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Calling all Kent writers

PUBLISHED: 10:43 24 October 2015 | UPDATED: 11:33 24 October 2015

Folkestone's inspiring Creative Quarter

Folkestone's inspiring Creative Quarter

Manu Palomeque

With Folkestone Book Festival approaching, Kent Life is inviting its creative readers to enter its new Short Story Competition and win the chance to be published in the magazine and hear their work broadcast on Channel Radio’s Arts hour


Are you inspired by history? Is there a story you would like to tell? Then why not enter Kent Life’s Short Story competition.

Your story can be inspired by a place, a person, an event or even an object. But it must relate to Kentish history. From castles and cathedrals to hop farms and paper mills, Dover’s Bronze Age boat and Churchill’s retreat at Chartwell, our county’s rich heritage offers an endless source of inspiration. Let’s celebrate it!

The stories will be judged by Kent-based historical novelist Truda Thurai (The Devil Dancers, Barley Bread and Cheese) and winning entries will be read by Sarah Sturt, editor Kent Life and broadcast on Channel Radio’s Arts Hour programme presented by Clive Looker.

Channel Radio is an HD digital radio station. Based on Romney Marsh, it broadcasts worldwide. Clive Looker’s Arts Hour is broadcast from 2-3pm every Sunday.

For more information, visit: www.channelradio.co.uk


Length: Stories should be between 1,000 to 1,500 words

Presentation: All manuscripts should be double-spaced. If submitted in paper form, they should be printed on one side of A4 sheets.

Submissions: Stories can either be submitted by email to: editor@kent-life.co.uk with ‘Kent Short Story Competition’ in the subject line or in paper form to: Kent Short Story Competition. Kent Life, Kent House, 81 Station Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PP.

Closing date: 5 December 2015. Winners will be announced in the New Year.

Prizes: The three best short stories will be printed in Kent Life in 2016, accompanied by photographs of the writers taken by Kent Life’s chief photographer Manu Palomeque. Channel Radio will also provide the winner with a CD of the whole broadcast.

FOLKESTONE BOOK FESTIVALThis year’s Folkestone Book Festival, taking place in Folkestone Quarterhouse from 20-29 November, promises to help you find new ways to engage with literature through a diverse programme of events including talks, readings, creative writing workshops, performances and documentaries.

There is an array of special guests hosting events and local authors are also given a platform to put forward new work.

To kick-start the festival, on 20 November, Louis de Bernières, author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Birds Without Wings, will talk about his new major novel, The Dust that Falls from Dreams.

He will also be ushering in the festive season by turning on the Creative Quarter Christmas lights, followed by a lantern precession, late-night shopping, a Christmas market, carol singing and mulled wine all designed to get you in the mood for a week of literary adventure.

Following launch night, why not pop down for afternoon tea with Wendy Cope on Saturday 21 November? Wendy will read a hilariously dissatisfied and ironic set either side of a rather special tea break, with a question and answer session and book signing to round off the event.

If controversy is your thing, Catherine Mayer, co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party, is holding a talk on Sunday 22 November about her biography of Prince Charles.

Her work generated worldwide headlines with its claims of dysfunction in the royal courts.

Alternatively, you may want to be swept up in the inimitable style of national treasure, Sir Terry Wogan, on Friday 27 November.

He will delight his audience with his first foray into fiction, discussing his collection of stories of love, loss and friendship.

On Saturday 28 November, comedian and BBC Radio 4 presenter Robin Ince will take us on a roller coaster journey of rants, stories, 
observations and digressions. He promises “some horror, some art and some science - but there will definitely be humour, and lots of it!”

On the last day of the festival, Sunday 29 November, singer, songwriter and half of the duo Everything but the Girl Tracey Thorn delves into the highs and lows of the often terrifying craft of singing.

On Tuesday 24 November Folkestone welcomes HRH Princess Michael of Kent, who will be giving a reading from her final volume of her Anjou Trilogy.

On Friday 27 November, take a step back in time with Marc Morris’s The Man Behind the Legend, an examination of King John’s career that seeks to conclude whether he was a monster or a capable ruler cursed by ill luck.

On Tuesday 24 November join Jonathan Dimbleby for The Battle of the Atlantic, a gripping tale of the campaign that ultimately determined the outcome of the Second World War. Then on 26 November hear about Melvyn Bragg’s thrilling fictional recreation of the so-called Peasant’s Revolt of 1831, Now is the Time.

In addition, creative partner Canterbury Christ Church University presents a series of events that explore the way we perceive, create and become part of a story.

Go on a Victorian adventure by train with the tour Gates to the Unknown, a journey back through time to uncover the social, political and literary impact of the Victorians and their great invention, the train.

Celebrate the Trollope Bicentenary with Trollope Revisited, a talk from principal lecturer Peter Merchant on the relevance of Trollope’s work today, while for budding writers, author and lecturer Katherine May will be exploring new narrative formats through her workshop The Digital Guerrilla.

There will also be performances and readings from Lynne Truss (Saturday 21), Tony Juniper (Sunday 22), Matt Haig (Saturday 21), Sean Smith (Sunday 29), Mark Ellen (Saturday 28), Zoe Williams (Sunday 29) and BAFTA award-winning actress Jessica Hynes to name just a few.

Whether you like to be in the forefront of a discussion, relish in a quiz to test your literary knowledge, want to hone your writing skills in a workshop or if you just want to sit back and listen to some wonderful stories, with such a variety of events, there’s certainly something for everyone to enjoy in Folkestone this month.

Local writers

Find out about the work of Kent-based writers in the new Quarters events. With 16 writers across four sessions, Quarters gives authors 15 minutes each to present their work to the Book Festival audience.

If you are a budding crime writer, novelist or digital bard then there are three fantastic workshops that will help develop your skills and provide you with constructive feedback.

The Crime Writing Masterclass on 21 November, 11am-1pm, in association with Killer Women is the perfect introduction to creating gripping plots, characters that jump off the page and building tension and intrigue.

Bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers Erin Kelly (Broadchurch: The Novel, The Poison Tree) and MJ McGrath (White Heat, The Boneseeker) will guide you through the basics and offer invaluable advice on getting published.

Writing Clinics take place on Sunday 22 November, 10am-6pm and are 20 minute one-on-ones offered by tutors from Canterbury Christ Church University. Once a space has been booked you will need to forward your work to be discussed at least seven days in advance to katherine.may@canterbury.ac.uk.

For digital fans, then The Digital Guerrilla: Online Storytelling in Unexpected Places on Saturday 28 November, 11am-1pm, should appeal to the new breed of digital guerrillas filling the internet with their stories.

They write satire on Amazon, and tell of heartache on Ebay. They create holiday farces on TripAdvisor and share romantic disasters on Craigslist. Best of all, their stories get shared and read by unexpected audiences.

Katherine May, Lecturer in Creative & Professional Writing at Canterbury Christ Church University, will induct you into the guerrilla force. In this workshop, you will discover what makes a great digital story, post your own guerrilla tale, consider the ethics of this form of writing, and learn how to share it.

Find out more

For more information about the events of this year’s Folkestone Book Festival, visit www.folkestonebookfest.com or call 01303 760750.



For more information on the Creative Foundation and details on spaces available for artists within the Creative Quarter please visit www.creativefoundation.org.uk



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