Fire up your imagination: Entries are now being sought for the Express & Star's short story competition
Are you a whizz with words or is there a story in your head desperate to be put on a page? Do you have a selection of short stories already or would you just like to have a go at writing?
As part of the second Wolverhampton Literature Festival, the Express & Star is launching a short story-writing competition.
Award-winning writer and journalist Will Self is to headline the festival which will see a programme of more than 80 events taking place at 16 venues across the city from Thursday January 25 until Sunday January 28.
The rules for our story-writing competition are very simple. Entrants can submit a story on any subject or theme of around 1,200 words. The story must be an original piece of fiction and not an account of real events.
A panel of judges will decide the winner who will have their story printed in the Express & Star. And they will also have their story read out at the Wolverhampton Literature Festival by award-winning local author Paul Dowswell.
He will read the story at Wolverhampton Art Gallery following his talk with fellow writer Ian Billings entitled Writing for Fun and Profit on January 28 between 12.30-1.30pm.
Deadline for the competition is January 6. Email your short stories to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them to Editor's Secretary Karen Baker, Express & Star, Queen Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1ES.
Our competition is for over 16s although a Young Authors competition is already running for key stage 2 and 3 schoolchildren as part of the festival.
Run by The Imaginarium on behalf of the city council, schools have been invited to encourage pupils to write a 500-word story on the theme of travel with the four winning entries to be adapted for the stage and performed by drama students from the City of Wolverhampton College at the Slade Rooms during the festival.
In addition, there is a poetry competition with a £400 first prize. Organised by Write Out Loud, the competition will have the theme 'Out of darkness cometh light'.
Poets are invited to submit pieces of up to 40 lines on the theme of 'out of darkness' before the deadline of December 31. Wolverhampton poet Emma Purshouse will decide the winner and said: "What I’d like to find in a winning poem would be acutely well observed detail, coherence, and an original voice. I will be searching for those poems that engage with the reader, those poems that people will want to read again and again."
The winners will be announced in advance of the festival itself, giving them the opportunity to read at an awards event during the festival. For more details go to www.writeoutloud.net/competitions/wolf18