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The HG Wells £1000 Short Story Competition

June 7, 2010 2:42 PM
H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells

The annual HG Wells Festival's (17th -19th September 2010 - http://tinyurl.com/24jnogc) focal point is the annual £1,000 "must-be-won" competition for a handwritten short story of up to 5,000 words with a local background. Last year produced 25 high-quality entries. Astonishingly, the independent judges, unaware of the entrants' ages and identities, selected a shortlist of story writers whose ages ranged from 12 to 72 - and it was a schoolboy of 13 who finally received the life-changing award from HG's great grandson. His story, and those of the three runners-up, can be found on the Festival website at www.WellsFestival.com

The main prize donor is asking the judges not to choose a sci-fi story this year. In 2009, the 40th anniversary of man's first landing on the moon, that was inevitably the favourite theme. This time stories should give readers in 2110 an idea of what life is like for ordinary people, working or retired, in the second decade of the 21st century - its complications and perplexities, and above all its humorous aspects.

HG's characters described the misery and humour of apprenticeship in a draper's emporium. There must be both fun and drudgery working in a supermarket or MacDonald's. Is this or back-packing a better way to fill in the time between college and university? And what is it like if you don't go to university? Plumbing is said to be a well-paid alternative - and always good for a laugh. And how does it feel to be made redundant - all too familiar in 2010, but hopefully less well-known in 2110? There are plenty of non sci-fi stories waiting to be written.

Entry form available at www.WellsFestival.com or call (01303) 222 222.