Posted in competitions, critique, literary festival, writing

The First BeaconLit 500-word Competition Longlist

Following the results announcement of the final month’s entries, we are now in a position to share the longlist of 34 stories (in alphabetical order):

  • A Dish Served Cold (October)
  • Alive Again (November)
  • A Pilgrimage (November)
  • April’s Fool (April)
  • Autumn Fair (September)
  • Back to School (September)
  • Black Friday (November)
  • Changing the Clocks (October)
  • Christmas is Coming (October)
  • Dents de Lion (April)
  • Edgar’s Last Stand (August)
  • Festive Fayre (December)
  • Gone but not forgotten (April)
  • Happy New Year (January)
  • Knickerbocker Holiday (July)
  • Letter Home December 1915 (December)
  • Love your Fete (May)
  • Making Mother’s Day (March)
  • ‘Mayday, Mayday’ (May)
  • New Starters (January)
  • New Year New Start (January)
  • No Running! (February)
  • Partition (August)
  • Seek and Ye Shall Find (September)
  • Spring Surveillance (March)
  • Summer Escape (August)
  • The Air That I Breathed (November)
  • The Keeper of Time (March)
  • The Wisdom of Scarecrows (May)
  • War of the Roses (February)
  • When Rambo Met Mitzy (February)
  • Wishful Thinking (December)
  • Wrongful Retribution (July)
  • Zapped (July)

Congratulations to those authors and commiserations to those not making this list. The standard was incredibly high so don’t let this put you off from entering (with different stories) again, and just as importantly sending your original submissions elsewhere.

These stories will now go through to the final judging and the top ten prize-winning 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.

The second BeaconLit 500-word competition will open on 1st August with specific rather than month-themed topics. As Morgen says, do try to make your stories as close to the theme as possible, so written around the theme rather than the topic slotted in as an afterthought. Even if it isn’t, you don’t want it to come across as such.

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Posted in competitions, writing

BeaconLit 500-word comp (final) Round 11 – May 2018 winners announced

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

  • Love your Fete
  • ‘Mayday, Mayday’
  • The Wisdom of Scarecrows

These three stories will now go through to the final judging and the top ten prize-winning 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. The second BeaconLit 500-word competition will open on 1st August with specific rather than month-themed topics.

If your story for this month isn’t listed above, you are welcome to do whatever you like with your submission hereon in. If your story is listed, it’s possible that it could be placed in the top three which will be announced (and possibly read out) at the festival then published on this website (and on http://www.beaconlit.co.uk and Morgen’s blog).

If you have requested, and paid for, critique, this will be with you in the next few days.

Morgen’s feedback on the stories received this month:

“Another fantastic selection of stories to end this year’s competition. There were sweet stories, sad ones, funny ones. I won’t be seeing Mary Berry in the same light from now on! Many could have made the top three but it was those that made me laugh, go “Ooh” or “Wow” and were closest to the theme that made the grade, as the cliché goes.

“Please don’t be disappointed if your story hasn’t been selected this month as seven made the shortlist with a tough choice to chop four. In most months, there were stories that so loosely followed the theme that the story could have happened during any other month (in that season or the year) or the person named after the month could have easily been called something else. There should be more substance to the story, fitting closer to the theme.

“The stories that didn’t make the top three each month can’t be entered it again to this competition but there are many other outlets that would likely be suitable. I don’t get to see who has sent which stories but I have been very impressed by the quality of the submissions and I’m a tough crowd. You’re putting pen to paper and / or fingers to keyboard so you should all be incredibly proud.”

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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 during the editing process. Please do read your stories carefully before submitting and ideally show them to someone you trust for their opinion.

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The competition is now closed for this year. We thank you for all your submissions and look forward to reading your stories next time round.

Posted in competitions, literary festival

The BeaconLit 500-word 2017-2018 season is closed!

Yes, the end of May brings our first year’s competition to a close. The results for May will be announced on this blog mid-June, with the longlist (of 34 stories) posted thereafter. The results (winners plus runners up) will then be announced at this year’s literary festival and the top three stories published (on this blog and the judge’s blog).

Late July, we will be launching the next season (running from August 2018 to May 2019) which willl no longer have the month as the theme but a different theme per month. The list will be announced after the festival (so after 14th July) and the 500-word Competition page updated (with the current season’s listings moved to a sub-page). This contains a list of the prizes offered: top two (cash) prizes plus eight runners up, all of whom win tickets to the 2019 literary festival. Next season there will be the same top ten prizes but additional prizes to be announced alongside the themes.

Thank you to all of you who entered.  Congratulations to those authors who were selected. Commiserations to those who missed out. The standard was incredibly high so don’t feel bad and you still have the story to send elsewhere. Hopefully those receiving critique will have found it useful not only for that piece but with your writing ongoing.

Posted in competitions, critique, writing

BeaconLit 500-word comp Round 10 – April 2018 – winners announced

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

  • April’s Fool
  • Dents de Lion
  • Gone but Not Forgotten

(‘Two Women’ only just missing out)

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).

If you have requested and paid for critique, this will be with you in the next few days.

Morgen’s feedback on the stories received this month:

A love mix of stories. Again some could have been set at any point in the year with April mentioned almost as an addition rather than the story created with that month in mind… or so they felt. The winning stories though were chosen because of my reaction to them. A “wow” at the end of a story usually means it’s going to do well. Anything ranging from an ‘ah’ to ‘ooh’ is also likely to at least beat those to which I go “Huh?”, and there’s often at least one of those. Get someone else to read your story and see how they react. Everyone needs a second pair of eyes / ears. I’d recommend the judge being at least the third.

*

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.

The final (May) round (where the theme is ‘May’) 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

BeaconLit 500-word comp Round 9 – Mar 2018 – winners announced

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

  • Making Mother’s Day
  • Spring Surveillance
  • The Keeper of Time

…with ‘Ides’ narrowly missing out on the top three.

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).

If you have requested, and paid for, critique, this will be with you in the next few days.

Morgen’s feedback on the stories received this month:

A wonderful array of topics this month including birthstones, Mother’s Day and St Patrick’s Day, the March equinox, the hour change, the Ides of March, and March hares. There were a couple where March felt as if it had just been slotted in to fit the theme, and that the story could have either taken place at any time that season or even during the year. It’s a shame because they were well written but, being a themed competition, this takes priority. For many reading stories – myself included – it’s also about how they (I) feel at the end of the story. We should be entertained (regardless of genre), on occasion educated, and invariably hope for the elusive “Wow”. What you want to avoid – and test this on a friend – is a “Huh?” at the end, and that happened for me a couple of times. The three I chose, as well as being well written, are poignant or entertaining with clever twists on the themes.

*

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.

The April round (where the theme is ‘April’) 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.

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

BeaconLit 500-word comp Round 8 – February 2018 – winners announced

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

  • No Running!
  • War of the Roses
  • When Rambo Met Mitzy

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).

If you have requested, and paid for, critique, this will be with you in the next few days.

Morgen’s feedback on the stories received this month:

There were five contenders for the top spots this month. That said, the remaining stories could have made it in a different batch but as with most judging, it was how I felt at the end of the story that swung it for me. Most entrants went for a Valentine’s theme, as to be expected, but extra kudos for those who didn’t. We had first person, third person, serious and comic. One, sadly, had nothing to do with February so was disqualified. It’s not always about the quality of the writing and in some cases it can feel that the author is trying too hard. Stories are composed of character, setting and plot, and for most readers it’s all about character. You could have an intricate plot, elaborate setting, but if the reader doesn’t care what happens to the character then the story falls.

*

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.

The March round (where the theme is ‘March’) 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

BeaconLit 500-word comp Round 7 – January 2018 – winners announced

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

  • Happy New Year
  • New Starters
  • New Year New Start

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).

If you have requested, and paid for, critique, this will be with you in the next few days.

Morgen’s feedback on the stories received this month:

Another tough month. There were five stories that could have made the top three but I had to whittle it down so after rereading (twice), it was the impact of the stories that made the decision as well as the closeness to the theme. One was particularly clever where, apart from being dialogue only, there was a twist, although I had guessed it before it was revealed which was a shame. Some of those missing out had scant connections to January where they could have been set in any month (e.g. winter rather than month specific) and a couple felt as if they’d already been written and tweaked to fit the theme.

Don’t lose heart if you’ve not been placed. All the stories submitted are worthy of publication so if you’ve not been placed in this competition, do send your story / stories to another competition or somewhere where they will pay you for publication. Any success looks good on your writing CV (submission’s cover letter).

*

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.

The February round (where the theme is ‘February’) 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!