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25 November 2021

Winter 2021 | Our social media writing competitions

From left: Irenosen Okojie and Ayisha Malik
by Katie Smart Events

It has become a much-loved tradition here at CBC to run exciting winter-themed writing competitions on Twitter @cbcreative and Instagram @curtisbrowncreative to help celebrate the festive season. Read on to find out how to take part in this year’s competitions…

Twitter: #5ActFestiveStory

Every December our popular monthly Twitter competition #WriteCBC gets a festive twist. Instead of running for one day it runs for a full week. This year’s #5ActFestiveStory will begin with a writing prompt from special guest Irenosen Okojie!

From Mon 29 Nov to Mon 6 Dec, we’ll be asking you to contribute to our #5ActFestiveStory on Twitter @cbcreative, with new Acts to be written by you every weekday.

The Festive Story will be a collaboration, with each of the five Acts written by different members of our writing community. Each day we’ll choose a winning response to make up the next Act of the story – with each winner receiving a free place on one of our six-week online courses, worth £210. And who knows, there may be further surprises – and prizes – along the way; we’re coming up to Christmas, after all…

We are so thrilled that special guest Irenosen Okojie will be providing the prompt to serve as a jumping off point for our story. Irenosen is a Nigerian British writer. Appointed to the Royal Society of Literature as a Fellow in 2018, her short stories have been published in the US, Africa and the UK. Her debut novel, Butterfly Fish, was published in 2015, for which she was a recipient of a 2016 Betty Trask Award. Her short story collection, Speak Gigantular, was published in 2016. It was shortlisted for the 2016 inaugural Jhalak Prize and the 2017 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. A collection of short stories, Nudibranch, was published in 2019. It was longlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2020. The story ‘Grace Jones’ won the 2020 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing. In 2021 she was awarded an MBE For Services To Literature. A novel, Curandera, is forthcoming in 2022.

Irenosen is also one of the judges for Discoveries 2022, a writing development programme for unpublished female novelists – ran by the Women’s Prize Trust, Curtis Brown, Curtis Brown Creative and Audible. Discoveries is open for applications now, find out more about Discoveries and read our interview with Irenosen here.

How it works:

Mon 29 Nov, 11am (UK time) – Irenosen’s writing prompt will be posted up and the competition opens! Tweet your response in reply to our pinned tweet using #5ActFestiveStory up until 10am (UK time) on Tues 30 Nov.

Tues 30 Nov, 11am (UK time) – we’ll post the winning entry, and will ask you to respond with Act II. Tweet your response by 10am (UK time) on Weds 2 Dec, and we’ll post the winning entry by 11am.

And it continues in the same way until Act V, when we will give you a bit longer – inviting entries on Fri 3 Dec from 11am (UK time) and giving you until 10am (UK time) on Mon 6 Dec to post your ending to the story.

We’ll be posting a tip and task blog on Mon 29 Nov, which we will add to across the week with extra advice on how to take part. This is also where we’ll post the winning ‘Acts’ of our story.

Five winners will receive a free six-week course place (worth £210). Each day will also select two runners-up to receive a £50 course discount.

A few rules…

  • Only one entry per person per day of the challenge, please
  • You must be 18+ to enter
  • If you’re in receipt of more than one discount offer, you can only trade in one per course enrolment
  • Discounts and free places valid only on courses running in 2022
  • If a winner has already paid and enrolled on one of the applicable courses (yet to run), we will refund the fee/discount (as relevant)
  • If a winner or runner-up has already taken all relevant courses, they may gift their discount or full fee (as relevant) to another writer
  • Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash

Instagram: #CBCWinterStory

Make sure you’re following us over on Instagram @curtisbrowncreative where we’ll be hosting the second winter competition. The #CBCWinterStory runs Mon 6 Dec to Fri 10 Dec. We are delighted to have another extraordinary special guest setting the writing prompt… Ayisha Malik!

Ayisha Malik is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Sofia Khan is Not ObligedThe Other Half of Happiness, and This Green and Pleasant Land. She was a WHSmith Fresh Talent Pick and Sofia Khan was a London CityReads choice in May 2019. Her contributions have included, A Change is Gonna Come, A Matchmade in Heaven and TheSunday Times bestselling Conversations in Love. She has written a re-telling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Part – part of Hachette’s Awesomely Austen children’s series – and the children’s book, Seven Sisters. Ayisha is winner of The Diversity Book Awards and has been shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement AwardMarie Claire’s Future Shapers Awards and h100’s Awards for Publishing and Writing. Her fourth adult novel, The Movement, is to be published in summer 2022.

Ayisha is also one of the Discoveries 2022 judges, find out more about this in our interview here.

How it works:

Mon 6 Dec, 11am (UK time) – Ayisha’s writing prompt will be posted up on Instagram and the competition opens! You’ll be asked to complete a story. Entrants must post up there story by Fri 10 Dec, 10am (UK time).

At the end of the competition we’ll choose a winning entry, they will receive a free place on one of our six-week online courses, worth £210. Three runners-up will be awarded £50 vouchers to be used on the six-week course of their choice.

A few rules…

To enter the #CBCWinterStory you will have to:

  • Like the competition post
  • Comment below the competition post with your mini-story of a maximum 150 words (excluding the prompt)
  • You must be 18+ to enter
  • Please only leave one entry per person
  • Public accounts only please
  • This giveaway is not affiliated with Instagram
  • Competition ends 10.00am Friday 10 December (UK time) and the winner will be announced in our stories and on this blog at 11.00am Friday 10 December (UK time)
  • If you’re in receipt of more than one discount offer, you can only trade in one per course enrolment
  • Discounts and free places valid only on courses running in 2022
  • If a winner has already paid and enrolled on one of the applicable courses (yet to run), we will refund the fee/discount (as relevant)
  • If a winner or runner-up has already taken all relevant courses, they may gift their discount or full fee (as relevant) to another writer
  • Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash

We hope you’ll join in the fun, and that both events provide you with some festive writing inspiration as well as the opportunity to win yourself or a fellow writer some bookish treats this December.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter @cbcreative and on Instagram @curtisbrowncreative for event updates.

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