winners and new magazine
has announced the winner, runners-up, and special commendations
Twelfth International Poetry Competition, as well
as releasing Issue 24 of firstwriter.magazine,
Sam Szanto, from
Twickenham, United Kingdom (right), was announced as the winner of the competition
with the poem "Night-light", and wins £500 (around $750).
Leigha Miceli, of Orlando,
Florida, wins $150 for submitting the best entry from the
United States with the poem "Unconditional", and Clare
Ferguson-Walker of Whitland, Pembrokeshire, wins £100 for entering the best runner-up
poem from the United Kingdom, "I am part of all that I have
met". The winning
poems can be read online at
All the winners will also be
published in a future issue of firstwriter.magazine, and
receive vouchers worth £24 / $36 – as will the ten Special
Paul Lowe, United Kingdom, “Wakes and Vapour Trails”;
- Rhona Aitken, United Kingdom, “Lap-Top reflections”;
- Katherine Summers, Australia, “Swan River Swim on a Hot Night”;
- Lorna Charles, United Kingdom, “Divorce”;
- Ute Carson, United States, “Eternity”;
- Hannah Fowler-Tutt, Australia, “Tea”;
- Jonathan Payne, United Kingdom, “Taking the Cord”;
- Cathy Bryant, United Kingdom, “Pistachios”;
- Mary Valentine (M V) Williams, United Kingdom, “Bust Specs”;
- Peter Ruddock, South Africa, “The last”.
Issue 24: Foiled Again
The latest issue of firstwriter.magazine has also
just been released, featuring quality fiction and poetry
submitted from around the world, plus your first chance to see
not just the winning story from our Ninth International Short
Story Contest, but also all ten Special Commendations. To
view the magazine click
here. To enter your work in our Tenth International
Short Story Contest click
If you submitted
work for issue 24 you can check to see if your work
has been included by viewing the magazine online (click
here). If your work has not been included then,
unfortunately, on this occasion
your submission has not been successful. We'd love to see more
of your work, though, and are now accepting submissions
for issue 26 of the magazine. We accept poems up to
30 lines and short stories up to 3,000 words. You can
submit your work for consideration online at https://www.firstwriter.com/Magazine/submit.shtml
Handbook 2014 now available on Apple, Barnes & Noble, Nook,
Sony, and more...
bestselling book for writers, The firstwriter.com
Writers' Handbook 2014, is now available from even
more outlets and on even more devices. As well as being
in print and as a
Kindle edition from
Amazon sites around the world, and as an ebook for Android
Google Play, it can now be purchased from
the following retailers in a variety of formats:
How I got a
interview with author, Christine McAteer
recently acquired a publisher using firstwriter.com's
database of publishers. We asked her about her
writing, and how she found success.
for taking the time to talk to us, Christine. Tell
us a little about the book you've successfully placed.
CM: The title is Daddy Sir.
It is the story of my journey as a survivor of incest,
physical and emotional abuse. There were multiple
perpetrators and I describe my reactions to the abuse, the
pain and terror, and living in a constant atmosphere of
acute sensitivity. It is my story and I touch on
Dissociative Identity Disorder, a condition that I
have as a result of the abuse.
fw: What made
you want to write this book?
CM: The need to reach out to other abuse survivors. I
want to offer hope.
fw: How did you go about writing
CM: I made a detailed outline of what I wanted each
chapter to say. I revised and added to it as I went along.
It took me several years to write it. I self published
most of my book and the success I achieved prompted me to
revise it and offer it to a publisher.
fw: Was it
the first time you'd tried any writing?
CM: This is
really not my first attempt at writing since my book went
through a number of incarnations. I have self
published two other books as well.
fw: Did that
process help you?
CM: I think it helps
because you refine your writing. My topic is such a one
that many publishing houses wouldn't look at it. The
experience gave me valuable direction when I approached a
publisher who wasn't afraid to publish a difficult
topic. He's not only publishing it but has asked me to
write another book.
fw: Did you go through a literary agent?
CM: No, I approached the publisher directly and I
secured the deal directly.
fw: Did you
try any other methods of finsing a publisher before you
CM: Yes I did. I queried
agents and publishers and collected rejection slips.
fw: So how
was firstwriter.com different?
firstwriter.com helped me to narrow the field. I chose the
nonfiction option and from there I narrowed the market
to publishers who accepted autobiography. I then selected
publishers to approach.
fw: What did
you do after you'd identified suitable publishers?
CM: I researched
them online and bought
some books to see what kind of work they handled.
you then send out specific query letters to each?
fashioned one query letter that was specific to the
content of my book and just changed the name, address and
date of the letter. I always made sure to address the
salutation to the appropriate name. I sent out a proposal
and sample chapters to the publishers whom showed
interest. I sent my manuscript to the publishers who
How long did it take to find success?
CM: I spent about 6 to 8 months
trying to place the work in its present incarnation. I was
tremendously lucky to have firstwriter.com to point me
in the right direction. I probably approached about 25
fw: Did the
rejections ever get you down?
CM: The rejections were mostly form
letters which were polite. It was early days but I was
disappointed when publishers who led me to believe
they would handle the work didn't. I handled the rejection
by pressing forward to the next name on my list.
Which was the published that signed you
in the end?
Eleusinian Press in the UK. I have
wonderfully approachable relationship with the editor.
What do you think was the main reason
they offered you a deal?
CM: We are an incredible match and it was my query
letter which brought his initial response. I can't stress
enough how important it is to polish and polish your
letter. A well crafted query letter opens doors.
book is obviously on a subject that's very personal to
you. Has it been difficult to let someone else become
involved in the telling of that story?
CM: It is not
difficult to let my
publisher work on Daddy Sir because our vision for the
book is the same. I am enjoying the publishing process.
The entire publishing schedule has taken about a year.
advice would you give to other writers trying to get
CM: An agent is the accepted avenue of
approaching a publisher and that's a good thing. But do
not be afraid to approach publishers directly unless
the guidelines say you must have an agent.
fw: And what
are your plans when the book is finished?
CM: We are in the final stages of
publishing and my publication date is around April, 2014.
I am currently working on the second book on the topic,
learning how to live with Dissociative Identity Disorder,
also written from my own experience.
fw: The best
of luck with it, Christine, and thank you for taking the
time to talk to us!
To search the database of over 1,500 book publishers for
the one that might be right for you,
About the Author
McAteer was born in Greenville Texas eventually moving to
FT.Worth, Texas, where a large portion of her book,
Daddy Sir, takes place. As a young girl she was
sexually abused by her father, grandfather and oldest
brother on an ongoing basis until she was 17 years old.
She now resides in Hawthorne, NJ,
and is happily married. She has successfully completed
several years of therapy and is now leading a full and
joyous life. She has previously self published two books,
Out of Egypt and an earlier version of Daddy
Her book will be
available in early April through
Prize announces new prize for 2014
Named after its founder, Peggy Chapman-Andrews, the Bridport Prize has
announced a new award for talented novelists who are yet to be published or
represented by a literary agent.
The Bridport Prize is partnered in this opportunity by The Literary
Consultancy and A.M. Heath Literary Agents, offering mentoring and possible
publication for the winning novel.
For the first stage, all writers need to enter are the first chapters of
their novel, up to 8,000 words, with a strong synopsis. Those longlisted and
later shortlisted will need to submit further chapters at the relevant stages.
The novel does not have to be complete to win. The Literary Consultancy will
offer mentoring and feedback over a period of time whilst you finish the novel.
And should it turn out to be a riveting read, A.M. Heath Literary Agents will
consider representing you and offering the novel to a publisher they recommend.
Judging the competition alongside The Literary Consultancy and A.M. Heath
will be acclaimed author, Alison Moore, shortlisted for The Booker Prize in 2012
for her novel The Lighthouse. When looking for a winning entry Alison
will be searching for “evidence of a feel for language. A story that draws me
in, involves me in its world, moves me in some way, and lingers in my head long
after I've finished reading.”
Rebecca Swift of The Literary Consultancy says of the project: “The Bridport
Prize holds a romantic place in my imagination, as it was one of the first
National prizes I became aware of, and seemed a glamorous, serious and exciting
initiative full of promise. Many years later, I am extremely proud that my
company, The Literary Consultancy, has been asked to be involved with helping to
support their new prize, aimed for the first time, at novelists. Bridport stands
out in terms of its serious commitment to unearthing, and supporting writing
talent, and we look forward to being part of the process of helping those
involved to the best of our capabilities.”
A.M. Heath’s Euan Thorneycroft says “Discovering new writers is one of the
most exciting things about reading, whether you are an agent, a publisher, a
bookseller or a book buyer. This is why A.M. Heath is delighted to be involved
with a prize dedicated to that aim, particularly one that is founded by the much
loved and highly respected Bridport Prize. I am sure we are going to find many
literary stars of the future.”
The award is open to writers, resident in the United Kingdom, with a
part-written or completed novel in any adult fiction genre. The closing date is
May 31, 2014, and full details are on the Bridport Prize website at
The 2014 main competition is also now open for entries. There is a £16,000 prize
fund, and this year the judges are: Liz
Lochhead for poetry; Andrew Miller
for short stories; and Tania Hershman for flash fiction.
For full details, please see
For the details of over 100 other writing
Writer's Hotel Master Class in Fiction & Nonfiction
The Writer's Hotel & The New Guard literary review are hosting a Writer's
Workshop Master Class in Fiction and Nonfiction in the NYC Midtown area June
The Writer's Hotel June events will be held between three writer's hotels,
The Algonquin Hotel, The Library Hotel and The Bryant Park Hotel. Workshops,
lectures and seminars will take place at The Library Hotel Writer's Den and
Poetry Garden and at The Bryant Park Hotel Terrace Loft and The Loft.
The June, 2014 Master Class in Fiction & Nonfiction is centered on craft and
the publishing industry. Each writer participates in an intensive Master Class
workshop with a TWH instructor. There will be several lectures and seminars on
craft in both Fiction and Nonfiction. Agents and editors will be in attendance
for two seminar spots. Writers will have the opportunity to interact with those
agents and editors face-to-face, and to present their best work for
consideration. Each writer will also have the chance to read their own original
work at an NYC venue on one of thereading nights.
The organisers are also working in co-operation with Literary Manhattan, to
give the Master Class its proper backdrop and to honour writers and a city so
steeped in literary history. There will be historic literary walking tours of
Midtown and literary events on the docket, including a guided game of "Wink,
Murder" at The Algonquin Hotel, a parlor game made famous by NYC's so-called
Many seats have been reserved, and the process is selective. There is no
application fee; your work will be read free of charge. Should you be accepted,
you would be part of an exclusive group of writers. The Master Class is very
small, at only 44 writers total. A limited number of rooms have been reserved
for attendees at participating hotels. Those rooms are going fast and are
Workshop Leaders are Scott Wolven, Elyssa East and Shanna McNair teaching
Fiction, and Richard Hoffman teaching Nonfiction.
Please inquire at
TheWritersHotel@outlook.com for more details.
Poems and Stories are now being accepted for the 16th Annual Golden Pen
Competition. First Prize: €100 for adults; €50 for students. Prizes for second
and third placed writers plus publication in the Festival Magazine.
Entry fee: ADULTS €5 (£4 or $5, UK/USA); STUDENTS: €3 or £2. No entry form
required. Open Theme. Stories limited to 2000 words; poems to 70 lines.
Entrants should put their name and details on a separate sheet and send their
poems and stories to:
The Golden Pen
Deadline: April 1, 2014. Winners will be notified before June 9, 2014.
scheme for debut novelists
The Writers' Village Foundation is currently awarding bursaries valued at
£500 (approx. $800) that are exchangeable for a full professional critique of a
novel which is almost ready to submit to an agent or publisher or be formatted
Entries will be judged by Michelle Spring, a Royal Literary Fellow at
Magdalene College, Cambridge. Deadline is March 31, 2014.
For full details, go to
EVENT Magazine's Annual Nonfiction
EVENT, a literary journal now in its fourth decade of publication, showcases
fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, reviews and notes on writing by new and
established writers from Canada and around the world.
The deadline for EVENT's Annual Nonfiction Contest deadline is coming up
(April 15, 2014). Writers are invited to submit manuscripts exploring the
creative nonfiction form. The entry fee is $34.95, which includes 1 year of
EVENT. Multiple entries are allowed; however, each entry must be accompanied by
a separate fee. No simultaneous submissions.
Maximum entry length is 5,000 words, typed, double-spaced. Prizes: $1,500 in
prize monies available, plus payment for publication!
This year's judge is Deborah Campbell.
for complete contest guidelines.
Ticket to Write playwriting contest
The Ticket to Write playwriting contest – launched as a Beatles-themed
Festival – is now open for entries for the third year when the selected plays
will be performed at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre on July 15 and 16, 2014.
The 2014 Festival has two new exciting changes:
- Plays need not just have themes on The Beatles – they can include the
wider Mersey Music scene of the 60s.
- Plays entered should now be one-act 40 – 45 minute dramas rather than 15
As usual, the plays can be about the people, stories inspired by songs and
song-titles or any genuine connection with
The Beatles or the Mersey Scene of that period.
The winner gets £150 and it costs £20 to enter. Entries must be in by Friday
April 18, 2014.
All plays will be assessed anonymously by a theatre professional and three
will go forward to be performed on both nights of the final when the audience
vote will count towards the final result.
All entries will receive a considered written critique from the assessor who
will receive £10 of the entry fee.
Full details, including fees and guidance for non-UK entries, are under How
To Enter on the website at
writers at firstwriter.com
Go to firstwriter.com
for the following invaluable resources for writers:
on this newsletter for as little as $30 / £20 click