A Brighton Waterstones initiative, Write & Raise aims to offer creative writers a platform as well as raise money for a charity of their choice – which inspired their short fiction entry. The winner, chosen by published local authors Araminta Hall and Dorothy Koomson, was KP Parker, who wrote a hugely uplifting story called ‘Flying’ about a mother and daughter dealing with the mother’s cancer diagnosis.
To find out more, we spoke to Samantha Noonan, manager of Waterstones Brighton:
Hi Samantha, when did you start Write and Raise?
I came up with the idea early last summer after a friend of mine won a short story competition via her local book store in Nottingham. But I decided I wanted it to benefit both writers and charities, hence it being Write & Raise – everyone who entered paid £5 and the eventual winner got to donate all the entry fees to the charity which inspired her story (another stipulation of the competition was that all entries had to be inspired by the work of a charity of their choice).
What is the idea behind it?
To give writers a platform, have their work read by published authors and to receive feedback about it. But also, to raise money and awareness for a charity of the writer’s choice.
How have entrants been able to get involved?
Entrants got involved via our website mostly. We advertised in store as well as on the website. I also contacted local charities and local creative writing groups and courses.
Is there an age range?
No, it was open to all. We did however receive entries from teenagers as well as adults.
What does the store team enjoy most about holding the event?
It’s wonderful to provide local writers with an opportunity to have their work read – and hopefully celebrated. The awards evening itself was hugely positive; the short-listed entrants read out their stories, shared them with each other, swapped details and hopefully got lots of positive ideas / connections from it. As well as they, they got to meet our judges, Dorothy Koomson and Araminta Hall, who, as published authors, were able to provide tips and insight. And of course, raising money for a small local charity (Shine Cancer Support) was absolutely wonderful. We can’t wait to get going on this year’s competition.
This year’s competition is due to launch over the summer – so if you’re a budding author and would love to get involved, keep popping in to Waterstones Brighton or follow them on Twitter to hear when entry opens.
Address: 71-74 North Street
Phone: 01273 206017
Opening Times: Mon, Wed-Fri: 9am-7pm; Tue: 9:30am-7pm; Sat: 9am-6pm; Sun: 11am-5pm