I am delighted to announce that I have been asked by the Society of Women Writers and Journalists to be the judge for this year's John Walter Trophy Short Story Competition.
Let me tell you a little about the SWWJ. It was founded in 1894 by newspaper proprietor Joseph Snell Wood, and is the UK's longest-established society for professional women writers. It has since become an international association affiliated to women's associations worldwide. Victoria Wood is its president and Sir Tim Rice and Simon Brett are among the patrons.
Viv Brown (who writes as Vivien Hampshire and who kindly suggested me as a judge) has been a member for ten years and is on the council. She has written an excellent blogpost about the SWWJ here. She says that the society is always looking to welcome new writers of all ages who might be novelists, journalists, playwrights, poets, article writers and writers of non-fiction books.
It's not the first time that I've judged a short story competition. Last year, the Chiltern Writers Group kindly asked me to judge their annual competition and I enjoyed it so much I was more than happy to say yes to this new request from the SWWJ.
I've already started to think what I shall be looking for once the stories start coming in but my mind is open to any genre, emotion and style. Without giving too much away, I will just say that the winning entries will need to entertain me but also move me in some way - be it through hope, sadness, joyfulness, humour or tragedy.
Good luck to all the entrants!
In other news, I have had my first response to my #PitchCB submission. You can read last week's updated post here.
Also, I'm very excited that my new serial, Life at Babcock House, will be starting in the September 5th issue of the The People's Friend. I was thrilled with the response to my first serial, Charlotte's War and am hoping readers will like this one just as much.
Finally, if you'd like to find out more about the SWWJ, the contact details are below: