UCLan young writers’ competition seeks next J K Rowling

Posted on - 19th May, 2018 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston News, UCLan, University campus
Northern Young Adults Literary Festival group

A competition to find the next J.K. Rowling is being launched by the University of Central Lancashire.


Budding young writers are invited to submit their entries to The Supernatural and Fantastical Short Story Competition, which has been organised by UCLan in conjunction with Waterstones, BBC Radio Lancashire and the Harris.

Aimed at 11-18 year olds with an interest in creative writing, the competition is looking for stories of no more than 500 words that fit into the supernatural and fantasy genres. Entrants should use the portrait of Pauline in the Yellow Dress by Sir James Gunn as inspiration for their stories and ask themselves, “Is Pauline plotting something good or evil?”.

The panel of judges will include Preston-born New York Times best-selling author, A.J. Hartley, and Barry Cunningham OBE, the publisher who signed J.K. Rowling for Bloomsbury.

The competition has been organised to celebrate A.J.’s upcoming UK tour, which follows the successful launch of his gothic thriller Cold Bath Street. The book was published by UCLan Publishing, the only student-led, student-run publishing house in the world.

Read more: Ghostly thriller set in Preston’s tunnels has launched

Associate Professor of Publishing and Head of UCLan Publishing, Debbie Williams, said, “The competition is a great opportunity for the next generation of fiction writers to shine and show just how good they are to a stellar line up of judges. A.J. is currently the number one best-selling author on Amazon and Barry is a very well respected expert in the publishing industry, so each entrant’s work will be read by some of the very best in the business.”

Six titles will be shortlisted and announced at an event at the Harris with A.J. and Barry on Wednesday 18 July. Three will come from the 11-14 year old category and three from the 14-18 year old category, and all six will be published as a collection by UCLan Publishing.

The overall winner will be announced at UCLan’s Supernatural and Fantastical in Young Adults event at the next Northern Young Adult Literary Festival on Saturday 21 July. The prize is a year’s worth of books.

Read more: More than 1,000 people attended this literature festival at UCLan

The deadline for entries is 12pm on Friday 1 June. Each entry should be attached to a cover sheet and put inside a sealed envelope to be handed in at the Harris, or to Waterstones in Blackpool, Lancaster, Lancaster King Street, Preston, Southport or Wigan.

For more information visit the UCLan Publishing website.

Will you be entering the competition? Let us know in the comments below.

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