Its Shrove Tuesday, today, 13th February, 2018. The day is also known in many countries as Pancake Tuesday, or Pancake Day and is the day in February or March immediately preceeding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent). It’s celebrated in some countries by eating pancakes and is a carnival day — Mardi Gras — in other countries. You could use any of these facts as prompts for a short story. People feasting, people partying, people preparing for a long fast. Conflict, gluttony, celebration can all play their part. Anton Chekhov wrote a story called Shrove Tuesday, so you would be following the example of a master of the short story form.
This year’s Bath Short Story Award with its £1200 first prize ends 23rd April. So plenty of time to cook up your up to 2200 word short story, and toss it around a bit before its ready.
February 6th 1918 is the centenary of the first votes for women in the UK, though only women over the age of 30 who owned property were entitled to vote. It wasn’t until 1928 that the voting rights men enjoyed were extended to all women over 21. Even so, stories of the suffragettes who had been campaigning for almost 50 years (the first campaigns were in 1866) have become legendary and their names resonate today. Unsurprisingly, it was the Daily Mail (no doubt in derisory tones) who first called them suffragettes. The most well-known include the Emmeline Pankhurst, and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia, who formed the Workers Social and Political Union and Emily Davison who died for the cause by throwing herself under the king’s horse at the Derby.
Today, Helen Pankhurst, Emmeline’s great-granddaughter is still campaigning for women’s rights. Lots of buzz on Twitter today so follow #Votes100 and be inspired to fight – and write. We’d love some stories on a political theme? Historical or contemporary setting, the choice is yours? Up to 2200 words by April 23rd