With the arrival of the new year, and the onset of the usual writers’ resolutions to ‘commit more time to work’, we at Mardibooks wanted to launch an opportunity for you to do just that – and get professionally published while doing it.
We are holding our latest competition since our extremely successful collaboration with IdeasTap, which resulted in the publication of ‘I Clean for England’, ‘The Clock Struck War’, ‘Hide It’, ‘Toast’ and ‘Jam’ and we want you to get involved. We are now looking to publish an anthology of twenty tales, titled ‘Conspiracy at Equinox’.
The idea for ‘Conspiracy at Equinox’ arose after a discussion at the Mardi table – we wanted to be able to capture your imagination and facilitate your growth as a writer.
The spring equinox, which transects the running time of our competition, is traditionally a time of new birth and reflection. Conveniently, it’s close enough to New Year (and all those well-intentioned resolutions to ‘write more’) to allow you to keep in touch with your goals, but far away enough to prompt ‘getting back on track’ and allow new ideas in.
More thematically, from ‘equinox’ springs ideas of contemplation and transcendence – the induction of something mythical.
Following from an incredibly politically fraught year, filled with tensions, promises and a tacit inevitability, 2019 seems to be the year in which these promises come to fruition.
Recent media swirls have seen a resurrection in conspiracy theories – anything from the denial of climate change to the New Zealand ‘UFO sightings’ and, of course, the famous Flat Earth Society. The role of conspiracy – and the subliminal role it plays in our psyche – could be considered fundamental to any writer’s practice. The ability to create a brief, momentary lapse in our empirical reality – and our ready ability to believe it – is not only an incredibly rich source of inspiration, but arguably an integral part of the writer’s craft – in order to create a reliable fiction, does the author not enter into a tacit conspiracy with the reader?
The term ‘conspiracy’ calls forth images of cloistered whispers, ready to take flight and weave itself into a collective consciousness. News headlines in illuminated technicolour penetrate minds, hearts and thoughts. An untapped undercurrent in which the untold and the pre-established mix. Where will your conspiracies take you? Is your equinox a political drama, exposing the flaws of those at the helm of the country’s control? An exploration of the thematic consequences of the new year as it befalls a community? A thrilling history, or a traditional spy story?
This could be satirical, ironic, or compelling and serious – who can forget Evelyn Waugh’s hugely evocative, beautifully written ‘Handful of Dust’, which combines all best elements of all of the above?
If you’re starting to feel excited, there are a few things to bear in mind. While we welcome contributions of any style, the format must be a short story. Please ensure your entry is between 2,000 and 5,000 words and has not been published or entered into any other prior competition. To view the full terms and conditions, which must be read prior to entry, click here. All contributions must be entirely your own work, and you must submit your entry on a word document with the completed cover sheet downloadable here.
We will be looking for well structured, exciting new work. Some useful blog posts to check out here are:
Enter the competition
Pay your £5 entry fee. Upon completion of payment click ‘Return To Merchant’ and you will be directed to the entry page. Otherwise go here to submit your entry.
Please be sure to read the terms and conditions and pay your fee before entering.