We have pleasure in launching our 14th Yeovil Literary Prize. We offer an international writing competition full of opportunity for all aspiring and established writers. What started as a small competition, as a way to raise the profile of the arts in the town of Yeovil in the West Country of England, has grown into a vibrant hub for literature and has lead to our partnership in the Yeovil Literary Festival. It attracts continued support from writers across the globe. We are truly an international competition with a warm local heart.
In your writing we hear the voices of other cultures; we are taken to different times and places; our senses are stirred. We love getting to know characters through reading your work.
We know agents and publishers read our website and follow our competition, giving recognition and success to writers. The top three winners in the novel category in 2016 have each been contacted by agents. Indeed, Sara Green who wrote the novel A Life In Boxes had offers of representation by two agents. We call that a step on the pathway to success for all our winners. We met several of you at the Past Winners’ event at the Yeovil Literary Festival – that gave us infinite pleasure.
Novels are the result of hours of planning, living with plots, themes, and very real characters by aspiring authors. We welcome all genres. I met our judge Brianna Beehler, who has a love of novels, in the famous Richard Booth book shop at the Hay Festival. We talked books and writing; I knew she would be our perfect judge. Brianna is our first judge who has experience of the USA and English literary scenes.
The Short Story needs a different skill; the reader must be transported for a time in the hope of a satisfying denouement. Our judge is the outstanding children’s author and novelist, Anna Wilson. Anna’s words perform on the page. We know she can recognise a brilliant short story.
Poetry makes us think. A poet has to master the use of minimal words to paint an exquisite picture. Irish poet and critic David Wheatley is our judge. His knowledge covers a wide range of poetry styles, and he is the author of four volumes of poetry. David will read each and every poem submitted. This is an amazing incentive for all poets.
Our inspiring category for Writing Without Restriction is designed to open the gates on creativity. Writing that does not fit into the usual competition categories can be entered. Make the judges think, laugh, cry; scratch our curiosity. We hope to read something distinctive, unusual or positively quirky. You write it and we’ll be thrilled to read it. Our judge is Kiran Millwood Hargrave, a poet, a novelist and a wonderful writer. Kiran is a past winner of the poetry category of this competition.
There are two ways to enter, by using the postal system, or online using PayPal; its ease of use has significantly increased the number of entries. We look forward to even more this year when our writing contest opens on 1st January 2017.