Winter Writing Competition!

Hello everyone! We promised a winter writing competition, and here it is!

The deadline for submissions is the 19th of January- so there’s no excuses, you’ve got loads of time…

The theme is just ‘winter’. Feel free to go in whatever direction you want to go with it- you can go Christmas themed, snow themed, cold themed… We’re leaving it very much up to you, and we want to see what kind of things you can come up with.

We may post some prompts halfway through, in case anyone’s stuck!

The word count limit is 2000 words . It won’t be strictly enforced- a little bit more is okay, but please don’t go too much over- we don’t want thousands and thousands of words.

We have not yet decided on how this will be judged. Potentially some kind of poll, but we’ll let you know. We have also not decided on a prize- possibly some chocolate (we’re students too, after all).

Email your submissions to again, we haven’t decided on the specifics but hey, we have six weeks to decide…

You have six week- GOOD LUCK, and keep your eyes peeled for updates!

Flash Fiction February Submissions

As you may or may not have noticed, it is no longer February. But never fear! GUCW’s favourite monthly challenge is not all over and done with just yet.

As we get to compiling our anthology we are still in need of flash fiction stories for many of our daily prompts. So if any of you still have some work in the pipeline you have until mid-April to submit your stories for the anthology.

As well of stories we would love submissions of your artwork to accompany any pieces or simply artwork to decorate the anthology. You can use the prompts on the flash fiction page for inspiration but there will be a general “kitsch” feel to the anthology (-think cheesy 90’s pop).

Submit your work to:

Find the prompts here: Flash Fiction February 2k17

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

**Days/ Prompts that haven’t been written on yet:**


Non-binary, pride,




Inconceivable, Iridescent,

“You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”- Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride



Negligible,  Damask,  

“This world that we’re a-livin’ in, is mighty hard to beat; You git a thorn with every rose, but ain’t the roses sweet!”- Frank Lebby Stanton


The Marquis had loved roses, once. When the roses did not love him.
Once they began to bend towards him, so also did they begin to wilt.
The wilted rose gives no scent but rot. The only solution is a deadheading.
They grow with far more beauty the following year, then. As though rising
From the red of the spilled petals.
The Marquis had loved his garden, once. When his garden did not love him.
When there was no longer any toil to it, when it was only the sweet rain that
Nourished it and not the sweat from his brow, so did it begin its fall to ruin.
So to ruin he let it go. Now the statues weep with mossy eyes, and the
Fountains sit still and stagnant.
The Marquis had loved thorns, once. When the thorns still pricked him.
He spent his days struggling against brambles, screaming at the way they
Tore him, but when they were released he missed it. He longed for that
Choking embrace. In time, he found it again.
The Marquis loves roses again, they say.
And he grips them so hard he could dye the petals himself with what runs
From the thorns.


by Thomas Boyle

(prompts: Thorn / Crumble / Yet the roses are not less lovely for all that)

At Long Last: Results from Summer Short Story Competition

So it’s September, and although it isn’t quite cold yet, I think it’s safe to say we’re pretty much saying goodbye to summer.

However, silver linings. We now ~finally~ have the list of winners from our Summer Short Story Competition. All entries were of very high standard and the voting was close – so much so that we had to have two rounds of voting!

A reminder that our theme was CHAOS and the results were decided via anonymous public voting.

All winners will be immortalised in our Hall of Fame!

Here are the results:

1st Place: Maria Rose Sledmere with “The Many Moons of Jupiter”

Joint 2nd Place: Rachel Norris with “The Path” and Rachel Walker with “From Here to There”

Third Place: Maura Kenny with “Mind Diving” 

Congratulations to all!

Summer Short Story Competition 2015

Hello all – hope you are having a great summer so far and that the Exam Results Fairy was good to you! We’re really pleased to announce our summer short story competition for this year. We want as many entries as possible, and you have plenty of time to work on it, so please read over the details:

  • Everyone is allowed to enter, regardless of your age, ownership of a kitten or whether or not you’ve ever attended a Creative Writing workshop or liked our Facebook page.
  • Entries must be predominantly prose (i.e. if you want to weave a few lines of poetry or a drawing or something in with your story then fine, but we want it to be prose fiction).
  • The theme of the short story competition is CHAOS. You are free to interpret this as you like, but please make sure your work links to the theme somehow.
  • The word count is between 800-3000 words, inclusive. Please don’t go outwith these limits.
  • Your work should have a title, but don’t just use the prompt as your title as it will be difficult to distinguish from the other entries.
  • The deadline is midnight on Friday 7th August
  • All entries are to be submitted as Word documents to , with the subject title ‘Summer Short Story Competition Entry’. The reason it is going to our old president, Maria (me), is because the competition is to be peer-judged and so since I’m in charge of uploading the stories, I will be the only one who knows who wrote what. This means that while I can submit an entry, you can rest assured I don’t get a vote because my vote wouldn’t be anonymous.
  • All stories will be peer-judged. This means that after the closing date (7th August), all entries will be anonymously uploaded with their titles to the blog. There will be a vote over the next few weeks to see which story wins. We will also provide a comment space where you can write feedback for the stories (everything can be anonymous). This way, all entries get a showcase on the blog and writers can access some feedback. The winner will be revealed by the end of August and hopefully we can concoct some sort of a prize, as well as a place in the Hall of Fame page Nina and I are still developing!
  • If you have any more questions, email me or

Last year’s winners were Katalina Watt (1st), Scott Dallas (2nd) and Ross Van Gogh (3rd). You can check out their work if you search ‘Elements’ via the blog search tool. Hopefully this will be a nice summer project to work on, and I look forward to reading everyone’s stuff!

Black Opal Arts – Exhibition and Submission Opportunity

So we thought everyone would be interested in an exhibition being put on by some of the GU Creative Writing MLitt students, called ‘NOCTIS’, which is run through ‘Black Opal Arts’, a ‘platform for writers and artists to express the darker side of their craft’ – which sounds very intriguing.

If you submit your work and get accepted for the exhibition, you will get the chance to read your work to an audience and also talk about it. I know this can be a scary thing but a great step forward in your writing career and confidence!

More info can be found here:
This is our Facebook page where you can find more details about the event itself.

And here’s the website with submission guidelines and a bit more about what we’re doing.

Since we have often delved into the dark, strange, mysterious or terrifying in our workshops, I’m sure that many of you will be well-suited to the theme of this exhibition, so I really hope some of you give it a go!



A Fan of Magical Realism? Short Story Anthology Opportunity

Hello all,

Hope this might spark some interest out of an otherwise dreary Monday. Claire Martin from the Glasgow Uni MLitt Creative Writing course has got in touch with us to let us know about an exciting anthology entitled ‘Williwaw: An Anthology of the Marvellous’, that they are raising money to publish. To gather funds for the publication they will be running a bake-sale using our name (yay – free publicity!). I thought you’d all be interested since the anthology’s theme centres around the genre of MAGICAL REALISM, which ties in with a lot of the stuff we cover in workshops, where elements of the fantasy enter the ordinary and everyday…

Although the deadline is fast approaching, I wanted to let everyone know in case you are up for firing out a story before the end of February – Claire has kindly said that the anthology is open to anyone, so it would be a great opportunity to get your work published, and what do you have to lose when entry is free?

Anyway, here are the details:

‘Williwaw is an anthology of short fiction. We’re looking for literature of the marvellous, in which the realistic and strange meet. We are first and foremost an anthology of magical realism, though we are happy to accept slipstream, new weird, fabulism, and modern fairy tales.’

Short stories: maximum 3,500 words.

Flash fiction: maximum 750 words

The closing date for submissions is March 1st, 2015 at 12:00 AM. Please send your work to

More info can be found here:

And also by searching ‘Williwaw: An Anthology of the Marvellous’ on Facebook.

Even if you aren’t able to submit anything in time, please email your work to and we’d love to display it on the blog anyway – magical realism is always welcome here! A helpful article that has been suggested to get you started on the genre can be found HERE.

Good luck and be sure to say hi and buy a biscuit if you see a Creative Writing bake-sale anywhere on campus!



‘Beyond a Joke’ Sketch Writing Opportunity

Just passing on an opportunity sent to me by Colin from Beyond a Joke live, thought some of you who are into comedy might want to give this a go!
‘Hi, I’m not sure if this is the type of creative writing your members are interested in pursuing but I thought I’d forward some details to you about our sketch night just in case as we’re actively looking for writers and contributions. The next show is on this coming Tuesday (10th February) if anyone wants to come along and see the type of material that works.
Material can be submitted to this email address and for more information they can check our Facebook page. —>
You can also have a look at some of the sketches performed ot the last show on our YouTube channel –>
************WANTED: YOUR COMEDY SKETCHES*************

Having enjoyed a successful opening night we are now actively on the lookout for the best sketch material we can find.

Beyond A Joke offers talented new comedy writers a ready-made audience for their best comic sketches. No matter how good you are it’s extremely difficult to get material on the radio, never mind the TV and most writers aren’t keen on performing it themselves. Okay maybe secretly some of you are.

So what happens to all that great stuff you’ve written in the solitude of your own home? Chances are it never gets an audience and ends up being curled into a tight paper ball and tossed angrily at your desktop upon hearing the latest viewing figures for Mrs Browns Boys (insert own comedy bête noire here).

If that’s you then send me your best scripts and if they’re good I’ll put them in the show. The audience votes for the best sketch of the night and a video (sometimes it may only be audio) of that winning sketch will be posted here for all to share and enjoy. There’s one below right now in fact…

Scripts should be emailed to the address in the attached image. I look forward to laughing, cringing, raging and despairing at whatever you send. But hopefully mostly laughing. Cheers, Colin.


Hi everyone,

Thanks for coming along this week and writing some lovely haiku.
Next week, since Halloween is encroaching, our theme is Gothic/Horror fiction. We’ll concoct some kind of writing activity on this theme and then we are going to do something fun (perhaps a reading of some terrible gothic fan fiction *cough cough*…) – feel free to come dressed up a bit (or a lot)! and bring sweets, apples, gin (from downstairs) – or whatever’s your thing .
We may also pop to the pub afterwards :)
Group novel and so on are all up online as is the 100 WORD CHALLENGE which you should all have a bash at since writing a story in less than 100 words can’t be that hard, right?
Good luck and see you next week!

100 Word Challenge!

In the spirit of our ‘Breaching’ session, inspired by one of our members who decided to try this, I thought it would be fun to set a 100 word writing challenge for this month.

You have until 5th November to submit!

Basically, the challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less.

The theme is: WASTE – interpret as vaguely or specifically as you will!

Sounds tricky, right? I love using lots and lots of words, so I’m going to give it a go too. Since it’s so short, it shouldn’t take up too much precious mid-term study time, so please give it a go and submit it via our ‘Contact Us’ page, or just email it to with your name and title. I’ll put all stories up on this page. Good luck!

(see where I will be posting all your stories!)