The writer, the West Country and the literary competition

Drinking-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-BenefitsI’ve managed to have a fair bit of luck with long listings and short listings in a number of writing competitions recently and it occurred to me that most of them are in the West Country.

Just think about it. There’s the Bridport Prize, one of the giants of the short story competition world, and Bristol Prize which has grown rapidly since its inception in 2007. Then down the road is the Bath Short Story Award, a relative new kid on the block but already attracting thousands of entrants from around the globe.  Well established is the Yeovil Literary Prize, not far off its teenage years. Then there is the Short Fiction Journal International Short Story Prize, which is based at Plymouth University, and the Exeter Writers Short Story Competition down in Devon. And there are yet more competitions based around festivals like the Fowey Festival of Words and Music in Cornwall and the Frome Festival in Somerset.

Have I missed any out? Apologies if so. And I’m a little surprised those hotbeds of alternative arts Stroud and Totnes don’t have literary festivals and competitions. Any takers?

The point is, I’m not sure anywhere else in the UK has such a rich stock of short story competitions and that’s something that should be celebrated.

Make mine a cider…