Northern Short Story Festival Competition! Win a short story critique from Costa winner Avril Joy!

This Summer, The Leeds Big Bookend Festival and The Northern Short Story Festival are giving away a unique and priceless prize! Perhaps you’ve got a short story that you yearn to publish, or enter for contests, but you need help in getting it ready? Then enter our contest, from 4pm today, where you can win a short story critique from Costa prize winning author Avril Joy. Good luck!

You can read and download the Festival programme here: prog2016web

Here’s how to enter:

* Take a picture of yourself holding up a sign saying why you’d like to win, in 10 words or less. The tweet or post should start with “I want to win the Avril Joy short story critique competition #NoShoSto because” + your pic.SJ_AvrilJoyComp
* Post it on Twitter or Instagram from 4pm today, and tag us using the hashtag #NoShoSto or email your picture to
* The closing date is 6pm on Thursday 2nd June 2016, so make sure you get your entries in before then.
* Remember, make your picture as memorable as you can! Winning entries will be chosen by The Big Bookend team based on originality, memorability, and wittiness. The more interesting, and the more unique, the better!

DSCN3332Contest rules:
* Only one entry per contestant.
* You must be over 16.
* Your picture may be used for promotional purposes by the Leeds Big Bookend Festival and Northern Short Story Festival.
* The winners will be chosen and announced at the Northern Short Story Festival, with the critique to take place at a later date.
* Our critiquing writer Avril Joy, will read up to 2,000 words (non-negotiable) of a short story, and provide the prize-winner with a critique of their work.

* Prize-winners will need to be able to send their story to Avril Joy within 2 weeks of the competition closing date i.e. by 16th June 2016.


Avril Joy is an award winning short story writer, novelist and occasional poet. In 2012 she won the inaugural Costa Short Story Prize. Her work has also been shortlisted in a wide variety of competitions including the Manchester Prize for Fiction, the Bridport, and the Raymond Carver Short Story Competition.

Avril Joy at the Northern Short Story Festival, Saturday 4th June 2016 at the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds

Avril will be running a Success in Short Story Competitions Workshop . She will guide you in developing your short story writing – from finding contests to enter, to developing, shaping and polishing your story into something that can make the shortlist! This workshop is suitable for writers at all stages – whether beginner or experienced.

You can read more about Avril’s workshop and book your tickets here.

Her latest novel, Sometimes a River Song, is out now in paperback, published by Linen Press.

SometimesARiverSong (1)

Fiona Gell

Fiona is a lifelong reading enthusiast and book lover. Her career started as a bookseller and has never really veered away from the written and spoken word. It was a dream for her to be a founder member of The Leeds Big Bookend and the Northern Short Story Festival. She continues to be its Director.

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