Our physical movements may be limited in yet another lockdown, but there’s no limit to creative freedom as we hook into the month of #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to launch a literary competition with a difference.
Building on the success of our award-winning ’50 Words for 50 Years’ campaign last year, our flash fiction competition is back. Every day for eight days (starting on Monday 9th November) The Open University’s social media channels will share a different image prompt, each designed to inspire 50-word stories that will capture the emotional challenges of living through a pandemic as well as celebrating our key workers in the NHS.
Prizes to be won
We invited NHS paramedic and award-winning photographer Emma Williams to capture life on the frontlines of care during a time of crisis.
Kicking off on Monday 9th November, we’ll be sharing a daily image on our social media channels using #OU50words and asking for your inspired 50-word stories in reply.
You might relish the opportunity to flex your literary muscle just for the sake of it, but as an added incentive there will be prizes.
Every day we’ll be awarding a free upgrade to the FutureLearn course – Start Writing Fiction – to our favourite story. Perfect for those of you who want to start writing regularly and are looking for some inspiration.
We’ve also recruited OU academics Dr Sally O’Reilly and Dr Edward Hogan and awarding three prizes of National Book Tokens to our overall winners. You’ll find Sally’s creative writing Twitter account here.
How to enter:
Here’s your four-step guide to getting involved…
- Check out our social feeds on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram for a daily writing prompt between 7.15am and 8.15am GMT.
- Write a piece of flash fiction (max of 50 words)
- Publish your story as a comment or reply on the post (use the hashtag #OU50words to help us keep track of entries)
- You’re done! Sit back, read the other posts, give them some love, and prepare for the next day’s prompt
Daily winners will be announced by 11am the following day. Overall first, second and third places will be notified by 17th November.
Terms and conditions:
- This competition is open to all.
- Participants are free to enter multiple times.
- No purchase is necessary. The competition will be open from 09/11/20 to 15/11/20. Any entries outside of the promotion period will not be counted.
- A daily winner will be chosen by a panel (eight days in total) and announced at 11am the following day, and first, second and third winners will be chosen by a judge (Dr. Sally O’Reilly or Dr. Edward Hogan).
- The decision of the panel and the judge in relation to the competition is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
- The prize is not transferable, re-saleable or exchangeable. There is no cash alternative.
- The promoter reserves the right to substitute any of the prize products subject to availability.
- All prize winners will be contacted via social media.
- Winners must respond to notification of their prize within 48 hours otherwise the right to claim the prize will be lost and the promoter reserves the right to re-award the prize(s).
- Winners will be announced by 17/11/20.
- No entries from agents, third parties, organised groups or applications automatically generated by computers will be accepted. No incomplete or corrupted entries will be accepted. Any entries not in accordance with the entry instructions will be rejected. Any entries containing offensive or inappropriate content will be removed.
- By entering participants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by the rules. All entry instructions form part of these terms and conditions.
- In the event of unforeseen circumstances, the promoters reserve the right to offer alternative prizes of equal or greater value.
- The promoter reserves the right to amend, alter or terminate this promotion at any time due to circumstances beyond its control.
- The promoter’s decision is final and binding in all matters relating to the promotion.
- The promoter can accept no responsibility for, and reserves the right to refuse, entries which are corrupt, incomplete or fail to arrive by the closing date.
- These rules are governed by English law and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
- Promoter and data controller: The Open University