meet this year's judges
VG Lee is the critically acclaimed author of five novels and two collections of short stories, the most recent of which, Oh You Pretty Things, was published in 2019. Sarah Waters said, "Lee writes with unfailing warmth and wisdom" while Andrea Levy praised her "light touch, wonderful laconic style and spot-on humour." In 2012, Lee was nominated for a Stonewall Award for writing and in 2014 she won the Ultimate Planet Award for Best Established Author. "What advice would I give entrants? – I would always recommend reading the short story aloud and alone. ANYTHING that seems to drag or feel self-indulgent, trust one's gut instinct and either edit out or make better!"
Our poetry judge this year is Jessica Mookherjee. Jess writes: "...
HOW TO ENTER
Please use our dedicated entry forms to enter. A single entry fee is £8.25 for either contest. You can enter more than once, and we offer a discount when submitting multiple entries together.
==> use the FICTION ENTRY FORM HERE
(max 2500 words)
==> use the POETRY ENTRY FORM HERE
(max 40 lines)
Hastings Book Festival Prize: In each competition 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be awarded a cash prize of £250, £100 and £50, respectively.
New Writing South Sussex Prize: The New Writing South Sussex Prize is a collaboration between The Hastings Book Festival and New Writing South. It’s purpose is to recognise & amplify outstanding work by authors living in our own back yard. All regular entries from writers living in either East or West Sussex are eligible for prize. You will need to indicate (opt-in) at the time of entry that you are eligible for this prize.
There will be one prize for poetry and one for fiction. The winners of both the Fiction and Poetry Prize will both receive: 1-1 mentoring with a professional writer, a festival pass to The Coast is Queer 2024 and a free online course of their choice worth £75. (Options include Finishing the First Draft of Your Novel, Putting a Poetry Pamphlet Together, World-building and Writing Different Worlds and more.)
LGBT+ Prize - Starcroft Farm Cabins: a 3-day creative retreat at The Lucy Cabin at Starcroft Farm Cabins, East Sussex. One (1) overall winner will be selected from all eligible entries from across both Fiction and Poetry contests. This award is offered in partnership with Starcroft Farm Cabins, and is open to all regular entries from UK-based writers from the LGBT+ community.
Deadline for entries is 17 July, 2024 at 10pm (UK Time).
Winners will be announced at an online award ceremony.
JUDGES, RULES, FURTHER INFO
We are so pleased to welcome back our amazing short story judge VG Lee and welcome the wonderful poetry prize judge Jessica Mookherjee who will be judging for the first time. You can find more information about them below.
To read our full competition rules and submission requirements, please go to our dedicated rules page.