Kettle and de Waal sponsor low-income entrants to writing prize

Kettle and de Waal sponsor low-income entrants to writing prize

Authors including Kit de Waal and Kathryn Kettle have paid for more than 150 entries to a writing prize from low-income authors.

The Bare Fiction Prize is an annual competition for poems, flash fiction and short stories, run by Robert Harper, the editor of Bare Fiction magazine. Harper charges between £3-8 per entry, depending on the category and whether the writer is a subscriber, but decided to ask for sponsors to pay for low-income aspiring authors to enter.

“As a low income writer myself, I know just how hard it is to be able to afford to enter writing competitions like the Bare Fiction Prize,” Harper told The Bookseller. “You wonder how you can justify spending £5, £10 or £25 on a competition entry when each month you are struggling to pay your household bills. So this year I decided to include an allocation for 50 free entries for those who regarded themselves as being low income writers. The idea to ask others if they could support the fund, and increase the number of free entries available, came to me as I was writing an email newsletter opening up the fund for applications.”

Harper put out a call via email newsletter, Facebook and Twitter last week and was “overwhelmed” with the response after receiving enough funds to support over 100 extra entries within three hours. The total number of sponsored entries currently stands at 183.

Writers who are sponsoring places include De Waal, who won second prize in the Bare Fiction Prize for Flash Fiction in 2015, Dr Tania Hershman and Kathryn Kettle, who has paid for 65 entries.

Low-income writers can apply for a sponsored entry online by 31st July. They will have their entry fee paid for on a first come, first served basis. The competition is open until the end of October and winners will receive cash prizes between £25 and £500. Their work will be published in the Spring 2019 issue of Bare Fiction Magazine and its website.