Norwich Writers' Circle

Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2016 Anthology


During the prize giving gala for the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2016, not only did we announce the winners, but we also revealed our plans to release an anthology.

It will contain:

  • The winning entries of the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2016.
  • The shortlisted entries for the Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2016.
  • The winning entries of the Olga Sinclair Open Short Fiction Competition 2015.

The estimated price of the anthology is £7.

Copies will be available to order in time for Christmas.  Further updates will be posted on our website and Facebook page!

Norwich Writers' Circle

Merry Christmas

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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from everyone at Norwich Writers’ Circle.

NWC’s 2015/16 programme continues at our new venue – Anteros Arts Foundation on Fye Bridge Street – on Tuesday 19th January 2016 at 7.30pm (doors open 7.00pm). We will be welcoming Ejike Ndaji. The spoken word poet will be demonstrating and discussing his craft, as well as setting our latest Circle Competition.

We look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Norwich Writers' Circle


WordPress Christmas Pattern

On Saturday 12th December Norwich Writers’ Circle held its annual Christmas celebration.

The well-attended social was held at Anteros Arts Foundation, on Fye Bridge Street, which will be our new meeting venue from January 2016. The party saw members enjoy a wide selection of Christmas food and drink. The fun evening was further enhanced by a ‘Secret Santa’ raffle, along with a team quiz. The festive-themed quiz was then won, appropriately enough, by ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’.

At NWC’s first meeting in Anteros, on Tuesday January 19th 2016, we will be welcoming Ejike Ndaji. The Performance Poet will be demonstrating and discussing his craft, as well as setting our latest Circle Competition. We hope to see you there.

Norwich Writers' Circle

First Of The Season

1st December: We eagerly await Charles Christian‘s adjudication of Competition One. This you will remember was an invitation for short or flash fiction stories featuring a strong male character with a hidden and surprising side to him.

The winning entrant will at the end of year A.G.M. get to lift and have custody of the prestiCharles Christian1geous Cooper Prize. Additionally, points are awarded throughout the year not only for winners but runners-up too. The over-all winner is awarded the Competition Cup. So you see, even if you were unlucky to get your entry in on time for this competition it’s not too late to set your sights on the long game.

And it’s never a bad idea to attempt untried genres now and again, is it?

This year we are also accepting competition entries from non-members. Please note that as entries receive constructive comments non-members must pay £3 entry fee.



Yes, it certainly was entertaining.

First Prize: £500. ‘Escargot Africains’ by Sarah Isaacs. Sarah lives on the north-east coast of Scotland and was unable to attend the Award Ceremony. A prolific competition entrant, Sarah has suffered from ill health and considers her writing and creativity to be important in her recovery. Mr Stokes said of her entry, “This is an intriguing and chilling story of status grabbing and manipulation, with a depiction of a cold and atomised suburban society where appearance is optimum.”Jeremy, Mitch Johnson and Ashley-1

There to collect his cheque for his second placed entry, Yellow was Mitch Johnson, pictured here with Olga’s son, Jeremy (left) and competition adjudicator, Ashley Stokes (right). Ashley said of his entry: “This is a compact, emotional story, full of understated anxiety and fine

character work; overall

it is a sharp and affecting slice-of-life.”

Third placed winner, Phillip Vine was also able to attend and be handed his prize. Summing up Chief Mustard, Ashley especially liked the story’s quirkiness, its use of mustard to explore the history of Cluedo versions and characters in the game. “The dialogue is very funny in this enjoyable and unusual love story,” he went on.

Jeremy, Phillip Vine and Ashley-1

Phillip was also pleased to pose for the camera.

Seven “Highly Commended” certificates were also awarded to Valerie Bowes from Caterham, Surrey; Greg Cook from Diss; Maggie Davies from Tunbridge Wells; D.P. Dignam from Berkhamstead; Janet Swinney from London; Stella Whitelaw from Oxted, Surrey and
Christopher Woodhall from Dereham.

Well done all!

We hope to publish the winning entries here as soon as possible. Many thanks due to all the team, including Maureen who came in at the last with her work on designing and writing the certificates. Watch this space for the 2016 Olga Sinclair Open Prose Competition.



Important Note: 20th October 2015 sees a change of venue to our usual home. We will be welcoming members and visitors in the historical Fishergate Room at Anteros Art Foundation, 11 – 15 Fye Bridge Street, Norwich.  7:30 start.

WordPress Mustard Pot Unthank Logo

Everything is gearing up for the big night of our Olga Sinclair Open Short Fiction Competition. Adjudicator Ashley Stokes, local writer, tutor and cheif editor of Unthank Books will lead the prize giving. All are welcome. The competition prize giving will be followed by readings, raffle prizes and refreshments.

To help us host the event we ask members and visitors to bring

the customary door fee: £3 (Members), £5 (Visitors)


6th October 2015 Report

Tuesday 6th saw another good turn-out with a mix of members and visitors enjoying an informative and engaging talk by Charles Christian.

Charles’ central focus were on suspension of disbelief, both within one’s fictional world and with characterisation. Fantasy worlds possess rules that should not be ignored. More than mere syphors, good characters have warts as well as likable sides.Charles Christian1

In terms of plot devices, he advised against “jumping the shark” – no cheating the reader with sudden means of escape. Consistency should be maintained. People should not behave in ways that simply serve the plot. The bottom line: Neither destroy the magic nor make people unbelievable.

Questions & answers followed, including one or two relating to Charles’ expectations for the Cooper Prize. Entrants need to come up with a well rounded male protagonist with an emerging hidden skill or surprise element to their personality. Stories can take the form of flash fiction pieces or be up to 2000 words in length. For full guidelines please visit the Competitions page.

Anne Funnell kindly thanked Charles on behalf of the Circle.

This term, for £3 we are allowing non-members to enter our in-house competitions. Remember also that all competition entries recieve a critique by the adudicator.


Creating Imaginary Worlds

October 6th: Barrister, Reuters correspondent, journalist for among others, The Law Society Gazette and Computer Weekly, blogger, poetry publisher, author of the best selling Amazon ebook Writing Genre Fiction – The 12 Rules, Charles Christian, will be setting us this season’s first in-house competition.CharlesChristian3

Though much of his writing career is rooted in the Law and computing, he has also composed a collection of SF short stories entitled This the Quickest Way Down (Proxima Books 2011).

Other titles include A Travel Guide to Yorkshire’s Weird Wolds – The Mysterious Wold Newton Triangle which covers everything from Neolithic monuments to headless ghosts and screaming skulls, the origins of Tarzan and weird stuff generally. His upcoming book is The 12 Rules of Spoken Word Performance. For more details go to:

Please remember your Membership Subscription Form and appropriate sum for all the gains membership provides: £36.00 (full) or £18.00 (Postal and Benefits concessions) if you haven’t already paid.

Charles is the second of our guests in as many meetings this season and highly acomplished. An entertaining and informative evening should not be missed.

 7:30 start. £3.00 door fee for members; door fee for visitors is £5.00


Words & Women Competition

Words And Women’s annual prose competition is now open for entries, and we’re proud to announce that this year’s guest judge is the Sunday Times best-selling novelist Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth Is Missing.
The competition offers a first prize of £600 and publication for the winner and twenty commended iWords and Women Competition 2015n our anthology Words and Women: Three
Entry is open to women writers over the age of 16 who live or work in the East of England.  Short works of fiction, memoir, life-writing and creative non-fiction are all welcome. Entries should be 2,200 words or under.    See for further details. 
Please spread the news!

Start of the New Term

15th September saw a well attended first gathering of our 2015 – 2016 programme. In fact it was a whole evening of firsts.

Phyllida Scrivens gave her first opening speech as our new Chair’. Sean Hindle as head of the subcommitttee responsible for the first Olga Sinclair Open Fiction Competition was happy to announce its success. We had a couple of visitors who’d not been before. And Patrick Barkham debuted as guest speaker.PatrickB

For an hour and a half, aided by slides and occassional leafings through his books, he shared with us his passions for butterflies, landscape and the eccentics he’s met along the woodland pathways, up mountainsides and along the coast and out away from the mainland and beyond.

Everyone was thoroughly entertained and inspired to sample and maybe attempt the growing genre that is Nature Writing. What better start than to buy a book or two autographed by Patrick at the end?

Not forgetting the traditional raffle draw, it was pleasing to see the wine go to one of the afore mentioned visitors. It all bodes well for the rest of the season.

Thank you Patrick.