We recently heard about "Save as" writers' group's creative writing competition. They are looking for short works of poetry or prose inspired, broadly or otherwise, by any character from a Charles Dickens novel. The competition is open to all writers and international submissions are welcome. The closing date is August 15th 2012.
Find out more on their website here.
We were very pleased to receive a very complimentary review of the Five Stop Story app from CatNav. CatNav helps readers navigate the vast number of reading apps available in the app store. It identifies the best apps, reviews them and rates them.
It gave the Five Stop Story app 10/10. You can download the Five Stop Story app from the app store here.
Review of Five Stop Story by CatNav [10/10]
Similar in style to the Watchbook app, Five Stop Story is a gateway to a number of exciting stories. The app comes loaded with three short stories that give an indication of the type of quality you can expect. If you like what you read, you can subscribe for a year for just £1.99.
Five Stop Story’s interface is clean and minimalistic, allowing you focus on reading the stories. The text size can be increased or decreased and – aside from sharing your favourite passages on Facebook and Twitter – that’s about it.
Thankfully, there are options for sorting through the featured stories. Tabs are included for the latest and most popular. You can also choose to browse by author, genre, date and so on.
With so many stories available it’s probably best to focus on The Other Dave Clark, which is included free with the app. Written by Dave Clark, this short satirical story imagines a nightmare scenario where Nick Clegg wants to see more competition in society and so proposes cloning everyone. This spells trouble for our hero Dave as a committee decides who deserves to live, the original or the clone.
The Other Dave Clark is a perfect showpiece for the app. If every other story is only as fractionally entertaining as this, then the app is going to be immensely successful.
As the name suggests, Five Stop Story is designed to be read in short bursts, on a daily commute for example. There are already lots of stories to suit every mood and this is a great start to Five Stop Story.
This app is essential for iPad and iPhone owners, it’s as simple as that.
Joshua Douglas-Walton, CatNav
You can dowload the Five Stop Story app here.
You can find more great reading apps on the CatNav app here.
Our 2012 competitions are now live! There are monthly competitions and you can enter a story up to 3,000 words on any theme. There's a £50 prize every month and a £150 prize for the author who is top of the league table after the results of all the 2012 competitions have been recorded. Find out more about the competition on our writers page.
The Five Stop Story Kindle book is now available from Amazon here.
Over the last year, Five Stop Story has run 9 competitions and received over 1,000 short stories to review. 30 of the best stories from our competitions are being put together for a Kindle book, which will be available from next week. The stories are grouped into five key sections: Tales of Betrayal, The Journey of Life, A Lighter Touch, Life-Changing Events and A Slice of Life. From extraordinary tales of love, loss and laughter to everyday stories with a twist, there is a short story for everyone in the Five Stop Story collection.
Our "betrayal" themed competition proved very popular and we were inundated with entries. After much deliberation, the judging has been completed and the winning entries have been chosen. Congratulations to the winner Judith Sly and runners up Elizabeth Evans, Carla Leach and Les Williams.
You can now read short stories by the new writers on this site on your iphone and ipad. The Five Stop Story mobile app is available to download for free from the itunes store or the Apple app store. You can read more about it in our press release here. You can also have a look at the app in the itunes store here.
As well as the stories on this site, the app will feature stories from our partner competition "A Very Short Story Competition" and additional stories by winning authors, which are only available on the app.
Each week new stories will be added and you can find your favourite stories by browsing by genre, author or release date. You can choose to read the most popular stories or look at editor recommendations. Once you’ve read the story you can “like” the story and share it on Facebook and Twitter. All the stories can be read offline, so readers can read their favourite stories even when they are out of reception.
It's been another record-breaking competition for us and we now have lots of entries to sit down and read. We can't wait to get started! However, in the meantime, if you want a new challenge to get started on, we have put the details of our August competition up on our writers page. The theme is "betrayal" so we are looking forward to reading some juicy stories.
The quality of entries to our third competition was so high that judging was very difficult. However, after lots of reading, we have now made our decisions. Congratulations to our competition winner, Tanya Lloyd. Tanya's story, Odyssey, was well-observed and kept us hooked right until the end. Odyssey will be published on the website soon, so watch this space.
The quality of entries for our latest competition has been the highest so far and we are finding it hard to choose between so many well-written and engaging entries. We hope to be able to email the winners and runners up in the next two weeks.
In the meantime we are full steam ahead with creating our mobile phone application, supported by the Arts Council and the National Lottery. We are planning for a September launch.
We want to fill the application with good short stories and so we are planning to make our competitions monthly, with the closing date the last day of the month. This will mean that there won’t be gaps between our competitions and writers will be able to plan ahead.
The theme for our July competition will be “friendship” and the closing date will be 31st July. We will announce the theme for our August competition on this blog soon, to enable writers to prepare for that competition ahead of time.
We look forward to continuing to read entertaining, engaging short stories and discovering more exciting new writers.
Our Spring competition ended a couple of weeks ago and we are busy reading the entries. We’ve had some really interesting and unusual approaches to the theme and we’re enjoying seeing the diversity of the stories. The theme required a bit of thinking about and it’s great to see the creative ways in which writers have managed to incorporate “five stops” into their stories.
We are delighted to have Sangeetha Shinde Tee judging the competition again. We expect to announce the results by the end of May, so watch this space.
Our first short story competition has now closed. Our email inbox has been inundated with entries and we are busy reading through them all. We’ve been impressed by the very high standard of entries, especially considering we are a new competition. It’s been a pleasure reading all the stories and realising just how many talented new writers there are out there!
Sangeetha Shinde Tee will be selecting the overall winner of our competition. She has been the editor of several magazines and has been published by Reader’s Digest and Savvy Magazine. An experienced short story writer, she has written a book of short stories for the Kingdom of Jordan. Her second book of ten short stories is due for launch this summer and she is currently working on her third book, a semi-biography of a slum dweller in Mylapore in Chennai. She is a partner in a niche content outsourcing business in India, which will be starting its own publishing arm early this summer.
Whether you love it or loathe it there’s no escaping Valentine’s Day. With only a month to go until the big (or not so big) day, we are launching our first competition themed loosely around the day of love. We are looking forward to seeing where your imaginations take you on this theme. Will you choose to tell a story of love blossoming between strangers? Or a tale about the end of a relationship? Or something else entirely? Whatever your idea for a story, we want to read it. We are looking for stories that keep us interested and are written with a distinctive voice. The deadline is 14th February and we can’t wait to read all the entries.
Remember - you retain the copyright of your work so entry is entirely risk free.
After months of work developing our concept, designing our site and working out our marketing strategy, the website is finally live! We are very excited about the future and are thrilled to be up and running. Now we just need to get the message out to as many readers and writers as possible to introduce them to the site… So…Spread the word.
First I thought I’d give you a bit of an insight into the concept behind Five Stop Story. It all began when a writer friend was reviewing a colleague’s work. He had read the work on the tube and began his critique with an anecdote about how he was travelling from Kings Cross to Piccadily Circus and he had read the story in exactly the time it had taken him to travel five stops. A Five Stop Story. Our project was born.
We started thinking about how many others there are on the tube, who need something short and pithy to read on their journeys. Many of them are engrossed in newspapers, others are engrossed in books. But what is there for people who want to read fiction but aren’t carrying a book? Or who are only on short journeys and don’t want to get back into their novel, only to have to abandon it again? And do people reading the free newspapers want to read the same thing everyday? Or are there some days when they’d like to get away from the articles about disaster, war and weather and escape from the world through a short story?
We researched the market and discovered that people did want this. What’s more, there are many talented writers out there struggling to get their voices heard. And we realised we could help. We could select the best short stories from new writers, put them on our website and mobile application and get them connected to the people we’ve seen on the tube, the bus and the train; the people we know would love to discover a new writer in five stops.
So today we are taking the first step and launching the website, in a few weeks we will launch the competition and in a few months the application. That’s the plan and we hope you can come on this journey with us, whether as a reader or a writer.