Two opportunities for local writers with Milton Keynes Literary Festival

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MK Lit Fest has always worked to support local writers, develop their talents, and give them opportunities to be read and heard.

This winter is no different, as there are two new opportunities to submit poems, flash fiction – and in one case, creative non-fiction – and to be selected to take part in upcoming events and publications.

Since its inception in 2017, MK Lit Fest has published over fifty local poets and short story writers, and given many of them an opportunity to read their work to audiences at its in-person festivals in CMK, in events in the city’s parks, and as part of the festival’s year-round Online Programme.

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The next opportunity for local writers comes in December, with the second of Lit Fest’s seasonal online events.

Opportunities for local writers with Milton Keynes Literary FestivalOpportunities for local writers with Milton Keynes Literary Festival
Opportunities for local writers with Milton Keynes Literary Festival

On the evening of the Winter Solstice, Thursday 21 December, they invite you all to join them online to hear local poets and short story writers share their Dreams for Midwinter.

The festival organisers will be selecting up to a dozen pieces from submissions on the theme. If you live, work or study somewhere with an MK postcode, you are eligible to submit a poem or piece of flash fiction in response to the theme but be quick: submissions close on Friday 24 November.

But that’s not the only opportunity for writers. Entries are now open for the fourth MinK Creative Writing Competition, for which the festival has chosen the theme of Tales from the City. As the cliché runs, every city has a thousand stories: or, more accurately in our city's case, a quarter of a million individual stories. They might be tales of arrival, of birth, of transformation, of the emotional rollercoaster of human existence.

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And then there’s the stories of the city itself. Without story there can be no history, and buildings, streets, landscapes, and neighbourhoods have histories just as people (or animals, trees or plants) do.

Entry is free, and open to anyone living, working, or studying in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire or Northamptonshire. Write a piece of flash fiction writing of up to 500 words in any genre you choose: sci-fi, thriller, romance, journalism, YA, historical fiction… Or submit up to 500 words of creative non-fiction: the biography or the past life of a street, or a neighbourhood or landmark, perhaps? Or send in a poem of up to 40 lines inspired by the theme.

There will be a cash prize of £25 for the best story, best creative non-fiction piece and best poem in each of two age categories: 14-19 and 20+.

In addition, MK Lit Fest aims to select the best pieces for publication in an anthology that will be available in paperback and e-reader formats.

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Writers may also be invited to read their work at future Lit Fest events, either in person or online. Submissions close on 1 February 2024.

For more information about both these exciting opportunities, visit their website.

You can also follow the Festival on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or sign up for their email newsletter.