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Welcome to the BeaconLit blog!

Logo SHello everyone! This is a new blog and we will be filling this section with bloggy-type content. Let us know what you would like to see. Are you an author and have something to share with our visitors? Are you a reader and have a brilliant book that you would like to write a review for? Do you have a connection with the Beacon Villages area. Let us know!

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Posted in competitions, critique, literary festival, writing

500-word comp Round 3 – Sept 2017 – winners announced

We are delighted to announce the top three stories from September’s entries are (in title order):

  • Autumn Fair
  • Back to School
  • Seek and Ye Shall Find

These three stories will now go through to the final judging which takes place when the final (eleventh) round closes on 31st May. The results of that month will be revealed mid-June and the final ten authors (not necessarily the same as the top ten stories as no author can win more than one prize) will be announced at the 2018 BeaconLit literary festival on Saturday 14th July.

If your story isn’t listed above, you are welcome to do whatever you like with them hereon in. If your story is listed, it’s possible that it could be placed in the top three (next July – see below) which will be published on this website (and on http://www.beaconlit.co.uk).

For those of you have requested (and paid for) critique on your stories, this will be with you in the next few days.

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Morgen’s feedback on this month’s entries:

“Another mixed bag. Some where disqualified, or at least lost points, because they were either not written to the theme (of September), had picked the wrong month, or they were so loosely based on the month that the stories could have taken place at any time… A couple of the stories felt as if they had already been written and were tweaked to accommodate the theme. It’s all about the impact of the story having read it through. One missed out because it had a clichéd ending. Those to avoid (and the story was one of these):

  • The character was one of twins; one bad, one good.
  • The main character turns out to be an animal.
  • Chris isn’t Christopher but is Christine.
  • The ‘child’ dreading the first day at school turns out to be the teacher.

And worst of all (it wasn’t this one)…

  • It was all a dream… Bobby Ewing!

Women’s magazines especially avoid those.”

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The October round (where the theme is ‘October’) has already opened so don’t delay in writing those 500-word maximum (excluding titles) masterpieces. And do make sure you read them thoroughly before submitting.

Should you get through to the longlist of 33 stories (three per month over eleven months), it doesn’t necessarily mean that your story will be chosen for the top ten. And no author will appear in the top ten twice so a story that came eleventh (or twelfth, thirteenth) could be bumped up where there are author duplications. So, the more (stories / months) you enter, the more chance you have of success.

And now you can also receive feedback on your story / stories at £5 per story with the optional critique service (given by the judge, Morgen Bailey, who is a professional editor for publishers and independent authors). This option is detailed on the main 500-word Competition page with an option to select critique within the entry form. Good luck!

Posted in competitions, critique, literary festival, writing

500-word comp Round 2 – August 2017 – winners announced

We are delighted to announce the top three stories from August’s entries are (in alphabetical story order):

  • Edgar’s Last Stand
  • Partition
  • Summer Escape

These three stories will now go through to the final judging which takes place when the final (eleventh) round closes on 31st May. The results of that month will be revealed mid-June and the final ten authors (not necessarily the same as the top ten stories as no author can win more than one prize) will be announced at the 2018 BeaconLit literary festival on Saturday 14th July.

If your story isn’t listed above, you are welcome to do whatever you like with them hereon in. If your story is listed, it’s possible that it could be placed in the top three (next July – see below) which will be published on this website (and on http://www.beaconlit.co.uk).

Again, it was a tough task picking favourites from any batch of entries and again there were two vying for the month’s shortlist, both excellent for different reasons, but one just had the edge on another read through. (I read them all twice.) The one that missed out was ‘A Good Day Out’ so well done anyway to that author.

Some stories didn’t make the ‘grade’ because they had very little to do with August – where they felt as if the story had already been written and reference to the month added later. Two of the top three celebrated (or commiserated) an event in history so it felt as if the authors had really done their research.

Another story was well written but didn’t make the top three because it had a clichéd ‘it was all a dream’ ending. Other topics to avoid are:

  • We think the character is a male Chris but she’s actually Christine.
  • The character turns out to be an animal.
  • The end twist is that they are twins.

Although Morgen judges on the impact of the stories and the quality of the writing, it’s always disappointing when there are simple spelling mistakes or even simpler errors that should have been picked up when going through before submission. Fortunately that didn’t happen this time.

The September round (where the theme is ‘September’) has already opened so don’t delay in writing those 500-word maximum (excluding titles) masterpieces. And do make sure you read them thoroughly before submitting.

Should you get through to the longlist of 33 stories (three per month over eleven months), it doesn’t necessarily mean that your story will be chosen for the top ten. And no author will appear in the top ten twiceso a story that came eleventh (or twelfth, thirteenth) could be bumped up where there are author duplications. So, the more (stories / months) you enter, the more chance you have of success.

And now you can also receive feedback on your story / stories at £5 per story with the optional critique service (given by the judge, Morgen Bailey, who is a professional editor for publishers and independent authors). This is detailed on the main 500-word Competition page with an option to select critique within the entry form. Good luck!

Posted in competitions, critique, literary festival, writing

500-word comp Round 1 – July 2017 – winners announced

I’m delighted to announce the top three stories from July’s entries are:

  • Zapped
  • Wrongful Retribution
  • Knickerbocker Holiday

These three stories will now go through to the final judging which takes place when the final (eleventh) round closes on 31st May. The results of that month will be revealed mid-June and the final ten authors (not necessarily the same as the top ten stories as no author can win more than one prize) will be announced at the 2018 BeaconLit literary festival on Saturday 14th July.

It’s always a pleasurable though difficult job picking favourites from any batch of entries and there were two vying for the month’s shortlist, both excellent for different reasons but one just had the edge. Although I judge on the impact of the stories and the quality of the writing, it’s always disappointing when there are simple spelling mistakes or even simpler errors that should have been picked up when going through before submission. One had a word with an ‘r’ missing which would have been fine had the resulting word not been correct in its own right but totally different meaning than the word intended. Stories have to be marked down for this. So please don’t go kicking yourself because you let something go through

The August round (where the theme is ‘August’) has already opened so don’t delay in writing those 500-word maximum (excluding titles) masterpieces.

You can also receive feedback on your story / stories at £5 per story with the optional critique service (given by the judge, Morgen Bailey, who is a professional editor for publishers and independent authors). This option is detailed on the main 500-word Competition page with an option to select critique within the entry form. Good luck!

Posted in writing

BeaconFlash round 1 closes this Monday!

MorgEn Bailey - Editor, Comp Columnist/Judge, Tutor & Writing Guru

BeaconFlash is BeaconLit’s new 500-word competition (with month-end deadlines/themes July to May). Just £2 per entry with £325’s worth of prizes! https://beaconlitblog.wordpress.com/500-word-competition

BeaconLit is a non-profit festival where all proceeds go to local libraries. http://bvcl.org.uk

This month (July) will likely have less entrants as it’s a short month so don’t delay! I will then pick my favourite three so if we only receive three entries (that have been written to the theme of ‘July’ and are 500 words or less)…

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Posted in writing

New BeaconFlash competition!

Exciting news! BeaconLit is running a new 500-word (maximum) competition, called BeaconFlash, in collaboration with Morgen Bailey.

See the 500-word Competition page for more details and to enter but the basics are:

  • The deadline is the last day of every month from July to May, with the theme being that month (i.e. December’s theme is December so you can write about anything associated with, or that happens in, December);
  • The maximum word count is 500 words (no minimum but there must be a start, middle, and end… or open-ended with a hint at a conclusion);
  • a £2 fee per story entered.
  • The results announced at the literary festival, i.e. opens July 2017 ends each month up to the end of May 2018 with the results being announced at the 14th July 2018 festival.
  • Prizes: £50 plus free festival entry, £25 plus free festival entry, 8 x free festival entry. The first competition’s prizes will be presented at the 2018 festival so the ‘free entry’ will apply to the 2019 festival.
Posted in writing

‘Poirot’ star and thriller writer HUGH FRASER appearing at Beaconlit 2017

We are delighted to announce that the ‘Poirot’ star and thriller writer HUGH FRASER among first names announced for BeaconLit 2017.

hugh_fraser-blog

Hugh Fraser, perhaps best known as ‘Captain Hastings’ from ITV’s ‘Agatha Christie’s Poirot’ series, is also an accomplished thriller writer and is amongst those taking part in BeaconLit 2017, taking place on Saturday 8 July 2017 in Brookmead School, Ivinghoe, Bucks, UK.

Others taking part include: hot new authors to watch Steph Broadribb, Harriet Cummings and Clare Swatman (pictured left to right below); publisher Karen Sullivan, powerhouse ower of award-winning Orenda Books; BBC Oxford presenter and interviewer extraordinaire Adina Campbell; author and uber-blogger Morgen Bailey; and crime writer and BeaconLit founder Dave Sivers.

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Plenty more exciting names are in the pipeline, so save the date and watch this space!