Read the 2022 Devon Prize Winner - The Fisherman's Wife by Marta Emmitt

  The Fisherman's Wife  by  Marta Emmitt First time they lay together he cried.  He never did again, but that first time, he cried into the crook of her neck, like a little boy.  “What is it?” she asked him. “It’s me,” he said.   “I’m all wrong.” She stroked his hair.   He looked up at her with his big wide eyes.   “Do you think,” he said, “we’ll have sons?” She laughed then.   “Not too soon, I hope,” she said, “and you can’t choose what you get.” “I never knew my father,” he said, curling back down so his head rested on her belly.   “He was a fisherman, like me.   Left when I was a baby.   All’s I remember is a whiskery face, and a smell of fish.”   He stroked the soft round shape of her, until she shivered.  “I want my sons to know me,” he said. She knew when she got the phone call.   Shouldn’t have let him out on the boat, at his age.   There had never been any stopping him, though.   Fishing was his life, he said, and nothing would change that.   It was work, and even

Read the 3rd Prize Winner - Point Nine, Recurring by Michael Callaghan

 Point Nine, Recurring  by  Michael Callaghan There is the familiar flash of bright light, the same roar in my ears – far-off, like waves crashing in the distance – then that dizzying, rushing feeling, like I’m plunging down a roller coaster.       And then…      “Col. You okay? Col?”      I blink. Things swim in and out of focus, blur, then settle. And I see Gem’s face. Sharp and clear now, eyes so bright and blue. She looks so familiar, so… right, I could cry.      She frowns at me.      “Wassup, Col? You look like you’re gonnae’ faint. Not gonnae’ puke are you?” She blows a pink bubble-gum bubble that expands then bursts against her mouth.   “I’m fine.” I say.      My voice sounds okay, I think. I don’t say anything else. I keep looking at her. Drink in everything about her. I watch the way her hair falls in light, tangled curls across her forehead. I watch how she bites the edge of her glass with her teeth. I watch how her pink cardigan sleeve curls around her fingers.       She

Read the 2nd Prize Winner 2022 - Bobby-Darin Won't Be Giving Refunds by Elizabeth Pratt

  Bobby-Darin Won't Be Giving Refunds  by  Elizabeth Pratt We wake up early on Saturday morning, even though we don’t have to, because Bobby-Darin’s magic show is coming to town. Firstly, no, not that Bobby Darin – just another kid whose momma was into the singer way back in the ice age. Our Bobby-Darin wasn’t even born back then – he’s only twelve, same as me – and besides, his name has a stick that goes in the middle. Secondly, when we say he’s coming to town what we mean is he’s opening the garage door up and letting anyone who can pay a nickel see the show. There is nothing much going on in Laidlow, Alaska, so we are pretty much going to be his audience and truck along to go and stare in at him. Bobby-Darin says a good magician has to work with what he’s got, and what he’s got isn’t much.      It’s a fine day, with bright Spring sunlight right in my face as I open the door to get us all out. There’s a troop of us today, and then some, because all the mothers on the street work

Read the 1st Prize Winner 2022 - The Last Fall by Caroline Passingham

 The Last Fall by  Caroline Passingham It was a keen blade that made such cuts. Sheets of wrapping paper severed with surgical precision hung down each side of the box. Ripped sticky tape had stripped away some of the brown skin of the cardboard, exposing ribs. The opening flaps, once rigid, now drooped limply. Innards spilled out.      Habiba angled her head this way and that, as if it would help her to see differently, as if the things before her eyes could change if she would only allow them to. Her mother had told her that acceptance would come, that her marriage would begin like a rushing waterfall, hitting rocks on the way down, but that the water would eventually reach the last fall, and then calm.      She turned to it again but could only see his butchery as the knife cut through the ribbon, the knife that he kept razor sharp, the blade that he sank into the goat’s soft throats and then their underbellies.      ‘Your mother has sent you a gift,’ he said.      ‘For the festival

Winners of the 2022 Short Story Competition!

 We are delighted to announce the winners of this year's short story competition. 1st Prize: The Last Fall by Caroline Passingham 2nd Prize: Bobby-Darin Won't Be Giving Refunds by Elizabeth Pratt 3rd Prize: Point Nine, Recurring by Michael Callaghan and the Devon Prize: The Fisherman's Wife by Marta Emmitt Congratulations to all our winners! The stories will be posted one by one over the coming week and watch out for interviews with our winning authors coming soon. For those of you who didn't quite make it, don't despair. Competition is fierce and you never know when it's going to be your turn. Keep polishing those stories till they shine and thank you for giving us the opportunity to read them.

Indie Authors In Exeter Writers

Indie Author Week runs this year from 11th to 18th June. While the traditional route to publication has for a long time been via an agent and a publishing house, technology now provides a number of different options, including small publishing houses; hybrid deals; or the fully independent route. Publishing as an indie involves exactly the same processes as the traditional route: writing an excellent story; getting it professionally edited and proof-read; designing a professional cover; using the appropriate technology to produce a quality product in a variety of formats; selling and distribution; and most important (and difficult) of all, marketing. The only difference is that an indie author takes responsibility for ensuring everything is done, even if they don’t do it all themselves. And the indie route is one chosen with great enthusiasm by a number of members of Exeter Writers, as you can see below. Dianne Bown-Wilson Multi-award winning short story writer, Dianne Bown-Wilson

Short Story Competition Shortlist

The shortlist has been announced for this year's short story competition.  Check it out here  to see if your story is still in the running.