SHORT STORY COMPETITION: the chance for unpublished writers to shine

PUBLISHED: 16:25 22 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:16 07 September 2010

BUDDING writers inspired by the uniqueness of life around Hampstead and Highgate can enter their work in a short story competition. The fiction prize - open to writers who do not yet have an agent or publishing deal - is part of a new three-day book festi

BUDDING writers inspired by the uniqueness of life around Hampstead and Highgate can enter their work in a short story competition.

The fiction prize - open to writers who do not yet have an agent or publishing deal - is part of a new three-day book festival jointly organized by the Ham&High and the London Jewish Cultural Centre.

The Hampstead & Highgate Literary Festival starts on September 13 and the line up of authors at Ivy House in North End Road, Golders Green includes Esther Freud, Kathy Lette, Arabella Weir and Sebastian Faulks.

Festival organisers are looking for original, engaging, previously unpublished short stories of 1000-1500 words with the opening line: "It was early morning on Hampstead Heath".

Entries will be judged by Camden Town novelist Amanda Craig and Ham&High editor Geoff Martin in two categories: 11-18-year-olds and adults. (Over 18s)

Mr Martin said: "Everyone involved is very excited about the literary festival and it seems the ideal opportunity to create a platform for new writers. The standard of entries is bound to be extremely high and who knows, we may unearth a future Booker Prize winning writer. That might sound far fetched in many areas but it's a real possibility in Hampstead and Highgate."

Louise Jacobs of the LJCC added: ""With many great authors, poets and playwrights counted amongst Hampstead and Highgate's residents, past and present, what better than to take part in the first Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival?

"We hope the short story competition will encourage readers of all ages to use their imaginations, relish their surroundings and put pen to paper - or more likely fingers to keyboard. As Hampstead dwellers make their way each year to Hay and Cheltenham, perhaps in the future we will welcome visitors from the Wye Valley to Ivy House."

Winners will be presented with a prize on Sunday September 13 when they will hear their work read out by one of the well-known names taking part in the festival.

They will also see their work printed in the Ham&High on September 17.

Entries should be sent to Bridget Galton, Features Editor, Ham&High, 100A Avenue Road, NW3 3HF or emailed to bridget.galton@hamhigh.co.uk by July 23th.

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