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Competition: The Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize

Writing.ie | Magazine | Writing Competitions
Desperate Lit

By Writing.ie

Competition deadline: 15th April 2022

The Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize was established in 2017 to celebrate writers of innovative, experimental and boundary-pushing fiction, while providing these writers with a holistic set of resources and opportunities at a formative stage of their writing careers including cash prizes, residency programmes, consultation sessions with editors and literary agents, event opportunities, and publication in a number of international journals, as well as Desperate Literature’s annual anthology series Eleven Stories. Previously alumni of the prize include authors Jay G Ying, Tom Benn, Joanna Walsh, Republic of Consciousness Prize and James Tait Black Prize winner Shola Von Reinhold, and Francesca Reece, who in 2021 published her first novel Voyeur with the publishing group Headline in the UK, acheiving commercial success and critical acclaim. In 2021 the Prize was by Paige Cowan-Hall, and its runners-up were Isha Karki and Nick Mulgrew.

2022 Prize

The Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize has opened submissions for its fifth year, while announcing its panel of authors judging the prize in 2022, as well as announcing a new landmark partnership with The Literary Consultancy in the UK. The prize for innovative and ‘boundary-pushing’ short fiction under 2,000 words will this year be judged by critically-acclaimed author Joanna Walsh; New York Times bestselling author Ottessa Moshfegh;   award-winning literary translator Anton Hur; and Natasha Brown, shortlisted author for the 2021 Goldsmiths Prize.

The prize – launched by Madrid’s Desperate Literature bookshop in 2017 – will this year partner with 15 different literary organisations, including writers residencies,   bookshops,   literary   journals,   a   literary   agent, and for the first time, with the UK’s longest-running editorial consultancy, The Literary Consultancy, to offer a long-form manuscript assessment and consultancy service to the winner of the 2022 prize.

In this new partnership, the 2022 prize winner will receive a manuscript assessment service of up to 60,000 words through The Literary Consultancy, as well as a one-to-one editorial consultancy session with one of TLC’s editors, to be taken place online via Zoom. The prize’s winner will also receive   €1500, a 7-day stay at the Civitella Ranieri artist’s residency in Umbria, Italy, and a consultation with London-based literary agent Charlotte Seymour, of Johnson & Alcock. The winner – along with the rest of the shortlist – will also be published in a limited edition anthology book published by Desperate Literature, have their work put forward for publication to the prize’s eight partner journals, and will be invited to read at events in Madrid (Desperate Literature), London (Burley Fisher Books) and Edinburgh (Typewronger Books) in late 2022.

Two   runners-up will receive €750, as well as a consultation meeting with literary agent Charlotte Seymour. Separate from the overall winner, one other shortlisted writer will be offered a spot at the Tbilisi International Festival of Literature, along with a 10-day residency at the Writers’ House of Georgia. A travel stipend of €400 will be provided.

See here for full Terms and Conditions and to enter.

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