Sunday 24 January 2016

Book the Break Short story competition. #writing #contest

First prize: A long weekend for two (4 night stay) in Provence at a date of your own choosing between 05/07/2016 and 31/08/2016 (see below for details).

2 runners-up will receive a signed copy of One Green Bottle (or the sequel, Perfume Island).


Maximum 2000 words on The Cats (you can change the title but the story must deal with the topic), with the following extract from One Green Bottle as a prompt.

A long time ago, when life was tolerable, almost good, he had two cats that kept him company. How old was he? Seven? Eight? Before his father began to question the worth of his existence. Back then, presumably, he was cute, almost as cute as the tabbies. He never knew what happened to them but they disappeared, both of them, all of a sudden, and he was left only with an inconsolable sadness.

Deadline: 6 pm GMT, February 15th 2016

There is no entry fee.

Entries to be sent to curtis.bausse(at), in the body of the email (not as an attachment) with Short Story in the subject line.

The winner will be announced: March 15th 2016.

The entries will be judged by Atthys Gage, an outside, independent author whose books, Spark and The Flight of the Wren impressed me with the finesse and intelligence of the writing. He kindly agreed to judge this contest. I’ll forward the entries to him after making them anonymous.

Entries must be in English, and previously unpublished (except on the writer’s personal website).

Writers may submit more than one entry if they wish, but there must be a minimum of four different contestants for the competition to be valid. (i.e. if there are three or fewer different contestants, the prize will not be awarded).

Note: To take part, it is not compulsory to buy, read or write a review of One Green Bottle – the story can be written using just the prompt provided here. Nor is any reference to the story of One Green Bottle necessary – entries will be judged on their merits as stand alone short stories. (Having said that, buying or reviewing One Green Bottle is not discouraged – on the contrary! But as it’s not a condition of entry, it won’t increase participants’ chance of winning).

First Prize Details

The prize includes:

Bed and breakfast for 4 nights in en suite accommodation 3 kms from the centre of Aix en Provence, equipped with king-size bed, adjoining bathroom, micro-wave, coffee machine and wi-fi connection.

Free access to swimming pool and garden.

Transport (arrival and departure) between the accommodation provided and either Aix-Marseille airport or the Aix-TGV train station (NB: the prize does not include travel to or from Provence).

Dinner (if desired) for two of the four nights.

Talking shop with Curtis, who will happily converse for hours, but will also shut up and go away when you tell him to.

If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch: curtis.bausse(at)

A further brief explanation of the reasoning behind this competition can be found here.

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