Lucky 13 - Writing Competition [CLOSED]
Every 20 minutes throughout the day and for much of the night, the No 13 bus plies its way between Oxford Rail Station and the John Radcliffe Hospital. It is one of Oxford's busiest bus services and the journey takes it through many of the city's commercial, university and residential areas.
In 2015, the Oxford Inc. writers wrote a collection of short stories about passengers (and the driver) on one such journey. It was published in a book called Lucky 13, after one of the stories; the Oxford Bus Company helped with the graphics and advertising, and the book's profits were donated to the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds*.
Within ten weeks of publication the book sold over 400 copies through bookshops, travel shops, Amazon, at the hospital and direct from Bombus Books. It attracted the attention of the local press and radio; it was advertised through social media, on the buses and in the hospital. And, of course, the hospital continues to benefit from every copy that is sold.
Oxford Inc. has now moved on to another project but the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds and the Oxford Bus Company are keen to repeat this success. Bombus Books therefore intends to publish another book on the same theme by running a competition for more passenger stories. The prize will be publication in the new book and there will be at least 15 winners. The book will be called after one of the stories.
The 'Lucky 13 Writing Competition' is having a question-and-answer session at the Oxford Literary Festival on Sunday 10 April at 12.00pm in Blackwell's marquee. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
* Registered Charity No. 1057295
How to enter
Your brief is to write a story of between 1500 and 3000 words, or poetry of any length, which makes reference to a passenger (or passengers) on the bus. All the passengers are on the same bus and we suggest that the stories should be based on their private lives and their reason for being on that particular bus, rather than on the bus itself. In practice, very few people complete the entire journey from station to hospital; most get on the bus at, say, St Aldate's or Queen's Lane, and get off in St Clement's, Marston or Northway (or any of the 23 stops on the route). Your story can reflect this reality.
The journey is uneventful so don't include anything dramatic, because that would affect all the other stories in the proposed book.
If you are uncertain about how this might work, get a copy of Lucky 13.
The bus is a double-decker Volvo electric hybrid. It leaves the station at 1.15pm on a bright, blustery weekday in early April, and arrives at the JR some 40 minutes later.
Make it authentic
Many of the book's readers will know the No 13 bus well so you MUST familiarise yourself with the journey and those parts of Oxford that the bus travels through. We strongly recommend that you take the bus yourself; your fellow passengers might provide the idea for your story.
The 1.15pm bus arrives just in time for the hospital's visiting hours but it is unlikely to be used by staff in the middle of the day.
For publication the text will be professionally designed but, in order to achieve consistency, all entries must comply with the following:
And finally ....
Send your entry as a Word attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. There are no fees and no limit on the number of entries you submit. In selecting the stories for publication the editor's decision is final.
31 May 2016