Thursday, 29 January 2009

Jane Austen Short Story Contest


Here's a great one from the inimitable Women Rule Writer.

Celebrating the bicentenary of Jane Austen's arrival in the Hampshire village of Chawton – where she spent the most productive years of her literary life. (Isn't that a bit of a stretch for an anniversary with zeros?)

What: short stories of 2,000-2,500 words in length. The inspiration for your story can be taken from any theme in Jane Austen’s novels: it might even be a character or a single sentence that sets your creative juices flowing. Or perhaps your imagination will be fired by the Elizabethan mansion, Chawton House, where Jane Austen and her family often gathered, and now houses a rare collection of early women’s writing.

Stories can have a historical or a contemporary setting – anything goes as long as it is well written. You have to state on the entry form exactly what inspired you to write it.

Main Judge: Sarah Waters, author of Tipping the Velvet, and Fingersmith.

Fee: £10 per story

First prize: £1,000.
Two runners up: £200 each.
All three finalists will also win a week’s writers’ retreat at Chawton House which must be taken in September.
Fifteen other shortlisted authors will receive £40 plus publication in the winners’ anthology.
Open to all writers who have not had a work of full length fiction published.
Deadline: 31st March 2009.
Winners contacted: June 2009

Details here

4 comments:

KAREN said...

Ooh I do like the sound of this one, thanks :o)

Gerard Cunningham said...

This particular contest appealed to me, mainly because I have an idea for an Austen-style story that's been rattling round in my head for a while, but have you looked at the terms & conditions?

Leaving aside for a moment the entry fee, which is inevitable in these kinds of things as far as I can tell, but "Chawton House Library has the unrestricted rights to publish the winning stories via a publisher of its choice as well as retaining the unrestricted rights to use the winning stories and any related material for PR purposes".

So for a net 30 quid, they buy publication rights? I've been looking at a few competitions, but this is the first one I've looked closely at, as the others didn't inspire me. Are all competition T&Cs so restrictive?

Emerging Writer said...

Interesting point Gerard. All the winning stories i.e. those in the anthology can be published by them and you get the £40 less your entry fee. Actually it sounds fairly reasonable. I was in an anthology that sold well in Tesco and didn't get a penny. The charity ended up getting only about 1,600 if memory serves.
What's the alternative? Where else would you send your story for more dosh. Anyway, you might win!

Emerging Writer said...

Winners published here http://www.chawton.org/news/files/Winner_000.pdf

Congratulations to the overall winner Victoria Owens.