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Literary competition continues to honour former UCLan academic

Posted on - 12th June, 2018 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Competitions, Preston News, UCLan, University
Dinesh brought short story writing to communities in Preston and beyond

A creative legacy left for a UCLan lecturer who died in 2014 is continuing to honor his memory this year.

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Dinesh Allirajah passed away suddenly aged 47 following complications from surgery.

In his memory, the Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction was set up for the former creative writing lecturer and long-term director of Comma Press.

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Collaborated by UCLan and Comma Press, submissions are now open for the 2019 edition of the Prize.

Now in it’s second year, the competition is open to both published and unpublished writers, aiming to seek out the best established and up-and-coming voices in the form.

The theme for the 2019 Prize will be ‘Scent’, the title of Dinesh’s posthumous collected works.

Dinesh, who described himself as a jazz writer, wrote many short stories featured in numerous anthologies and magazines.

He regularly ran workshops and literacy classes in community centres, schools and prisons, acting as Chair of the National Black Arts Alliance and the National Association for Literature Development.

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Dr Naomi Kruger, UCLan Lecturer in Creative Writing, will again be on the judging panel with a new host of judges including award-winning short story writer Zoe Gilbert, short story writer Irenosen Okojie, and Northern Soul’s Film Editor Andy Murray who has previously edited a short story anthology for Comma Press.

UCLan students will also participate in the judging process, devising the shortlist for the judges to select a winner from and organizing the prize-giving event.

Dr Kruger said: “We are delighted to be working with Comma Press to continue the Dinesh Prize after a very successful inaugural year.

“Not only is it a way for us to honour the memory of Dinesh as both writer and teacher, it also enables our students to gain valuable experience working in the creative industries.”

Becca Parkinson, coordinating the prize at Comma Press, said: “We’re so pleased with the success of the inaugural year in 2017.

“The submitted stories were a testament to the malleability and dexterity of the short story form; I very much look forward to seeing the writers interpret this year’s theme.

“It’s a pleasure to once again collaborate with UCLan and their talented students to ensure as many writers as possible, regardless of experience or background, send us their stories and are judged equally.

“It’s our aim to unveil some brilliant new voices in short fiction.”

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Entries will remain anonymous throughout the judging process and entry is free but limited to one per writer, with the closing date for applications being Friday 26 October 2018.

The prize is open to anyone based in the UK aged 18 or over, providing the story submitted has not been published anywhere else, online or in print.

The winner will receive £500 and have their story published online by Northern Soul.

All 10 shortlisted authors will be featured in an eBook anthology which will be published by Comma Press and sold online.

There will be a prize-giving ceremony which will take place in May 2019.

Do you study at UCLan? Have you taken part in the literary competition before? Let us know in the comments below

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