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Agencies and Writing Centres

Academi – the Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency. Runs events, courses, competitions, and offers bursaries and support for writers from or living in Wales.

The Arvon Foundation runs stimulating and inspiring week-long residential writing courses run by professional writers.

Moniack Mhor is Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre and offers writing courses run by professional writers six months of the year. Having been there twice, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Being at the Centre is nothing short of a life-changing, magical experience.

Ty Newydd is the National Writers’ Centre for Wales and offers residential writing courses run by professional writers.

Competitions

The Asham Award – a short story award for unpublished women writers. The next competition will launch in June 2010. Check the website for details and information on anthologies of past competition winners.

Bridport Prize – for Poems and Short Stories. The 2011 competition will launch in January 2011 and the deadline is June 30th, 2011. In addition to the usual poetry and fiction categories, 2010 was the first year for flash fiction. You can buy anthologies of previous winning entries and find out details of entry etc from the website.

Perfectly Formed Short Story Competition – the inaugural competition run by Books Quarterly in association with Pan Macmillan and The Arvon Foundation is looking for short stories of 2,000 words or less from previously unpublished writers. Closing date was 1 July 2010. The fantastic first prize includes publication in BQ and online; attendance at an exclusive publisher’s lunch to gain feedback and ideas on your writing; £200 worth of Pan Macmillan titles of your choice; and a week-long stay on an Arvon Foundation creative writing course of your choosing.

Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2011 Short Story competition – No more than 2,000 words on the theme of ‘Compulsion’. Cash prize of £500, a place on an Arvon foundation writing course and publication of your story on the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook website. Closing date is 14 February 2011.

Favourite Poets & Writers

Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country for Old Men, All The Pretty Horses, Blood Meridian and The Road

David Mitchell, author of Ghostwritten, Number9Dream, Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green

Don Paterson, two times winner of the Forward Prize for Poetry for his collections, Landing Light and Rain.

Fflur Dafydd , bilingual singer/songwriter and author of Atyniad and  Twenty Thousand Saints

Jasper Fforde, creator of the brilliant parallel universe of his Thursday Next series of books, including The Eyre Affair

Jeanette Winterson, author of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, The Passion, Written On The Body

Joanne Harris , author of the delicious Chocolat, Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Holy Fools, and Coastliners

Margaret Atwood, poet and author of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Blind Assasin, Oryx and Crake and The Edible Woman

Neil Gaiman, author of Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Fragile Things, Anansi Boys and Smoke and Mirrors

Owen Sheers, poet and author of The Blue Book, Skirrid Hill, The Dust Diaries and Resistance

Philip Pullman, author of the brilliant His Dark Materials trilogy amongst numerous other things

Sarah Waters, author of Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, Fingersmith, The Night Watch and The Little Stranger

Simon Armitage, poet and author of Selected Poems, All Points North, Gig, and translator of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Tim Winton, author of An Open Swimmer, Shallows, Scission, Cloudstreet, The Riders, Dirt Music and Breath

Friends

Clare Cameron, versatile and gifted actress and voiceover artist.

Emily Hinshelwood , award-winning performance poet, playwright, creative writing tutor and animator.

Helen Lederer, multi-talented actress, comedian, writer, television presenter, wine commentator and after-dinner speaker.

Squizzey Bult , the best little grey squirrel in the world, writer’s muse and sometime hindrance, cool dude, life guru and nutty entrepreneur.

Magazines

Mslexia, the quarterly magazine for women who write, providing inspiration and tips on all aspects and genres of writing.

The New Writer, a monthly magazine aimed at all writers who are serious about developing their writing to meet the demands of today’s editors.  Each issue contains original short stories, new poetry, articles, book reviews, market information, news and readers’ views.

Writers’ Forum, a monthly magazine for both new and established writers, providing tips, advice, market info & competitions.

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