Famous authors to judge literary festival contest
TWO west London-based literary giants are urging aspiring writers in Hillingdon to put pen to paper for the Writing Local, Thinking Global competition.
The creative writing contest will be a major part of the Hillingdon Literary Festival, taking place in October at Brunel University, and has been backed by lecturers and famed writers Benjamin Zephaniah and Will Self.
The competition will accept all written forms, from film scripts to poems, and is aimed to encourage local writers.
Benjamin Zephaniah, who is probably best known for his poetry and children’s fiction, will be on the judging panel for the competition.
He said: “After the terrific success of the Local Poets and Poetry Party sessions run last year at the Hillingdon Literary Festival 2015, it became very clear there is a wealth of creative writing talent simmering away across the London Borough of Hillingdon.
“We thought it would be terrific fun to run a creative writing competition, giving local writers within the borough the opportunity to have their works shortlisted for publication.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved and write some fresh work, whether you are an aspiring poet or simply enjoy writing.”
The contest is free to enter and the deadline for hopefuls to get their pieces in is August 15, so time is running out for those wanting a shot at the £250 prize money.
Shortlisted works will be entered into a free anthology to be given out at the festival and also distributed to libraries in the borough.
Esteemed journalist and novelist Will Self, who will give a talk at the festival in October, said: “When things are rooted in the local community, like the Hillingdon Literary Festival, it’s an opportunity for people to reflect on the way their district has been characterised in literature and the way literature is involved in the reciprocal relationship with the place.
“The event I’m going to be doing at the festival is about stuff I’ve written about this place and that has been inspired by this place.”
On why Hillingdon residents should attend the festival, Mr Self added: “You get to see me and that will be fab. I get to see you, and that will be equally fab.
“You get to see a whole host of very interesting writers and engage with their work.”
The free festival will run from October 7 to October 9 and will feature live music, street food, master classes, performances and readings from a range of great talent.
To enter the writing competition, go to www.hillingdonliteraryfestival.com.
Entries must be no longer than 2,500 words.
Festival director Professor Philip Tew, said: “We hope that Writing Local, Thinking Global not only inspires our community to get writing, but also becomes a showcase of the extraordinary talent that we have in the borough of Hillingdon.
“I’m looking forward to reading all the submissions and having the hard task of picking our shortlist.”
n FAMOUS WRITERS: Benjamin Zephaniah (above) and Will Self (left)