Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Asham Award 2010

The Asham Award is looking for ghost or gothic stories. It's open to women writers who have not yet had a novel or a collection of short stories published. Stories must not exceed 4,000 words in length. Deadline 30th September Entries welcome from any nationality and any country

What makes a good ghost story?

(Advice from judges Sarah Waters and Polly Samson and Virago’s publisher Lennie Goodings)

Sarah Waters, for whom Ghost and Gothic have become something of a trademark, says she will be looking for a story that clearly belongs to the ghost story genre, yet manages to bring something new to it too.

"Something new in terms of setting, perhaps? A ghost story for the twenty-first century? But," she adds "whatever the setting, I’d like the story to be genuinely unsettling - if not downright scary. I want to be spooked!"

Polly Samson says she will be looking for characters "that haunt me long after I finish reading. " She believes this is the most important thing in any short story but especially true of a ghost story.

"I like stories that seem clever on second reading," says Polly "where the atmosphere and tone have been carefully fitted to the characters, where every word has been thought about and every description has something important to add to the characterisation, though on first reading all of this should seem effortless."

Lennie Goodings, who will be publishing the anthology, wants to be "genuinely surprised, thrilled, disturbed, frightened, creeped or even, I suppose, struck with the humour and absurdity of it." She believes the genre gives rise to strong emotional responses

Details here at Asham website

12 comments:

Old Kitty said...

Gosh!! Thanks for the link and the advice here - hmmm. I love reading ghost stories - the best ones do disturb especially on second reading - and it's certainly a skill that I wish I could say I have! LOL!!

Good luck to anyone entering!!

Take care
x

Words A Day said...

Old Kitty
A yes! oh! to be disturbing!

Brigid said...

Thats an interesting one, Niamh,
stories that sound good on second reading, well, thats me ruled out.
Seems to be a lot of ghouls this weekend, with the Magpie theme, the Bram Stoker award and now this, strange things afoot! Great picture, you are very brave to show a photo of yourself in your nightie!!

Words A Day said...

Brigid
Rule you out? Oh no it doesnt! (in panto voice!)Your recent magpie was definatly on the theme...And gosh I didnt think anyone would recognise me in the photo! It was one of those nights!- No more gin for mammy!

Theresa Milstein said...

Oooo, I bet there will be plenty of creepy entries. In one manuscript I wrote entertaining ghosts, but even the ones who were scary weren't very frightening. I'll have to think about this one. Thanks for the link!

Words A Day said...

Theresa
mmm...what about a substitute teacher who comes back from the grave to teach someone a lesson...?!

Jackee said...

Thanks for the heads up--I've a CP who should sub to this!

So glad to find your blog and it looks as if we have many friends in common. :o)

Talli Roland said...

Thanks for the heads up! I'm not a fan of ghost stories -- they scare me silly. The Turn of the Screw nearly did me in for a good few months!

Words A Day said...

Jackee
Wish your friend luck with the sub!

Talli
I've never read that story (shame on me!) I've heard a lot about it though.

KarenG said...

I had to come over and tell you how much your comment on my journal post impacted me. You are so right when you said a journal captures the impressions of the moment that otherwise would be lost. Both of my Diamond novels were written from going back into journals-- mine, my husbands and my sisters-- and gleaning events, moods, even exact phrases sometimes. No amount of research or remembering could have been as effective. Esp. since I write from life, keeping a journal is essential for me. Thank you for your comment. It made me realize that I can't let blogging replace journaling in my daily routine.

Words A Day said...

Kareng
You're welcome karen!Thanks so much for coming over to say this - I'm really glad you chose to keep a journal again!

Ann said...

I am not a fan of ghost stories, but this sounds like a wonderful opportunity for those that write them.

Loved the photo too! :)