Ever thought of walking away, or walking a way? Leaving it all behind to venture out as a new beginning?
Write About Walking is what our 2022/3 writers-in-residence, Tony Horitz (poetry) and Cheryl Markosky (prose) are encouraging you to do, with the theme of “Walking Away” for this year’s writing competition.
You can choose how you wish to interpret the theme in poetry or short prose. Your work can be fiction, creative non-fiction or memoir.
You may interpret walking a/way however you wish, such as escaping from … or being drawn towards …. Or even walking in a certain way – confident or subdued. The only restriction is that whatever you write, your submission cannot exceed 250 words (excluding the title).
We invite you to write a (flash) story or poem of 250 words or under about “Walking Away”
We will publish an anthology of the best poetry and prose submissions in an illustrated chapbook anthology, as well as an audio locative podcast. Shortlisted pieces will also be showcased during Sound Walk September 2023, including a public online event where shortlisted authors and poets can read their work.
We accept submissions from Sunday April 16, until midnight (UTC) on Monday August 14.
Winning poems and stories will be published in Walking, an illustrated, limited edition chapbook anthology, by Sampson Low Publishers in September, 2023, the net proceeds of which will help fund future Sound Walk Septembers. The anthology will also be made available as an audio locative podcast. You can purchase a copy of the chapbook from our previous competition here.
- Launch and free creative writing workshop online at the MK Lit Fest 4pm Sunday April 16, 2023.
- Submission deadline: midnight (UTC) on Monday, August 14, 2023.
- July – join us live (in real life) at the Flash Fiction Festival in Bristol (15 to 17 July) for a creative writing workshop run by our writers-in-residence
- August – our judges will draw up a long-list. All poems and stories on the list will be published on the walk · listen · create website from September 1, 2023.
- Early September – Illustrated, print chapbook anthology of shortlisted pieces published (for public sale) and audio locative podcast.
- Saturday 23 September – Shortlisters’ Writers’ Circle Prize event – exclusive private event.
- Sunday 24 September – Shortlisters’ Showcase – public event – winners & runners-up announced
Shortlisted authors will receive 2 complimentary copies of the anthology, be invited to an exclusive Writers’ Circle event on Saturday 23 September, and will be invited to read their work at the Write About Walking Showcase on the final Sunday of Sound Walk September, Sunday 24 September.
The judges will be asked to choose their winner and runner up in both the poetry and prose categories, for which the winners will be invited to be a walk · listen · create on-line Poet- or Writer-in-residence for 2023/4. Each winner will also receive Silver Membership to walk · listen · create (worth €50). They and the runners up, will each receive an artwork that illustrates their poem or story, created by Alban Low.
The competition closes at midnight UTC, Monday 14 August 2023
There is an entry fee (to cover administration costs) of €8 for one flash piece or poem and €12 for two (entrants are limited to 2 entries only – you may submit a poem and a story, two poems or two stories). The entry fee will be waived for those unable to afford it.
We are delighted to announce that Tony Horitz and Ralph Hoyte have volunteered to act as judges for the poetry competition. They join Cheryl Markosky and Suzanne Greene, who are the judges for the prose pieces.
Chris Bestwick will edit the anthology, and it will be illustrated by Alban Low. The Write About Walking competition is run by walk · listen · create.
You can get creative writing tips by downloading this audio-guide produced by Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone
If you wish to enter please read the guidelines below.
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).
We want to read poems and stories about “Walking Away“. The stories or poems can be fiction or factual, travelogue, reportage or memoire but must be no more than 250 words in length. Judges’ decisions on this matter are final.
- Entrants must be 16 years or over.
- Entry is open to everyone.
- An entry can only be made by the work’s individual author.
- Entries must not have been previously published in print or online, been broadcast or won a prize.
- Entries must not include any defamatory language.
- Entries must clearly respond to the theme, be original and written in English. They must also be for adult or young adult readers. Non-fiction and fiction written for children under 13 years is not eligible.
- 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.
- Authors retain full worldwide copyright throughout.
- Maximum length is 250 words excluding the title (that mustn’t exceed 8 words).
- Entries can be either fiction or non-fiction.
- Entries should be typed in a plain legible font. A sans 12pt font is suggested.
- Entries will be read and judged anonymously so do not put your name, address, email, telephone number or any personally identifying information on any page.
- If the piece has no title, then its first five words must be used as the title.
- Acceptable file types are PDF only.
- Entries will not be returned so please keep a copy.
- Entries can be retracted at any time up to the closure of the competition.
- Entrants are limited to 2 entries each.
- The competition closes at midnight UTC, Monday 14 August 2023.
- No correspondence will be entered into regarding the judges’s decisions and no feedback will be provided.
The standard fee is €8.00 for one submission and €12.00 for two (which can be either 2 stories, 2 poems or one of each). The entry fee will be waived for those unable to afford the fee – please contact us here.
Editing the longlist and anthology
As the anthology editor may need to make slight editorial changes, long listed authors (this includes those shortlisted) grant access to their email address by the editor.
Audio recording of shortlisted 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 can choose to have a reader hired by the organisers, to read their work on their behalf.
- Competition launch – Sunday 16 April 2023
- Submission deadline: midnight (UTC) on Monday 14 August 2023.
- Late August – our judges will draw up a long-list. All poems and stories on the list will be published on the walk · listen · create website from 1 September 2023.
- Early September – Printed illustrated chapbook anthology of shortlisted pieces published (for public sale)and audio locative podcast.
- Saturday 23 September- Shortlisters’ Writers’ Circle Prize event – exclusive private event.
- Sunday 24 September – Shortlisters’ Showcase – public event – winners & runners-up announced
- Full no quibble refunds are available up to the closing date. Contact us should the need arise.
- Once the closing date has passed, no refunds can be made.
- Winners and Runners-up will be announced at the Showcase event on Sunday 24 September. One winner in each category: poetry and prose will be invited to become a walk · listen · create on-line Poet- or Writer-in-residence for 2023/4, they also receive an artwork illustration by Alban Low and 2 copies of Walking the illustrated limited edition chapbook that will be published during September. Each winner will also receive Silver Membership to walk · listen · create (worth €50)
The runner up in each category will receive an artwork illustration by Alban Low and 2 copies of the illustrated limited edition chapbook.
All the authors of shortlisted entries will receive 2 copies of the illustrated limited edition chapbook (publishing in September), be invited to an exclusive Writers’ Circle event on Saturday 23 September, and be invited to read their work at a live on-line showcase event on the final Sunday of Sound Walk September, on 24 September.
Long-listed entries (includes the shortlist as well) will be published on the walk · listen · create website from 1 September.
- The results of the competition will be announced on the walk · listen · create website.
- Entrants retain copyright.
Entry constitutes acceptance of all rules. Entries that fail to comply with the rules will be disqualified. No correspondence can be entered into, judges’ decisions are final.
Sampson Low Publishers, as an imprint, has existed for over two hundred years. Today it’s still managed by the Low family, and based just outside London. They have published diverse works from Noddy to Jules Verne to sporting heroes like Dennis Compton. One newish interest is in publishing small-scale chapbooks, often combining the work of writers and artists. The format is perfect for pithy written works that can be enjoyed in one sitting.
walk · listen · create is a not for profit art organisation which 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.