Author Archives: Editor

A Compilation of Writing Advice

Photo by Ryan Jones at Unsplash

It’s five weeks today until our 2021 Award closes on Monday April 19th, 2021.

To help you edit and shape your short story before submitting it, we’ve compiled a selection of tips from some writers we’ve interviewed over the years. We first posted this advice back in 2016 and there’s some really useful comments on beginnings, endings, themes, creating a stand-out story, titles and that all-important fine-editing. Continue reading

International Women’s Day, March 8th

International Women’s Day (IWD)  celebrates the political, social, economic and cultural achievements of women and is 110 years old on March 8th. It began in the USA in 1909 as National Women’s Day, in response to a campaign for better pay, shorter hours and voting rights. At an international conference for working women in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin, a political activist, suggested making it international and from that time it was marked in different countries around the world (mainly in Europe). It wasn’t until 1975 that the United Nations made it official and for each year there’s a different theme. In 2021 the theme is #ChooseToChallenge : to call out gender bias and inequality.

There are so many inspirational women who have made history and continue to do so and this young writer with Bath connections is nothing short of remarkable. Continue reading

New Critique Service

BSSA team member Alison Woodhouse offers mentoring and critique services via her website and is giving a 20% discount for 2021 Bath Short Story Entries.

    Alison is an experienced teacher and tutor, as well as a writer, and her flash fiction and short stories have won prizes in many competitions. She has an MA in Creative Writing (Distinction), has taught writing workshops, reviewed fiction, been a reader for several competitions and this year is one of the judges of the NFFD micro competition.
    The critiques will be sent out AFTER the shortlist is announced. If you are shortlisted in the award and published in our yearly anthology, your fee will be refunded.

Interview with BSSA 2020 first prize winner, Marissa Hoffmann

Marissa Hoffmann

Find out in this interview with Marissa Hoffmann, how her prize winning story ‘The Pencil Drawn Girl’ came into being, learn what she likes about writing short fiction and who her favourite short story writers are and get some great advice for writing a short story for a competition. Her winning story is the first one in our 2020 anthology, available from adhocfiction and Amazon in both paperback and digital versions.

Marissa Hoffmann’s fiction won the Bath Flash Fiction Award in 2019 and her stories have been variously podium-placed or listed in international competitions such as Mslexia, FlashBack Fiction, Fish, Flash Frontier’s Micro Madness and Reflex. Her flash stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, BIFFY 50 and Best Micro Fiction and one of her stories appears on the US Wigleaf Top 50 2020 long list. Read more about Marissa on www.marissahoffmann.com. She is currently working on her first novel. You can follow Marissa @Hoffmannwriter.
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Launch of the 2020 BSSA Anthology, December 11th, 2020

Well, that was different! Last night’s launch for the 2020 BSSA anthology ended with a ‘Goodbye from Newfoundland’, New Zealand, Ottawa, Iowa, Switzerland, Italy and various regions of the UK from Harrogate to Stroud. Such is Zoom. This made for a truly international and inclusive event – but we did miss the atmosphere of Mr B’s, where we’ve held our past six anthology launches. It’s such a cosy, enticing bookshop – the perfect place to share wine and nibbles while listening to the readings. Continue reading

Judge 2021

We’re delighted that Norah Perkins from Curtis Brown has agreed to be our 2021 judge. She will select the winning entries from our 20 shortlisted stories.Norah’s interviewed below by BSSA team member, Alison Woodhouse and tells us more about her wide experience in publishing, judging awards and developing opportunities for writers. She likes simplicity in stories and also offers a very useful quote from writer George Saunders which indicates what she is looking for in winning entries: “A work of fiction can be understood as a three-beat movement: a juggler gathers bowling pins; throws them in the air; catches them.”
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2020 Award Round-Up

Thank you very much to everyone who entered the 2020 Bath Short Story Award.

The stress and pressure of this year does, in so many ways, make writing more difficult and our eighth Award closed at the end of April at the height of the pandemic. So it is both astonishing and wonderful that we received 1531 entries from around the world, the majority from the UK but we also received submissions from the USA, Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, Germany, India, Egypt, Singapore and France. Continue reading

Judges’ Comments BSSA 2020

Kate Johnson

This year our shortlist judge was Kate Johnson from MacKenzie Wolf Literary Agency and she made the following astute and helpful comments about the shortlist in general, the three winning stories and the two runners-up:
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