Can you write a story about ‘Secrets’ in just 50 words?
That is the challenge we are setting as we launch our second Flash Fiction Writing Competition today (19 January). We are seeking submissions of stories of exactly 50 words, as measured on the website entry form (excluding the title). You can interpret the theme of Secrets in any way you wish, but your work must be original, and it must tell a complete story.
There are two age categories – under 16s and over 16s and we welcome entries from seasoned writers and from novices alike. A panel of experts will judge the entries and each winning story will be illustrated by students from the University of Derby. These will be printed on Festival bookmarks (2000 of each story) and distributed around the city to promote the Festival. We will also publish them on our website. The closing date for the competition is midnight 19 February 2016.
Last year’s competition in 2015 (on the theme of ‘Love’) had nearly 250 entries and we look forward to receiving even more entries this year. Here are a couple of last year’s winning stories which we hope will inspire you to enter!
By Will Charlton
Walking through the front door he heard a shout from the kitchen, “’Daddy!”
“We making cakes!”
Following the noise he saw them with their matching aprons on, a faint cloud of flour hanging in the air, broken eggs on the floor.
He was home and he couldn’t have been happier.
A Comfortable Fit
By Tracey Wilkinson
An old, chipped cup and saucer, not exactly matching but a comfortable fit.
A hairline crack, expertly repaired, a faded willow pattern.
Fifty summers of coffee in a tiny garden, fifty winters of steaming cocoa to accompany Book at Bedtime.
Someday they would break; it was inevitable.
But not yet.
The winners will be invited to the programme launch of the Derby Book Festival on 5 April 2016.
Debut Author Joanna Cannon book launch
We are very excited about this year’s Festival Debut Author, Derbyshire born and resident, Joanna Cannon, whose first novel The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is published on 28 January. We feel confident that she is about to have a huge publishing success and she has already received significant media attention, including a mention in The Guardian’s article on New Faces of Fiction 2016 on 10 January. If you want to be one of the first to get a copy, Jo will be visiting Waterstones Derby for a book signing on 27 January at around 3pm. She will also be in the store for one of Waterstones’ Meet the Author events on 24 February to talk about her book and inspiration.
And of course you can also meet Jo at the Festival on Friday 10 June in Déda. We will let you know when tickets are available.
Carol Ann Duffy tickets selling fast
Tickets to our Opening Event with Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson went on sale on 1 January and are selling well. So don’t miss out – they cost £12 each and you can buy them online or from the Festival Box Office in QUAD. Seats will be unallocated.
Derby Reads – 5 April 2016
A date for your diary – 5 April when we publish our Festival programme, and announce the winners of our Flash Fiction Writing Competition. The event will be similar to last year’s Derby Reads, which launched our first Festival in The Roundhouse. It will be a bit different, in that it will be a ‘taster’ of some of the exciting events in the programme and will include performances and readings from some of the featured books. The event will be free, but ticketed so you will need to book your place. We will be announcing when tickets are available for this event in a future eshot.
Writer and broadcaster Stuart Maconie will be appearing at the Festival on Saturday 4 June at The Guildhall Theatre with his show The Pie at Night. With his best-selling books as a guide Stuart plots a route that takes in high art to low culture, family holidays to fell-walking, music, sport, politics, crown green bowling and zombie apocalypses… always keeping in mind his motto… ‘All things in moderation… including moderation!’
Organised by our partner, Derby LIVE, the event begins at 7.30pm and tickets cost £14/£12 concessions. Tickets are now on sale from Derby LIVE: http://www.derbylive.co.uk