Neighbourhood narratives – stories around us

Neighbourhood narratives – stories around us
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In association with Placecloud.io the platform for place-based stories, you are invited to write creative and descriptive non-fiction, about buildings, parks, streets, trees and views.

We invite you to write a non-fiction story of between 250 and 350 words about a place familiar to you.

Write a non-fiction story (either creative or descriptive non-fiction) about a place familiar to you. We will facilitate submission to Placecloud.io for the most appropriate submissions, as determined by our jury and the team at walk · listen · create.

Fond of a Café in your neighbourhood, know a secret about an abandoned prison, the architect of an unusual building, the celebrity who lived here, the tree that grows on the corner of your street, a tragic accident, the school that was burned down, a festival that took place here, the view only to be seen from here, the street art that’s become an icon, what the Romans built here? Stories of all of these and more are already available to listen to on Placecloud, and now we want to hear your stories too.

We accept submissions from Sunday 7 January 2024, until midnight (UTC) on Tuesday 2 April 2024.

Judges will be asked to make their decision based on the written story. We will separately select submissions for inclusion on Placecloud. Keep in mind that Placecloud is an open platform, and, if you so choose, you can add viewpoints to Placecloud at any time, but this is not a requirement for participation in this competition.

Cash prizes for runners-up and the winning story, with the winner walking away with a specially commissioned artwork from Alban Low. What might that mean? Have a look at some of Alban’s work that illustrates this Viewpoint about an unusual Square in Peckham, south London – he also designed the feature image for the competition. There’s also an additional cash prize for a Viewpoint of Bath, specifically its surrounding countryside, and should you be a resident of regional New South Wales (excluding Sydney) there is a cash prize for a submission from and about there too. We are working with the Urban Tree Festival 2024 and hope to secure funding for a prize specifically for an Urban Forest-pertinent entry.

Key dates

  • Launch online Sunday 7 January, 2024.
  • Submission deadline: midnight (UTC) on Tuesday 2 April 2024.
  • Sunday 28 April – shortlisted submissions announced
  • Sunday 5 May – winners and runners-up announced.

Prizes

Judges will be asked to make their decision based on the written story, and will draw up a shortlist, from which runners-up and a winner will be selected. Each runner-up will receive a cash prize of €30, with the winner receiving €100 and an artwork that responds to their story, created by Alban Low

Happen to have a story for a Viewpoint of Bath, specifically its surrounding countryside? Then there’s a chance to win an additional prize of €100 generously gifted by the Bathscape Landscape Partnership.

Orana Arts are sponsoring an additional €100, plus a year’s membership to Studio Co!Lab (valued at A$60), for a story about Regional New South Wales, Australia, submitted by a resident living and working in the regions (excluding Sydney).

Entry

There is an entry fee of €8 for one non-fiction story and €12 for two (entrants are limited to 2 entries only). Student discounted tickets at €2 for one submission, €3 for two are available (75% off full price), ask your tutor to contact us to receive a discount code. The entry fee will be waived for those unable to afford it. Use the get in Touch form at the bottom of this page.

For each submission, we will ask you to provide a precise location to which your story is linked.

Our judges

We are delighted to announce our volunteer judges:

Kim V. Goldsmith interdisciplinary artist, audio producer and author – listen to a Placecloud Viewpoint she wrote and recorded here.

Nick Hunt travel writer, novelist and editor of the ‘Dark Mountain Project’.

Anna Liu award winning architect and landscape designer

Geoff Nicholson author of ‘The Suburbanist’ and ‘Walking on Thin Air’, plus a slew of novels.

Pamela Smith Senior National Consultant for Gardens and Parklands, The National Trust

Fay Stevens archeologist and award-winning lecturer and researcher.

Paul Wood aka ‘The Street Tree’  – author of ‘London is a Forest’.

The Neighbourhood Narratives  competition is run by walk · listen · create.

You can get tips on how to write (and record) a Placecloud Viewpoint from here

Terms and Conditions

You need to register on the walk · listen · create website, return to the top of this page to pay the submission fee (a purchase), check that your purchase has been successful on your profile page, and then submit your piece(s).

If you wish to enter please read the guidelines below.

Eligibility

  1. Entrants must be 16 years or over.
  2. Entry is open to everyone.
  3. An entry can only be made by the work’s individual author (and not include anther party copyrighted material).
  4. Entries must not have been previously published in print, as audio or online, been broadcast or won a prize.
  5. Entries must not include any defamatory language.
  6. Entries must clearly be non-fiction, be original and written in English. They must also be for adult or young adult readers (12+). Any fiction is not eligible.
  7. Simultaneous submission is permitted. Should your writing piece win a prize or be published elsewhere, please let us know so that we may remove your entry from the current competition.
  8. Authors retain full worldwide copyright throughout.

Format

  1. Entries must be between 250 and 350 words excluding the title (that mustn’t exceed 8 words).
  2. Entries should be typed in a plain legible font. A sans 12pt font is suggested.
  3. Entries can either be creative or descriptive non-fiction.
  4. Entries must include a precise location to which the story links.
  5. Entries will be read and judged anonymously so do not include your name, address, email, telephone number or any personally identifying information on any page.
  6. If the piece has no title, then its first five words must be used as the title.
  7. Acceptable file types are PDF only.

Submitting

You need to register on the walk · listen · create website and submit your piece(s) at the top of this page. You can check the entry procedure by downloading an illustrated guide (forthcoming).

  1. Entries will not be returned so please keep a copy.
  2. Entries can be retracted at any time up to the closure of the competition.
  3. Entrants are limited to 2 entries each.
  4. The competition closes at midnight UTC, Tuesday 2 April 2024.
  5. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the judges’s decisions and no feedback will be provided.

Payment

The standard fee is €8.00 for one submission and €12.00 for two. Student discounted tickets at €2 for one submission, €3 for two are available (75% off full price), ask your tutor to contact us to receive a discount code. The entry fee will be waived for those unable to afford the fee. Use the form below to contact us.

Time line

  • Launch online Sunday 7 January, 2024.
  • The Competition closes with the Submission deadline at: midnight (UTC) on Tuesday 2 April.
  • Sunday 28 April – shortlisted submissions announced
  • Sunday 5 May – winners and runners-up announced.

Editing stories of pieces

As some pieces may require slight editorial changes to make appropriate for recording, authors grant access to their email address by the editor.

Audio recording of pieces

Authors will be invited to record themselves reading their work, or can choose to be contacted by the organisers, to record them over the Internet, or have a reader hired by the organisers, to read their work on their behalf.

Refunds

  1. Full no quibble refunds are available up to the closing date. Contact us should the need arise.
  2. Once the closing date has passed, no refunds can be made.

Prizes

Judges will be asked to make their decision based on the written story, and will draw up a shortlist, from which runners-up and a winner will be selected. Each runner-up will receive a cash prize of €30, with the winner receiving €100 and an artwork that responds to their story, created by Alban Low. Judges will also choose a winner for our two regional sponsors, Orana Arts are sponsoring an additional €100 (plus a year’s membership to Studio Co!Lab (valued at A$60)) for a story submitted by a resident for regional New South Wales, Australia (excluding Sydney residents), plus there is an additional €100 for a Viewpoint from the Bathscape Landscape Partnership area which best encapsulates rural views into and from the City of Bath – walk up to the surrounding hills for your inspiration!

Our judges

Kim V. Goldsmith

Kim V. Goldsmith

Online Jury 2022 SWS Grand Jury 2023 SWS Grand Jury 2024 SWS23 shortlisted

I'm an Australian-based interdisciplinary artist whose creative output uses sound, video, and writing to explore layers of nuance and complexity within the rural and regional territories in which I work. I'm always looking for new voices and perspectives, ...

Nick Hunt

Nick Hunt

Nick Hunt is the author of two books about walking in Europe: Where the Wild Winds Are and Walking the Woods and the Water, as well as The Parakeeting of London, a work of gonzo ornithology. He also works as an editor for the Dark Mountain Project. He is c...

Anna Liu

Anna Liu

Anna is a qualified architect with experience in architecture, art, and landscape, encompassing work in the UK, China, Japan, the US where she grew up, and Taiwan where she was born. In her early career, Anna worked for Arup Associates in Hong Kong, Londo...

Geoff Nicholson

Geoff Nicholson

Author of The Lost Art of Walking, Walking In Ruins, and currently writing Walking on Thin Air.

Pamela Smith

Pamela Smith

Pam Smith, the National Trust’s Senior National Consultant for gardens and parklands, with responsibilities for garden history, management and interpretation across the Trust’s 222 gardens and over 200 historic parklands. Pam is a horticulturist with o...

Fay Stevens

Fay Stevens

I am an archeologist (UCL) and award-winning lecturer and researcher and have worked in archeological projects in Armenia, Europe and the UK and travelled extensively on academic research including Syria, Jordan, USA and Japan. I specialize in the philosop...

Paul Wood

I’m the author of London’s Street Trees: A Field Guide to the Urban Forest, originally published in 2017 with a second edition in 2020, London is a Forest, first published in 2019 with a second edition in 2022, and London Tree Walks published in 2020. ...

walk · listen · create is a not-for-profit art organisation that encourages collaborations between artists, performers and writers and catalogues the publications of artists who walk, and provide a place for walking artists to share their work, thoughts, pieces and events.

Placecloud is owned and operated by walk · listen · create.

Bathscape Landscape Partnership: Bathscape is on a mission to improve the countryside around Bath – the green setting of the world heritage site. Their aim is to encourage people to understand the landscape and feel inspired to explore it.

Orana Arts is a Regional Arts Development Organisation (RADO) based in Central West NSW. Their work in the regional arts sector of NSW aims to ELEVATE the status of artists and organisations in Regional NSW beyond their local area; EXTEND the practice of regionally-based artists and cultural organisations, and; INCREASE the participation of the artists and cultural organisations in the creative economy.

The Urban Tree Festival is a volunteer-led festival begun in 2018 co-founded by Peter Coles, Paul Wood, Mel Sutton and Andrew Stuck, and runs annually in May. It is funded through the generosity of festival-goers, and receives support from CPRE London, and in the past from the Mayor of London, Trees for Cities, and The Woodland Trust. 2024’s festival will run 11-19 May.

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