Can you write about ‘Home’ in 50 word competition?

Derby Book Festival is challenging children and adults to write a story in up to fifty words on the subject of ‘Home for its 2020 Flash Fiction Writing Competition launched today (24 April).  The winning stories will be printed on a set of bookmarks this summer and will be distributed across Derby and Derbyshire to promote Derby Book Festival. 

The sixth Derby Book Festival was planned for 29 May – 6 June 2020 but, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, has been forced to cancel and the organisers plan to reschedule as many of the 105 events as possible in the autumn once venues re-open.

In previous years, writers have been invited to tackle a variety of themes: ‘Love’, ‘Secrets’,  ‘Journeys’, ‘If Only’ and ‘Our World’, attracting hundreds of entries each year.  The theme can be interpreted as widely as the author wishes, so long as the story is no more than fifty words. 

Liz Fothergill, Chair of Derby Book Festival explained: “Our annual Flash Fiction competition is now an extremely popular element of the Festival each year.  When we set the theme of ‘Home’ earlier this year, little did we know how significant home would have for all of us in the coming months. 

We anticipate a bumper crop of entries this year as we hope the competition will encourage more people than ever to spend their time at home writing stories about what it means to them.”

The Flash Fiction competition has three age categories: 11 years and under, 12 – 17 years and 18 years and over.  There will be two additional categories this year for HM Prison Foston Hall (for the third year) and HM Prison Sudbury (for the first time).  Entries for all five categories will be judged by a panel of local writers and creative writing specialists and there will be one winner in each category with a prize for each of a £50 book token. 

The Festival website has some helpful links to those who are interested in writing Flash Fiction but are not sure where to start.

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor/Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Education at the University of Derby, said: “Benjamin Franklin’s prompt to readers in his 1738 almanac, ‘To either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing about’, captures the essence of Derby Book Festival’s Flash Fiction competition. Reading and writing are two sides of the same educational and transformational coin. The University of Derby’s core is providing opportunities for transformational education and that is why we are delighted to be a principal partner of the Derby Book Festival and, in particular, to be involved in promoting the reading and writing opportunity of the Flash Fiction completion.”

The set of five bookmarks will be printed in the summer giving details of the future Festival dates.  The organisers plan to distribute them widely when local libraries, venues, cafes and arts centres re-open. 

To enter the competition, visit the Festival website and submit your story using the online form:

The closing date for the competition is 10pm on Tuesday 2 June. The terms and conditions for the competition can also be found on the website, where you can sign up for more information about the Festival. 

You can also follow the Festival on Twitter at: @DerbyBookFest and ‘like’ the Festival on Facebook:

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