Competition: Win your own phone case that sticks to glass!

phones

 

Litro got to thinking about the current clash of the Old and New Media. We can’t deny that the way we read, watch shows and get informed is changing. Well, as we embrace the change of technology and look to protect the devices that allow us to do all these things, we thought – what better way than to offer a lucky reader the chance to receive a great protective device which, on top of this, sticks to glass, mirrors and other shiny surfaces? This makes it the perfect tool for capturing selfies or videos, FaceTiming or Skyping hands free, as well as catching up on your favourite TV shows while you go about your daily tasks. And hey, why not have you design the artwork for the device, a truly individual gift that will make carrying around your reading device even more enjoyable?

And so we have teamed up with the digital innovation company goo.ey, a British brand of innovative digital accessories, who is launching its Arts collaborations with political activist Ai Weiwei, artists Blair Chivers and Suzan Pitt and the Arts Institute of Chicago, to present this unique opportunity. We want you to send us your designs, and the images that best capture your thoughts about this evolution in reading – and the relationship between the Old and New World technology – will win this great prize.

Send us an image (or a bunch of them) that you feel best depicts the ways reading and technology are changing, or how they’re not. Show us what you think the future will bring. Get creative. You can post your images on our Twitter page or on our Facebook using the phrase #mylitrophonecover or email: Email and quote “mylitrophonecover”

The winner will receive a phone cover for any device, with personalised artwork from a choice from the artists Ai Weiwei, Blair Chivers and Suzan Pitt. If you want to know more about the prize, check out our competition details below. Trust us, it’s a prize worth winning!

  • Competition opens 23rd May
    • Last entries accepted 5pm 3rd June
    • Winner announced 17th June
    • Enter via LitroMagazine using #mylitrophonecover or post on Facebook
    • Competition Terms & Conditions
      • By participating in this prize draw you are deemed to accept these terms and conditions. Prize draw open to customers and non-customers aged 18 or over who are UK residents. Proof of eligibility must be provided on request.
      • The prize is not transferable and there is no cash alternative. The promoter’s decision is final in all matters and no correspondence will be entered into. The promoter reserves the right to (a) add to or waive any rules on reasonable notice (b) cancel or postpone the promotion at any stage in the event of circumstances beyond its reasonable control, or (c) in its reasonable discretion to substitute a prize of equal or greater value.
      • If a prize remains unclaimed after reasonable efforts have been made to contact the winner the promoter will be entitled to dispose of the prize as it sees fit without any liability to the winner for having done so.
      • The promoter reserves the right to alter, amend or foreclose the promotion without prior notice.



Horror Haiku Competition Winner

Image by Shane Gorski (copied from Flickr)
Image by Shane Gorski (copied from Flickr)

A few weeks ago we asked you to scare us with your best horror haiku – and now the results are in.

We had plenty of entries on Twitter, ranging from the spooky to the gore-splattered. The winner was chosen by Marc Pastor, author of our current Book Club read, Barcelona Shadows. Marc said that he “absolutely loved” the entries we’d received, but that this haiku by @SimonGKearns stood out:

If the screaming stops
It means they’ve finished with him
And I’m next in line.

In Marc’s words, “It’s the winner because of the final twist, that changes the POV and makes it more scary. Bravo. That really surprised me.”

@SimonGKearns wins a signed copy of Barcelona Shadows with an original sketch/cartoon of Enriqueta Marti by Marc Pastor, a goody bag of titles from our wonderful friends at Pushkin Press, and a year’s Membership to Litro Magazine. We’ll be in touch to set up your prizes.

In addition, Marc highly commended this haiku by @imnottyler, making it our official runner-up:

fingernails and toes
fall into the taco meat
have to grind it twice

Thanks to everyone who sent in their horror haiku – you had us spooked here at Litro!

Remember that you can see Marc Pastor at our Book Club get-together in London on Thursday 16 October. You can find full details, and RSVP for entry, here.




Horror Haiku Competition – win Pushkin Press goodies!

Photo by  Julio César Cerletti García (copied from Flickr)
Photo by Julio César Cerletti García (copied from Flickr)

Having picked the macabre Barcelona Shadows for our autumn Litro Book Club read, and with Halloween fast approaching, Litro got to thinking… we can’t deny that we like a good spook / horror story. Among author Marc Pastor’s many talents are his illustrative abilities, and he’s agreed to give the winner of our Horror-themed Haiku competition a signed copy of Barcelona Shadows – with an original sketch/cartoon of Enriqueta Marti by the author. Our friends at Pushkin will also throw in a goody bag of great books, and on top of that Litro is offering the winner a year’s free membership!

And so, we want to read (via haiku—we are a literary magazine after all) your scariest haiku. That ghost story you’ve been meaning to write, that time you walked through darkened streets on your way home after a night out… we dare you to scare us. Give us your worst – or best, for that matter!

Send us a haiku (or a bunch of them), remember we want to be spooked out of our skin. Get creative. You can post your haikus on our Twitter page or on our Facebook page. Be certain to use the hashtag #litrohaiku to make sure that we see them!

PLEASE NOTE: This competition has now closed. The winner will be announced on 15th October.

The winner will receive a signed copy of Barcelona Shadows with an original sketch/cartoon of Enriqueta Marti by Marc Pastor, a goody bag of titles from our wonderful friends at Pushkin Press, and a year’s Membership to Litro Magazine – if you’re already a member you can save it as an early Christmas present to a loved one!




Win your own uniquely designed tablet holder!

Design your own tablet casing.
Be the envy of your friends with your own specially designed tablet casing.

Following our review of the newest Nook HD Tablet last year, Litro got to thinking about the current clash of the Old and New Media. We can’t deny that the way we read, both physically and mentally, is changing. We’ve swapped books for e-readers, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy for short fast text messages, sentences for tweets. Well, as we embrace the change of technology and look to protect our reading devices, we thought – what better way than to offer a lucky reader the chance to receive a great protective device? And hey, why not have you design the artwork for the device, a truly individual gift that will make carrying around your reading device even more enjoyable?

And so we have teamed up with Argos, to present this unique opportunity. We want you to send us your designs, and the images that best capture your thoughts about this evolution in reading – and the relationship between the Old and New World technology – will win this great prize, whether you have a Nook, Samsung Galaxy tab 3 like this one here.

Send us an image (or a bunch of them) that you feel best depicts the ways reading and technology are changing, or how they’re not. Show us what you think the future will bring. Get creative. You can post your images on our Twitter page or on our Facebook using the phrase #mylitrotabletcover or email: [email protected] and quote “mylitrotabletcover”

The winner will receive a bespoked tablet holder for any device, for example an ipad air from Argos, with your personalised artwork. If you want to know more about the prize, check out our competition details below. Trust us, it’s a prize worth winning!

  • Competition opens 1st October
    • Last entries accepted 5pm 23rd October
      • Winner announced 5th November
      • enter via LitroMagazineusing #mylitrotabletcover or post on facebook
      • Competition Terms & Conditions
      • By participating in this prize draw you are deemed to accept these terms and conditions. Prize draw open to customers and non-customers aged 18 or over who are UK residents. Draw is not open to employees of Argos, their families or anyone associated with this draw. Proof of eligibility must be provided on request.
      • The prize is not transferable and there is no cash alternative. The promoter’s decision is final in all matters and no correspondence will be entered into. The promoter reserves the right to (a) add to or waive any rules on reasonable notice (b) cancel or postpone the promotion at any stage in the event of circumstances beyond its reasonable control, or (c) in its reasonable discretion to substitute a prize of equal or greater value.
      • If a prize remains unclaimed after reasonable efforts have been made to contact the winner the promoter will be entitled to dispose of the prize as it sees fit without any liability to the winner for having done so.
      • The promoter reserves the right to alter, amend or foreclose the promotion without prior notice.



Myths & Legends| The 2014 IGGY & Litro Young Writers Award

Bwx2CXVCYAEmMtq1 Myths & Legends: IGGY & Litro 2014/15 Young Writers Prize

Litro Magazine and IGGY are pleased to be hosting their annual IGGY & Litro Young Writers’ Prize for the fifth year.

IGGY is a social networking resource developed by the University of Warwick to serve as a global community for creative young people. IGGY is dedicated to connecting 13- 18 year olds and promoting creative excellence around the world.

For the last five years Litro has been teaming up with IGGY to host the Young Writer’s Prize, with spectacular results. Founded by Litro Editor in Chief, Eric Akoto: “Each year, the strength of the entrants amaze and surprise, the stories grow in maturity and strength of theme.”

The 2014/15 award program aims to build on past success. IGGY and Litro share a calling to promote creative excellence in young people. Both are venerable cultural institutions in their own right: known for fostering creativity, and who pride themselves on connecting debut and emerging writers to an international creative and educational community.

The IGGY & Litro Young Writers’ Prize has the potential to be a truly life changing award, with a cash prize of £2,000 for the winning entry, and £200 for each of the five runners-up.

The IGGY & Litro Young Writers’ Prize is an important opportunity for young writers from all over the world to connect with readers; but it is also a chance for us to encourage and acknowledge creative excellence in young people from all over the world.

Details:
All writers between the ages of 13 – 18 years old are eligible.
We accept submissions from all over the world.
The winner will receive a cash prize of £2,000
The winning short story will be published at IGGY.net and in Litro Magazine.
Excerpts from the winning story will appear on a poster in the London underground.
5 runners-up will receive a cash prize of £200.00

Entries open on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014; and the contest will run through to Thursday, January 15th, 2015.
We will announce the shortlist Wednesday, February 18th.
The winner will be announced Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

This year’s theme is Myths and Legends. Visit Writing Prize for more details.

Judges:
Ben Fergusson, Isobel Losada, Tim Leach, Jenn Ashworth, 2012 Award Runner up Isabel Hall

Ben Fergusson Isabel Losada Tim Leach
Jenn Ashworth Isabel Hall, 2012 Award Runner Up




My Biggest Secret: Lick It

In the final winner from our My Biggest Secret flash fiction competition, Oded Even-Or takes us on an unpredictable journey chasing the biggest secret of them all. The competition is part of our latest Book Club, for Ben Fergusson’s thrilling debut The Spring of Kasper Meier. You can find out more about the Book Club, and Ben Fergusson, here.

Lick It
Lick It

The morning I knew the thing, smelly and juicy like a big peach, all my friends came by my house and begged me to tell, but I told them to go lick it instead and went back to my minesweeper and flat coke. One-one-one and a mine in the middle, easy peasy, that all you got. Then my parents came by but I didn’t even open the door and I yelled that they can go lick it, and my father yelled back that I can at least tell him even if I don’t want to tell my mother, and I yelled that he can go lick it twice, and the coke was thick and sugary like molasses in my mouth, something wonderful. But I knew it wouldn’t last, and soon enough a squad of Mossad death agents rolled inside and grabbed me and drove me to a secret location under the Cineplex where they flicked my balls with electric wires while a tiny ancient man in shorts sat and looked in silence. But I told them to go lick it, and the ancient man told them to stop and said I’m Ben Gurion, the Mossad faked my death and I’ve been running the whole show from down here the whole goddamn time what do you think about that, and I said my secret is bigger than yours do you want to hear it? and he said yes, and his old man mouth was wet with anticipation, but I told him to go lick it, and he jumped up and down in a rage like a wrinkly old boy and the death agents beat me in a frenzy until I blacked out. When I woke up I was back in my room and Avishag was there and she said shh it was all a dream and her voice was warmth for an old king’s bones, but my heart was a cold iron cross and I told her to go lick it and Ben Gurion sprung up from behind her with a Maccabean scimitar but I jumped over him, easy peasy, got in a bus and went all the way down to Sinai quick as a shout and got the biggest suite in a deserted marble hotel by the beach, and I sprawled on a lounge chair like a golden gangster and told the girl to bring me rum and coke and pinched her ass, but then I stopped feeling like a gangster and felt like dirt instead and told her I’m sorry, and she said it’s fine but her face was distant like a cloud, and I asked her if she wants me to tell her the thing, the big secret that everyone’s out for, and she said I needn’t bother, and I said it’s a really good one, maybe the best, but she just smiled a waitress smile and said she’ll be back with my rum and coke, and I felt lower than dirt and looked at the sea, which was spotted with little white puffs which looked like jellyfish but weren’t, and I wished I was a deaf mute fisherman married to the hotel girl in a village between the darkling woods and the sea and our deaf mute children would grow like seaweed. And I looked at the waves and I thought what’s stopping you, what the fuck is stopping you.




My Biggest Secret: Mother Love

In the first winner of our My Biggest Secret flash fiction competition, Jennifer Harvey explores the secret of motherhood. The competition is part of our latest Book Club, for Ben Fergusson’s thrilling debut The Spring of Kasper Meier. You can find out more about the Book Club, and Ben Fergusson, here.

Photo by Rosino (copied from Flickr)
Photo by Rosino (copied from Flickr)

She has made herself vulnerable. This is her first thought when she touches the new-born’s skin.

Someone lays the child upon her and it nestles there and seeks out her breast. It is all bloodied and nothing but instinct.

“It’s a girl” they say, but she only half-hears it.

Looking down at the suckling child she thinks “what is this?”

She will go on thinking this, though she will never say it out loud. Because that is not how these things are done.

***

The child is given a name. Abigail. Father’s joy.

She thinks about that and wonders if perhaps they have seen through her after all.

Just in case, she perfects a calm and understanding smile that hints at nothing, though it does not fool the child.

“Abigail” she reminds herself. “Its name is Abigail.”

***

She does all the things which are expected of her.

She walks in the park, pushing the stroller and chatting with other mothers.

She bakes sugar frosted cakes for birthday parties. Learns to knit.

She reads books at bedtime and coos lullabies when nightmares come.

She soothes cuts and bruises and takes delight in every crayon scratched drawing that is presented to her.

She is a good mother. People tell her so.

And she nods and says “thank you”.

***

The child learns to keep its distance. To seek comfort and solace elsewhere.

“A daddy’s girl,” she explains to people. “Apple of his eye.”

But she is not jealous. Just curious as to how it must feel, this “father’s joy”.

“Why can you not love this way?” she asks herself.

The answer coming back at her like an echo.

“Because you don’t know how.”

***

Love is a thing you learn. Even if you cannot feel it. You can watch how other people go about it.

It is touch, she learns.

Over and over again. You must touch. With fingers, lips and eyes.

Things you dare not say or feel. All of this can remain hidden. All you need to do is touch.

So she touches the child. Strokes its head. Kisses its brow. Exchanges tender looks.

And sometimes she re-imagines her own mother. Feels these things as if it is she who is being touched.

Feels the joy of it even though the memories are not real. Just wished for moments.

But there is a joy in them she cannot quite explain.

“So this is how it feels” she thinks.

***

“My name is Abigail” the child tells her. “Abigail.”

They look at one another and she nods and finally gives in to it.

“Yes, it is. You have always been that way to me.”

Father’s joy. Mother’s joy.




Flash Fiction Competition: My Biggest Secret

Photo by Rohit Gowaikar (copied from Flickr)
Photo by Rohit Gowaikar (copied from Flickr)

“The piece of paper, ripped from a larger sheet, was covered in lists of food items, written in pencil, then rubbed out again, then written over, both horizontally and vertically. Over the top, someone had written in scratchy dry ink,

‘You would be lucky to go to jail, even luckier to come out alive. Your father will know first. Then the British. Your neighbours too. This is bigger than you. You don’t have a choice. Queers still die in Berlin. Find the pilot.’

(The Spring of Kasper Meier, by Ben Fergusson)

To mark our current Book Club title, The Spring of Kasper Meier by Ben Fergusson, we’re running a flash fiction competition on the theme of My Biggest Secret.

The Spring of Kasper Meier is a novel filled with secrets and conspiracies, in which very few of the characters ever really tell the truth. We want you to tell us your stories of secrets kept and secrets revealed, of hidden agendas and buried truths. You stories can be drawn from your own experience or purely fictional – we want to hear tales of dirty little secrets between lovers and dangerous state secrets that threaten the very world we live in.

But shhhh… don’t tell a soul…

The winning stories will be published on Litro Online, reaching thousands of our readers.

  • Entries must be no more than 700 words long and on the theme of “My Biggest Secret”. Given the theme of the competition, we are open to both fiction and non-fiction works.
  • Entries should not have been previously published anywhere, in print or online
  • The deadline for entries is midnight on Tuesday 1st July, 2014, and the winning stories will be published on the Litro website, starting Friday 4th July.
  • Only one entry per writer, please
  • Entries must be submitted via this link



Stoke Newington Flash Fiction Competition: You Are Not Special

As this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival kicks off, we publish the winner of our Stoke Newington Flash Fiction competiton. Louise Tondeur takes us on a memory-filled stroll through Clissold Park and Abney Park Cemetary.

Photo by Malcolm Murdoch (copied from Flickr)
Photo by Malcolm Murdoch (copied from Flickr)

In Clissold Park the trees look like they are praying, Pentecostal-style, raising their arms to heaven. The green and grey has a hint of white today: white grass and a frozen stream. His breath mists as he wanders next to the waterless paddling pool, then trots over to the dusted playground. He trots to try to warm up but the cold air makes his chest feel like it could explode. He pushes open the orange gate and walks to the sandpit. He balances along a white log until a toddler fixes him with a hard stare. He thinks of his mother at the top of narrow stairs.

“You are not special” she said, before she told him to leave.

He goes to look at the slide he used to play on, with hard ground at the bottom, and at the crazy red climbing frame where random children reach the top, muffled with coat, hat, scarf and gloves. He doesn’t have any of that. He sticks his hands in his pockets. They look mummified against the frozen blue sky. There are slippery leaves on the toy pirate ship and hardly any pigeons today. He wanders towards the cafe and hears coffee spoons clinking and smells bacon sandwiches. He looks to see how much money he’s got. His hands are so cold it hurts to take them out of his pocket. Not enough. He contemplates stealing something but it’s not easy here because the food is lined up in front of the staff. He would have to pretend to be someone else collecting an order, and he isn’t in the mood today. He hears the sound of a brass band playing. Some couple are getting married. He stands and watches them go past. The guests are carrying balloons. He watches deer inside their houses for a while and then totters down the road, numb from the cold, people looking at him funny because he isn’t wearing a coat. He notices: coloured vegetables contrasting with the grey pavement, a shoe shop, a record shop, post office, chemist, the number 73 bus, smell of curry, coffee, pollution, piss, beer, a scrappy backyard, an alleyway, bread, cake, cats, and, for sale on the street, books, records and toys. There are people having breakfast outside, mainly smokers. He passes the toy shop and the bus stop and goes into Abney Park Cemetery. He is met by brambles and angels, some armless or headless. On the graves the giant vases, or maybe they are trophies, are crumbling. He hesitates next to a shifted grave lid, dead bindweed twisting up from inside, like impossibly thin arms. He breathes in the earthy, overgrown garden smell, and looks up at the leafless trees, the evergreen trees, and the cold sky. All around him are: trodden grass pathways, overhanging branches, singing, dead flowers, hard to make out names, in loving memory of, moss and lichen, safe in the arms of Jesus now, cold stone, a lone bird singing, beer cans, a homeless man’s sleeping bag, discarded, covered in ants, singing again.

The light is fading. You are not special is buzzing in his ears like a ringtone that gets inside your head, that grasps hold of your brain and squeezes. He goes back to the sleeping bag and spends time examining it, shaking off the ants. He’s going to need somewhere to sleep. He contemplates crawling into the sleeping bag here and simply lying on the ground but realises it’s going to get much colder. He finds a monument dedicated to loving wife and mother always with us but can’t make out her name. The door has fallen in, ivy creeping around the walls; he thinks he might be able to squeeze inside, then he sees a dead rat decomposing in the corner and changes his mind. He stuffs the sleeping bag under his arm and walks further. Along the end of the path, in the fading light, he sees a mausoleum. He rubs his eyes. It looks like it’s glowing. He tells himself it’s the sunset. His foot catches on a bramble and he stumbles forward, a crumbling angel lands next to him, its head leaving its body and narrowly missing him. He stands again and makes his way towards the glowing mausoleum, sleeping bag in tow. He realises the singing has been there at the back of his mind ever since he found the main pathway through the gravestones. He gets closer. The singing gets louder. Now he knows the singing is coming from inside. It’s almost dark now. The mausoleum is shining. He stumbles towards it and peers in. He sees damp stone walls covered in moss and ivy and a choir, lit by a floodlight, singing without music, their voices clouding the air.

The Stoke Newington Literary Festival takes place 6-8 June in various venues around Stoke Newington. The festival programme can be viewed here. Litro Live! will be presenting three of our most exciting emerging writers – Maia Jenkins, Reece Choules and Rebecca Swirsky – at a special event on Sunday 8 June, at 9pm. More details here.




Flash Fiction Competition: Environmental Disaster

Photo by University of Salford (copied from Flickr)
Photo by University of Salford (copied from Flickr)

“We know now that oil was a powerful drug, more dangerous than heroin, more addictive than nicotine. Governments and corporations were the drug-pushers, and everywhere, all over the world, ordinary people were the addicts… But this addiction to fun, this commitment to convenience, to leisure, to the mindless gratification of the senses, this pandemic lust for black gold – as the greediest of those humans called oil – was having a devastating effect on Gaia.” (Astra, by Naomi Foyle)

To mark our current Book Club title – Astra by Naomi Foyle – we’re running a flash fiction competition on the theme of Environmental Disaster.

Nimma’s account of the environmental disaster that creates Astra‘s world strikes close to home. We live in a time when we’re starting to see the effects of man’s carelessness: hurricanes, floods, droughts, the melting of the polar ice caps. We want your stories of imminent disaster, of the day our world comes crashing down, of the civilisations that follow in our tainted footsteps.

The winning stories will be published on Litro Online, reaching thousands of our readers.

  • Entries must be no more than 700 words long and on the theme of “Environmental Disaster”
  • Entries should not have been previously published anywhere, in print or online
  • The deadline for entries is midnight on Saturday 22nd February, 2014, and the winning stories will be published on the Litro website, starting Monday 24th February
  • Only one entry per writer, please
  • Entries must be submitted via this link



Win the New Kindle Paperwhite

New Kindle Paperwhite
Kindle Paperwhite

With one in five relationships starting online according to mysinglefriend.com, does this prove technology’s dominance in the field of love?

With Valentine’s Day soon upon us, we want to hear your best literary chat up lines (via haiku—we are a literary magazine after all), so step into the boots of the likes of Heathcliff and tweet us the lines he – or even, for that matter, Catherine Earnshaw – should have thrown at each other, to have stopped him from becoming such a bitter soul. The best lines will be posted online Friday 14th and a winning cupid will be chosen to win a New Kindle Paperwhite. Don’t worry, we’ve also got amazon e-gift cards to give away to runners-up as no one is a loser in Love. Send us a haiku (or a bunch of them) with your best one-liners.

To get you started, here’s one we made up at the office: “You’re going to think my last name is Caulfield, because I’ll be Holden you all night long” – can you do better? Get creative, be cheeky, and dedicate it to that special person or someone who sat next to you on the Tube and you wished you’d tried your lines on. You can post your haikus on our Twitter page or on our Facebook.

The winner will receive the latest piece of literary technology from Argos and runners up amazon e-gift cards
We’ll be bringing you a review of the Kindle Paperwhite next week once we’ve had a chance to put it through the Litro test.

Deadline: All haikus must be posted on or before Wednesday, February 12th




Competition: Send us your Edinburgh Festival Reviews!

We’re off to Edinburgh to cover the Fringe Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival and we want to hear what you have to say! Send your reviews of individual shows or of the festivals as a whole to [email protected]. We will choose a winning review and a runner up and post the reviews on our website. The winner will receive three Folio titles, have their review posted on our website, and win Litro membership!

The Folio Society has provided us with some great gifts. The winner of this competition will receive three Folio titles from the list below; the runner-up will win two titles. In light of the festivals, each of these novels has an introduction from an author who will be attending the International Book Festival this year.

Dracula - smallTitles:

Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark

  • Introduction by AL Kennedy

Dracula by Bram Stoker

  • Intro by John Banville

Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household

  • Intro by John Banville

Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

  • Intro by Anne Fine

Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner

  • Intro by M. Morpurgo

Call of the Wild by Jack London

  • Intro by David Vann

Terms and Conditions:

  • Send us as many reviews as you’d like
  • The competition will run until the end of the Festivals
  • The winner will receive three Folio titles, have their review posted on our website, and win Litro Membership
  • The runner-up will receive two Folio titles and have their review posted on our website
  • All reviews must be sent to [email protected] to be considered
  • We will announce winners at the end of the Festivals