Bewitched and Other Stories: Writing Competition


So, as some of you might have heard, my anti-romance poetry novella + bonus collection of fifteen flash fictions, Bewitched and Other Stories, will be released in paperback form next week, on Wednesday 26 August.

Ooh look, here it is.
Ooh look, here it is.

I’m having a launch party for it in Sheffield, with guest poets, and an open mic. But if you can’t make it to the real-life party, you might as well be given the chance to win things.

Here at Pankhearst, we encourage people to write stories and poems as much as we encourage people to read them (which is the reason I include an open mic at all of my book launches). So it makes sense to have a creative writing competition, and this one is for celebrating all the things that led to the existence of Bewitched and Other Stories: poetry and flash fiction, and possibility, and literature, and love and sex and music, and the beautiful struggle of never quite figuring things out, but sometimes being lucky enough to learn some small grain of life lesson after repeating the same mistake six hundred times.

In addition to this, the original Bewitched would be nothing if not for music – for example, rock n roll is Maddie’s epiphany*, and Dalton seems to have at some point been surgically attached to his guitar.

What do I want you to do about it?

Well. Write a tiny poem (15 lines or less) or micro fiction (150 words or less), using the title of one of your favourite songs as the title of your piece. And I want it to include at least one of the following: witchcraft, travel, a literary reference, or love / not-love. Of course, these are all open to interpretation, so be creative.

You can enter one of each, a poem and a micro – yes, just one of each please – but you can still only win once.

Your entry doesn’t have to relate to your chosen song in an obvious way, either – in fact, it’s probably better if it doesn’t – it just has to have the same title. (And please make sure you tell me who the artist is when you enter, because if I don’t know the song before judging, I will probably want to know the song after judging, and so will everyone else if you’re one of the winners.)

And what will you win for your writerly awesomeness?

First Prize: A signed paperback of Bewitched and Other Stories, a signed paperback of Slim Volume: No Love Lost (an anthology of other writers’ interpretations of anti-romance, but edited by me), and a large goody bag of Pankhearst merch.

Second Prize: A signed paperback of Slim Volume: No Love Lost, an e-book copy of the original Bewitched kindle single, and a small goody bag of Pankhearst merch.

Three Runner-Up Prizes: E-book copies of Bewitched and Slim Volume: No Love Lost.

And the above winners and runners up will, of course, all have their work published here on the Pankhearst blog.

So, now you know what to do. Write those stories and poems. And send them to, where they land in the virtual lap of our glorious Pankhearst boss Evangeline Jennings, who will remove your name and contact details before sending them to me for anonymous judging.

The competition will run for one week, from right now until Monday 24 August. I’ll pick the winners and announce them before the party on Wednesday 26 August.

Over to you lot. Hit me with your best shot.**



(*I can always find a way to drop pretentious early 1990s Manic Street Preachers lyrics.)
(** This is not Manics, and far less pretentious. Enjoy the earworm.)


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