Fa­mous au­thors to judge lit­er­ary festival con­test

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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)

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