Judging Word Factory Apprentice Award

THE WORD FACTORY APPRENTICE AWARD 2021

NATIONAL MENTORING SCHEME FOR SHORT STORY WRITERS

Word Factory is open for applications to the Word Factory Apprentice Award 2021 in partnership with the Northern Writers’ Awards and the Society of Authors. Applicants must be over 18, of any nationality or descent but permanently resident in England, serious about developing their short story writing and passionate about working with the Word Factory team. 

The judges will select two award winners, one of whom must be based in the north. We are delighted that this year our mentors are Toby Litt and Catherine Menon. The award will be judged by co-founders Cathy Galvin and Paul McVeigh, joined this year by writer Leone Ross and New Writing North’s Will Mackie.

This is your opportunity to join the distinguished Word Factory Apprentice Award alumnae. Previous winners of our mentoring award have achieved industry recognition – including publication with independent and mainstream publishers such as Salt and Faber and awards and shortlistings including the Guardian BAME prize, Bath Flash Fiction Prize, Wasafiri and McKitterick Prize.

Apprentice Award winners will:

* Have one-on-one mentorship over a six to nine month period with a leading author + a bursary. 

* Be invited to read with their mentor at a Word Factory event, online or at a venue to be decided.

* Be offered additional support from Word Factory director Cathy Galvin.

* Have free admission to our salons and a selection of masterclasses. Our northern winner will benefit from writer-development activities offered by our partner, New Writing North. 

* Receive free membership to the writer’s union, the Society of Authors.

* Be promoted by us on our website and on social media.

In exchange, we expect dedication to the craft and ethos of the Word Factory. We are looking for writers who will contribute their time in helping us run and promote events, work with us online and offer their skills to the team.

How To Apply:

Please apply if you are working seriously on your writing and would benefit from our scheme at this stage of your career. You may have already had stories published or be at the stage of thinking about sending work out for publication. We will be looking for dedication and understanding of the art and craft of the form and for individuals willing to work within our team. Please Note: the scheme is not suitable for anyone with novels or collections already published or under contract (writers of self-published and non-fiction books may apply).

Writers living in the North of England, should apply via the Northern Writers’ Award and do not need to use this Eventbrite portal. If you live in the north, go direct to http://www.northernwritersawards.com where you will find the entry portal for the Word Factory Northern Apprentice Award. The northern application process deadline is February 18th 2021. 

To clarify what is defined as “the north” for the purposes of this award, please refer to this map: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/download-file/Map_area_boundaries.pdf

Everyone else living in England should apply here:

* Use this Eventbrite page to buy your ticket. The £10 fee covers administration and goes towards supporting our not-for-profit work. 

* After you have purchased your ticket, you will receive an email confirmation with an order number. Keep that number safe.

* Prepare your application: we need you to send us two things: a 400 word letter explaining how you will benefit from the award and how you will contribute to our work as a team. You will also need to enclose a sample of your work – a story or extract from a story no longer than 2000 words long. 

* Send your letter and your work to us at wfaward@thewordfactory.tvwith your Eventbrite ticket order number in the subject header and body of the email. Please also tell us where you live and it’s useful to know how you like to identify yourself. We are keen to support marginalised writers.

* Please note: it is a requirement of entry that the Eventbrite ticket order number is included in your application. 

* Applications OPEN: November 26th 2020.

* Applications (other than the north) CLOSE: February 28th 2021

* Winners are announced in June 2021 via the Word Factory and the Northern Writers’ Awards. 

Due to the high numbers of applications expected, we will not be contacting you if your application has been unsuccessful. 

If you can’t afford the £10 fee, write in confidence to us at wfaward@thewordfactory.tv and we may be able to offer you a free application or concession.

Cork Short Story Festival 2020: Niamh Campbell & Kit de Waal

Niamh Campbell & Kit de Waal in conversation with Paul McVeigh

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Saturday
October 10th

7pm (€5)

Niamh Campbell was born in 1988 and grew up in Dublin. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The Dublin Review, 3:AM, Banshee, gorse, Five Dials, and Tangerine. She was awarded a Next Generation literary bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland, and annual literary bursaries in 2018 and 2019. She holds a PhD in English from King’s College London and is a current postdoctoral fellow for the Arts Council of Ireland at Maynooth University. Her debut novel This Happy was published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in 2020. She was the winner of the 2020 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award. She lives and works in Dublin.

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Kit de Wall was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother, who was a childminder and foster carer and a Caribbean father. She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels. She used to advise Social Services on the care of foster children, and has written training manuals on adoption, foster care and judgecraft for members of the judiciary. Her writing has received numerous awards including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the SI Leeds Literary Reader’s Choice Prize 2014 and the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. MY NAME IS LEON, her first novel was published in 2016 and shortlisted for the Costa Book Award. She has two children and lives in the West Midlands.

Paul McVeigh has written comedy, essays, flash fiction, a novel, plays and short stories, and his work has been performed on radio, stage and television, and published in seven languages. The Good Son is his first novel.

The Art of the Glimpse

Pre-Order

It’s here: The Art of the Glimpse, an anthology of 100 Irish short stories, edited by Sinead Gleeson and published by Head of Zeus. It features established and emerging voices and will be published in October 1st.

There will be stories by Samuel Beckett, Sally Rooney, William Trevor, Kevin Barry, Edna O’Brien, Claire-Louise Bennett, Bernard McLaverty, Anne Enright, Eimear Bride and many more.

Join me tomorrow on Facebook for the Alliance Française Live Series, a short live reading my short story Hollow, which was shortlisted for Irish Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, and will appear in the upcoming The Art of the Glimpse – 100 Irish Short Stories.

‘Hollow’ Appears in 100 Irish Short Stories

I’m delighted that my short story, Hollow, will appear in The Art of the Glimpse, an anthology of 100 Irish short stories, edited by Sinead Gleeson and published by Head of Zeus. It features established and emerging voices and will be published in October 1st.

Hollow was shortlisted for Irish Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards a couple of years back.

There will be stories by Samuel Beckett, Sally Rooney, William Trevor, Kevin Barry, Edna O’Brien, Claire-Louise Bennett, Bernard McLaverty, Anne Enright, Eimear Bride and many more.

 

Radio 4 Short Story: Do you believe?

I’m not one for talking about my personal life online – that’s another story – but on occasion something smashes that self-made separation.

Recently, it was the first year anniversary of my mother’s passing. Not long after came the news that an old friend’s mother had died, a woman I had felt very close to over the last 30 years.

This was followed soon by my mother’s birthday and then by Mother’s Day. All in a matter of weeks. It seemed mothers were in my air. My atmosphere. It was hard.

On Mother’s Day, I woke and decided to walk up Cave Hill. I thought. I came back and cooked a rare Mother’s Usual Sunday Roast for one. I opened the wine before one. I played Doris Day. I sang loudly. For hours. I sang for my mum. I sang in celebration. I sang in remembrance. I sang because of her. I sang in defiance of my neighbours. I sang in vanity.  I sang, as the saying goes, my heart out. There were not a few tears.

I woke to two messages on Monday morning. Both talked about my story Tickles, written in 2014, before my novel came out, aired again, without my knowledge, on Mother’s Day. The story is about a man visiting his mother in a home. She has dementia. She hugs him and won’t let him go. In that forced fit, he time-travels (we call it remembering), and finds that, although she is the one with the disease that dissolves time and memories, he is the one that had forgotten, the key to understanding the fracture in their relationship. There is pain, there is remembering and then healing.

I don’t believe in God. I believe in little that has not been in front of my eyes, at some point, and I’d have included that which fuzzes in the corner but disappears in full gaze.

Do you believe in coincidences? Do I? What is it I just felt? Is it a thing people call God?

Here is something I wrote. You can hear it for the next month.

 

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Radio 4 Story Recorded Today!

My second short story commission from BBC Radio 4 was recorded today at the BBCNI studios. It was read by the excellent Belfast actor Tony Flynn and produced by Michael Shannon. The transmission date is down for November 22 at 3.45pm.

‘Cuckoo’ is a departure for me so I’m a little nervous. I hope you like it.

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16th International Conference On The Short Story In English

I’m attending the 16th International Conference On The Short Story In English in Calabria, Italy, 24-27 June 2020. This will be my third conference (following Vienna and Lisbon) and this time around I’m honored to be asked to teach a class. The details are below.

That Killer First Page

Paul will share what editors, first readers and judges look for in a short story. He will discuss how to get your story published, onto that shortlist and how to avoid the rejection pile. Paul will take you behind the scenes of anthologies, competitions and journals, explaining the psychology of the decision-making process and the importance of ‘That Killer First Page’. He will highlight the essential ingredients to create that crucial story opening. In a form and genre where every word counts, you will get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action; you will also get clues on when to stop. For the workshop, you write an opening and get feedback on that. We will look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.

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Winner of ‘McCrea Literary Award​’

Winner of ‘McCrea Literary Award’

I am delighted to have been awarded the McCrea Literary Award 2018/19 for my short stories. I won the award previously for my debut novel The Good Son. The award is given biannually by the University of Ulster. Have a great day!

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“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.”
Bailey’s Prize-winner Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.”
Donal Ryan

 

Podcast: JLF London on The Short Story

Chris Power, Namita Gokhale and Navtej Sarna in conversation with Paul McVeigh. This episode is a live session from JLF London at The British Library, June 19, 2019.

I hope you enjoy this conversation about the short story.

You can read my latest short story, The Swimmers, in Faber’s ‘Being Various’ Anthology of Irish Short Stories.

 

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‘A very impressive tale from a writer I always enjoy reading – a powerful and gripping story’ Storgy