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Local writers invited to submit stories for Hillingdon Literary Festival

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Local writers are invited to share their stories for publication – in time for the second Hillingdon Literary Festival at Brunel University London.

This year’s festival, from 7 to 9 October, features former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, comedian Shappi Khorsandi, and Brunel Professors Will Self and Benjamin Zephaniah.

Acclaimed authors including Samantha Shannon, Courttia Newland and Matt Haig will take part in panels and workshops at the free event, which attracted more than 1,000 visitors in its inaugural year.

This year, local literary lights are encouraged to submit their own material – from short stories to poems, film scripts to essays – for the festival’s creative writing competition, themed Writing Local, Thinking Global. The competition is open to all writers local to the London Borough of Hillingdon.

The winning entrant will be announced at Hillingdon Literary Festival, and will also win a cash prize of £250 alongside publication with all shortlisted entries in the Writing Local Thinking Global anthology, which will be available at Hillingdon Literary Festival and distributed to all Hillingdon libraries.

The competition, which is open for submissions until 15th August 2016, will be judged by internationally-acclaimed poet Prof Zephaniah alongside Courttia Newland; Professor of Contemporary Writing at Brunel University London Philip Tew; and journalist and literary critic Suzi Feay.

"After the terrific success of the Local Poets and Poetry Party sessions run last year at the festival, it became very clear there is a wealth of creative writing talent simmering away across the London Borough of Hillingdon," said Prof Zephaniah. "This is a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved, and write some fresh work, whether they are an aspiring poet or simply enjoy writing."

Prof Self, who will give a talk at the festival, added: "When things are rooted in the local community, like the Hillingdon Literary Festival, it's an opportunity for people to reflect on the way their district has been characterised in literature and the way literature is involved in the reciprocal relationship with the place."

For more information about Writing Local Thinking Global and to reserve a free place at the festival, visit