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Welcome to The Literary Pig's blog - a safe haven for all those afflicted with
the unbearable urge to write.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Children and chocolate - don't get them mixed up...

Here are two writing competitions with vastly different themes... please don't get them mixed up

Writer's Advice Centre 2012 Story Competition: Carrying the Flame

If you write for children then this is an excellent opportunity to showcase your writing. Click here to read further details and download entry form from the website NEWS page (scroll down to find the entry for Carrying the Flame).

The entry form states:
'Authors are invited to come up with the first 1000 words to a children’s book for any age group. This could be a picture book for very young children (in which case the word count will be well under 1000 words), or a complete short chapter book for first readers, or the first chapter to a book for older children.
The theme to this year’s competition is inspired by the Olympics but the title can be interpreted in any way you wish. Think outside the box. What we would like to see is authors taking inspiration from the spirit of the Olympics and embracing the very diverse world in which we live.

The exact targeting is up to you but what we would like, in addition to the manuscript, is for you to include a covering letter to an imaginary publisher. This should include a one sentence description of your story and where you see it fitting in the marketplace, but should not include a synopsis.'
  • £5 entry fee to accompany entry form
  • Open to all ages
  • Must be unpublished in children's publishing field
  • 1st Prize: £100, signed copy of How to Write for Children & Get Published, Free professional editorial & marketing assessment of entry. The chance to have your work submitted to a mainstream publisher, and two agents, for consideration
  • Runner-up: a copy of How to Write for Children & Get Published, Free professional editorial & marketing assessment of entry.
  • Closing date 31st August
The indoor writer came runner-up in the 2011 First Chapter (writing for children) competition and really appreciated the editorial & marketing assessment that she received from Louise Jordan. It certainly gave her a motivating boost to edit and submit her children's novel The Wereboy of Bartoncoombe.

Choc-Lit Short Story Competition 

Full details of entry rules can be found here. This is a chance to do plenty of research into CHOCOLATE, with the opportunity of winning, guess what.... more CHOCOLATE. A LitPig's dream come true.

  • Write a short story of up to 1,500 words on one of the following central themes:
    • a hero or heroes (they don't have to be irresistible or romantic)
    • chocolate in summer - eating it, drinking it or anything else
  • 1st prize: £200, publication and a tin of Cadbury's Heroes, runner-up: £50 and a tin of Cadbury's Heroes
  • Story must be original and not previously published
  • £3 per entry, can be paid by cheque or paypal transfer
  • Stories must be submitted by post or email
  • Closing date 31st August
  • Judges are: Margaret James, Sue Moorcroft (who also judges the monthly Writers' Forum competitions) & Linda Mitchelmore
  • Winners will be announced during National Short Story week 12 - 18 November (more dates for the diary!)
You can read the previous winner of the Winter competition on the website: Foreign Field by Lucy Moutland. A rather poignant story and excellent use of the chocolate theme.

The indoor writer had a go at the winter competition, but didn't make the shortlist. However, she then entered the same story (a dark fairy tale) into the Steyning Festival Short Story Prize and WON. (Don't tell anyone but she ended up winning a bigger prize than offered by Choc-Lit). So the lesson here is don't give up on your work. Judges' opinions are very subjective - as are the opinions of the readers who often pick the initial shortlist. If a story fails in a competition then: 

Good luck if you have a go at either of the above. Let me know how you get on! And keep writing...


  1. The Choc Lit competition sounds like a good excuse for some chocolate-centred research!
    And I totally agree with your comments about re-submitting non-winning stories elsewhere - what one judge hates, another might love.

  2. I can't decide whether to research heroes (you know the rugged, handsome Mr Darcy types) or chocolate for the Choc-Lit competition. Silly me - I can do both :)