I keep a spreadsheet of all my short story entries. I have noticed in the years where I have entered more competitions I have won or been placed in more and successfully made it into the all-important anthologies. Upwards of 20 entries seems to be what you need for success.
Despite being autumn, a time when one tends to hibernate, it is a time when I return to my writing and course planning with renewed enthusiasm. The pleasant distractions of summer disappear, the garden is put to bed for winter and a quieter period ensues, one where I can think without interruption and plan. I've been checking my competition spreadsheet and deciding what to enter and where. I research the judge, usually a well-known author, I also read any of the previous winners’ stories that are sometimes posted online. If the competition has an anthology I will get hold of a back copy and read the winners stories, also I may put in two or three quite different stories because, I conclude, the judge or judges will want variety in the anthology. If it is for a literary magazine I get hold of a copy. Cost is an issue, competitions fees have increased in recent years and so I am more selective and, like everyone I know, I have cut back in the light of current fiscal conditions. The great thing about entering competitions is that it is a focus, something to aim for, in terms of length, content, style and deadlines. Stories that don't make it one year, are re-edited, re-written or left to lie fallow for a period while I consider a new approach, and most important of all your writing will be read.
I am delighted to have been invited to run a one day creative writing workshop for the Holt Festival inspired by the Craxton - Picasso Exhibition on Wednesday 27th July 2022 10am-4pm. For booking: £65.00 (limited to ten places) https://www.holtfestival.org/fine-art-events/
To book please email email@example.com
www.holtfestival.org #craxtonpicasso #creativewriting #artmeetsliterature #patriciamullin #holtfestival
In addition to a very strong visual content the Craxton-Picasso exhibition has an intriguing literary element too - involving Paddy Leigh Fermor and Horizon magazine
Begins with a tour of the Craxton-Picasso exhibition and brief talk by curator James Glennie, after questions and coffee Patricia will lead some short exercises and discussion to get the creative juices flowing. After lunch there will the opportunity to write and craft stories, applying the ideas and techniques discussed during the morning session, along with more discussion and sharing of stories.
A previous students writes...
I thought it was very well designed, and richly layered course. The structure was really helpful, and the teaching style was warm, supportive and very informative. There was a nice balance between encouragement and challenge, and we were all accommodated. Every session was lively, stimulating and very enjoyable, inspiring us to go off and try things on our own.
John Craxton (1922-2009) the subject of this year’s festival exhibition Craxton-Picasso, was championed from the age of 19 as one of the great hopes of modern painting in Britain.
He and Lucian Freud worked in adjoining London studios for much of the war, when Craxton was mentored by Graham Sutherland and John Piper.
Craxton escaped in 1946 to Greece, where he found creative inspiration for the rest of his life. The dark, melancholic images of the war years – with haunted solitary figures emblematic portraits of the artist himself – vanished as he became absorbed in the light, life and landscapes of the Aegean.
A consummate portraitist of cats, goats and people – a lover of food, wine and music in good company – John Craxton painted pleasure and lived it.