The Hillingdon Literary festival – a free weekend of author sessions, debates, masterclasses, signings and much fun – returns to Brunel University London for its third year from Friday 6th October – Sunday 8th October 2017.
Creative writers over the age of 18 are invited to submit short stories and poems to this year’s competition, an annual celebration of the Borough of Hillingdon's diverse voices. Entrants must have a local connection, either through studying, living or working, in Hillingdon.
A longlist will be announced on the first evening of the festival, a shortlist the next day and the overall winner declared on the final day, during a celebratory event hosted by poet and Brunel lecturer Benjamin Zephaniah.
The winner will take home a cash prize of £250. Their writing and other shortlisted entries will also be published in the anthology, which will be freely available at the festival and distributed to all Hillingdon libraries.
This year’s competition theme is ‘Ordinary People - Exceptional Lives’. Writers may submit two anonymised entries per person: the first, a short story of up to 5000 words or two poems of up to 60 lines; the second up to three poems of no more than 90 lines total, or another story of up to 1000 words.
Professor Zephaniah says: “I am so excited about this years' competition. Much of my work has been about giving voice to ordinary people, who I believe have exceptional lives. To survive all the things that modern life throws at us we have to be exceptional in our own way. This year's competition is about expressing this is a creative way. In a creative Hillingdon way. So write away people. Tell as it is, how it was, or how you would like it to be. It's all about you."
Entry to the competition closes on Monday 28th August 2017
(Benjamin Zephaniah at the 2015 festival)
The Hillingdon Literary festival begins on Friday 6th October with a debate on Political Narratives: Fake News and Narrative Truth, continuing on Saturday with events including an in-conversation with Tessa Hadley, a foray into satire with Jonathan Coe, and a discussion of the new novel Phone, with Will Self. On the Sunday we take an excursion into inspirational travel and landscape writing and new multimedia platforms for the future of fiction.
Festival tickets go on sale later this year.
Sarah Cox, Media Relations