lightship Publishing at: admin@lightshippublishing.co.uk

One hundred and fifty ‘rules’ for writing fiction: 145 – 150

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Further words on writing fiction gleaned from interviews, and articles, by the award winners and published…

145).  Be ready for anything. Each new story has different demands and may throw up reasons to break [the] rules. Except number one: you can’t give your soul to literature if you’re thinking about income tax.   (Hilary Mantel)

146).  Finish everything you start. Get on with it. Stay in your mental pyjamas all day. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. No alcohol, sex, or drugs while you are working.  (Colm Tóibín)

147).  Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.  (Zadie Smith)

148).  Trust your creativity. Enjoy this work!  (Jeanette Winterson)

149).  Talent trumps all. If you’re a ­really great writer, none of these rules need apply. If James Baldwin had felt the need to whip up the pace a bit, he could never have achieved the extended lyrical intensity of Giovanni’s Room. Without “overwritten” prose, we would have none of the linguistic exuberance of a Dickens or an Angela Carter. If everyone was economical with their characters, there would be no Wolf Hall . . . For the rest of us, however, rules remain important. And, ­crucially, only by understanding what they’re for and how they work can you begin to experiment with breaking them.  (Sarah Waters)

and if indeed this is the end of this long running and much loved series, I have to draw a conclusion with:

150).  Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.  (Samuel Beckett)

I hope you enjoyed.

Kaite x

One hundred and fifty ‘rules’ for writing fiction: 115 – 119

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More quotations on writing collected from interviews and festival interviews over the years…

115)  Writing is finally a series of permissions you give yourself to be expressive in certain ways. To invent. To leap. To fly. To fall. To be strict without being too self-excoriating. Not stopping too often to think it’s going well (or not too badly), simply to keep rowing along.  (Susan Sontag)

116)  Write a book you’d like to read. If you wouldn’t read it, why would anybody else? Don’t write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book’s ready.  (Hilary Mantel)

117)   Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.  (Ray Bradbury)

118)   Never fear [the audience] or despise it. Coax it, charm it, interest it, stimulate it, shock it now and then if you must, make it laugh, make it cry, but above all . . . never, never, never bore the hell out of it.  (Noel Coward)

119)  The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.  (William Saroyan)

One hundred ‘rules’ for writing fiction: 37-41

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Further thoughts, provocations, and advice on writing fiction.

37.  Good writers work on their strengths. Great writers work on their weaknesses. (KOR).

38.  Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change. This is especially important for historical fiction. When your character is new to a place, or things alter around them, that’s the point to step back and fill in the details of their world. People don’t notice their everyday surroundings and daily routine, so when writers describe them it can sound as if they’re trying too hard to instruct the reader. (Hilary Mantel).

39.  Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious. (PD James).

40.  If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries and so on in the final third, the resolution. (Michael Moorcroft).

41.  Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceeding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work which is all in the edit. (Will Self).

One hundred ‘rules’ for writing fiction: 27-31

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More thoughts, instructions and reflections on writing fiction which I’ve collated over the years from interviews, articles, and festival appearances:

27. Be truthful to yourself, the content of your mind and imagination, your thought processes,  and your ‘voice’. Write what you’d love to read, what intrigues and engages you, not what you think you should be writing. (KOR).

28.  The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator. (Jonathan Franzen).

29.  Have more humility. Remember you don’t know the limits of your own abilities. Successful or not, if you keep pushing beyond yourself, you will enrich your own life – and maybe even please a few strangers. (AL Kennedy).

30. If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient. (Hilary Mantel).

31. The only end to writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life, or better to endure it. (Samuel Johnson. A Free Enquiry, 1757).