Literary North East, Short stories, Writing

Jesmond Library Creative Writing Competition

Entering a creative writing competition is a great way of kick-starting your journey into authorship.

Competitions focus your mind, make you work to a deadline and force you to muster up the discipline to get those words on the page. They can lead to great things for those nervous about dipping their toes into the writing waters.

Friend of Book and Brew, Vic Watson, has launched the 2016 Jesmond Library Creative  Writing Competition and she’s looking for wannabe authors to enter. Let’s find out more from Vic…

Jesmond LibraryIn 2013, Newcastle City Council announced it would be closing several libraries in a bid to reduce costs. One of the libraries to face closure was Jesmond Library. However, a group of residents decided to open the library on a volunteer basis. Friends of Jesmond Library is now a limited company and registered charity. The library runs solely thanks to the efforts of the volunteers and the generous donations received from the public.

As a lover of words and books, I wanted to do my bit to help Jesmond Library remain open so I volunteered my time and knowledge to help set up and run their Creative Writing competition. In July 2015, I launched the first competition along with members of my writing groups, who took the time to perform their original works at the launch, and Dan Smith.

The entries received were varied and plentiful, and they certainly gave Dan and I food for thought. Dan very kindly gave up time to not only co-judge the competition but to present awards to the lucky winners. Prizes were donated by local businesses including Caffe Z, FPP, Seven Stories and Mo Hair. The awards evening was fantastic as we got to meet the brains behind the imaginative stories we’d read. The younger writers, aged under ten, were particularly impressive.

This year, the theme of the competition is ‘Jesmond’ so your entry could be a short story in any genre. This year also sees the inclusion of poetry so if you’d like to submit a poem to the competition, please do!

It’s £3 to enter and proceeds go to the library which receives no council funding and relies solely on volunteers. Jennifer C. Wilson, author of Kindred Spirits: Tower of London is co-judging the competition with me.

There are categories for children and adults with fantastic prizes including book vouchers. You don’t have to be a resident of Jesmond to enter; last year saw submissions from around the world and we’re keen for the same to happen this year.

The closing date is midday on Tuesday 1 November so get writing. Good luck!

Download your entry form here.


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