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University writing competition closes soon

Wednesday 21 August 2019 11:32pm

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Go on, have a go! Writer - the University's creative writing competition for students and staff closes on 6 September. Email entries and questions to bulletin.comp@otago.ac.nz.

It’s time to get writing!

There are just over two weeks left to get your entries in to Writer– the inaugural University of Otago creative writing competition for staff and students.

The competition opened in early July and closes on Friday 6 September, and will be judged by noted New Zealand writer and Otago Alumna Fiona Farrell.

With four categories – student poetry and prose and staff poetry and prose – it offers an outlet for keen writers across all of the University’s campuses.

Organisers have been delighted with the response to date, but are urging creative types to put pen to paper.

"The writing prompt Daring to Be Wise has inspired entrants in many ways, and we have been thrilled with the diversity of the pieces and surprised by the number of poets on campus. We’re hoping for an equally inspiring selection of short stories."

One of the organisers, Nicola Cummins of the University’s English and Linguistics programme, says the poetry categories for both staff and students have already proven popular, with fewer prose pieces emerging.

“Flash fiction writers get busy now!

“The writing prompt Daring to Be Wise has inspired entrants in many ways, and we have been thrilled with the diversity of the pieces and surprised by the number of poets on campus. We’re hoping for an equally inspiring selection of short stories.”

Every entrant will receive a small prize, with larger prize packs up for grabs including 150th memorabilia, prizes from University Bookshop, and Otago University Press. Winners will also have their work published in the Otago Daily Times and have the opportunity to read their work on Otago Access Radio.

The competition’s other organiser, Otago Bulletin Board Editor Lisa Dick, encourages all students and staff to have a go.

“If you have even thought about entering, please do, we would love to see what you come up with.”

Want to know more?

Listen to co-organiser Nicola Cummins discuss the competition on Radio One

Visit our website

Or email: bulletin.comp@otago.ac.nz

Writing tips:

As you may be considering your entry or revising pieces now, check out these writing tips:

- Read the Terms and Conditions and follow them

- Write to the prompt

- Stay within the word limit (2,500 words)

- Craft your title very, very carefully

- Craft your opening paragraph/stanza very, very carefully

- Remember the classic writing class tip: show, don’t tell

- Proofread your work

- Ask a trusted reader to look over your work; s/he may spot errors you’ve missed

- Cut any lines you’ve kept just because they use a word or words you’re very pleased with. No “cerulean crepuscular rays creeping over the craggy caldera enclosing the cosy college town of Dunedin,” please!