For the first time in many years, I’m entering a writing competition; it’s local to us but I think it’s probably open to all. It’s the Yeovil Literary Prize which is an annual event. I have entered before, but I think, I hope I’m a much better writer now. There are five categories:
- Novel – Synopsis and Opening Chapters (combined 15,000 words) 1st £1000, 2nd £250, 3rd £100.
- Short Story – up to 2,000 words, 1st £500, 2nd £200, 3rd £100
- Poetry up to 40 Lines, 1st £500, 2nd £200, 3rd £100
- Writing Without Restrictions – You write it – we’ll read it. 1st £200, 2nd £100,,3rd £50
- Local Prize Western Gazette Best Local Writer Award for a short-listed entry by author living in Western Gazette distribution area. £100
They are all judged by respected professional writers in each field. I’m always encouraging others to go in for competitions, maybe I should take teh plunge and do so too.
I’m going to enter my 1950’s story about the local newspaper reporter Mike Scott. I haven’t finished it yet, I guess I’m about two thirds of the way through. Which is fine… except I have to write a synopsis. When I wrote I never have a clear idea of where my story is going, it’s a mystery to me as much as to my readers, but I hope they are satisfied with the result and I tie up all the loose ends and have a satisfactory conclusion.
So… a synopsis… the number of words in it are counted towards the maximum number of words for the entry, so it needs to be succinct It’s a while since I wrote a synopsis, and my first attempt was way too long. I looked for some advice and found this:
- Don’t mentioning too many characters or events.
- Don’t Include too much detail, or plot twists. You don’t want to tell the whole story.
- Don’t include unnecessary detail, description, or explanation.
- Give a clear plot line and character descriptions; don’t use emotive language
- You’re not trying to get someone to like or read your story so don’t be coy or mysterious
I’ve taken the advice and I’ve written an introduction and a synopsis… I’m still not sure if I’ve included all I should, or included too much! I will share it here when I’ve polished it up!
Here’s a link to the competition: