Thanet Gothic and Time in Folkestone

The H.G.Wells Short Story Competition 2018 Anthology: Peace

Sunday was an eventful day. After months of reading, judging and general preparation, we (the H.G.W.S.S.C) had our annual awards ceremony and launch of our 2018 anthology, ‘Peace‘.

We were very fortunate that many of the shortlisted senior and junior entrants managed to make the awards lunch at the Grand Hotel in Folkestone. Long-distance attendees came from Dublin and St. Andrews but we had entrants from all over the world this year, including India, the USA and Australia – a result of focusing on social media marketing, I think.

It was a real treat to hear authors read selections from their own work. Several of those who couldn’t make it sent in video readings which we enjoyed over coffee and desserts. Every time I hear authors read, it’s drummed into me how important it is, when promoting your own work, to really be able to bring it to life. Take some time to practice. Read it out loud. No, act it out loud. There were two in particular who really stood out from the others – taking their time, speaking clearly and giving the characters a genuine voice – really portraying them as an actor would, with passion. 

Congratulations must go to all those shortlisted, but especially our eventual prize winners. Wendy Riley (from Australia) won the senior (over 21) prize with Yue’s Story, but – remarkably, in a competition that is completely anonymous until the shortlist is announced, also managed to secure a second shortlisting with Laila’s Story. The junior (21 and under) prize went to Abaan Zaidi (UK) for her fabulous In the Light of the Crescent Moon

It was a hard fought competition this year with around 400 entries from across the world, so it’s no mean feat to be shortlisted, let alone win. 

The ebook is already available on Amazon (link below), with the hard copy to follow shortly. Buy it here: HG Wells Short Story Competition, Anthology 2018: Peace

I’d also like to thank Norah Perkins of Curtis Brown for being our guest speaker. I’m sure all our authors really benefited from her words of wisdom. Afterwards I noticed a fair few having a quiet word with her in the corner. 

Find out more about Norah and Curtis Brown here.

Hopefully, HGWSSC will have a video up of her speech soon along with pictures from the day and video readings from our shortlisted authors. Norah’s session is well worth listening too – it is very enlightening.

Finally, we announced next year’s theme: Time.

Close to HGW’s literary heart, of course, but entrants are free to interpret it any way they choose. Closing date for entries will be 8th July – a little earlier this year to allow us, well, more time to go through the growing number of entrants we receive year on year.

Want more HGWSSC updates? Need to find out what the entrance criteria and rules are?  Click and follow here.


My second piece of news is that I’m very pleased to announce that Thanet Writers have today published a fourth piece of my work. From the Diary of Jane Pugin is a re-imagining of the death of Augustus Pugin with a horror twist.

I’m delighted to see this one published – its one of my personal favourites and came to me as a result of a) some homework from Inspirations Writers Group and b) a particularly good bacon sandwich I was eating outside the café on the clifftop behind his home. You can find it here in the free stories section or, see it in all its technicolour glory, on line at Thanet Writers.


Quick NaNoWriMo update, anyone? I’m roughly 35k in and I have five days to go. That’s 3k per day which feels achievable, although I’ve just spent the last two hours sorting out HGWSSC stuff, posts about FtDoJP being published and general blogging! Friday is also going to be less than 100% productive as I have a couple of meetings to go to…

D’oh. So that’s more like 3,750 per day to be sure! Hmmm…

I’m reasonably pleased with it so far. Just blasting it down does seem to work for me. The story feels good – but will need a fair bit of refinement. As will the characters, and, well – everything actually. It’s very much a first, very rough, draft!

But, my coffee is in front of me, so its back to a steaming keyboard I go.

3k+ coming up.


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