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MinK2024 - Tales from the City
Flash Fiction, Creative Non-fiction and Poetry Competition and Anthology

Tales from the City

Milton Keynes has evolved from a cluster of Buckinghamshire villages and towns to a whole new city. This year, Lit Fest adopted Tales from the City as the theme for a flash fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry competition.

How to interpret the brief is entirely up to entrants. You might draw inspiration from Peter Ackroyd’s famous biography of London, or from Armistead Maupin’s stories about the  people outside the mainstream of San Francisco among whom his ‘Tales of the City’ novels were set.


As the cliché runs, every city has a thousand stories – or, more accurately in our city's case, a quarter of a million individual stories. They may be tales of arrival, of birth, of transformation, of the emotional rollercoaster of human existence. And then there’s the stories of the city itself: you cannot have a history without the story that the word literally and metaphorically contains. And buildings, streets and landscapes have histories just as people – or animals or trees and plants – do.

Entry was free, and eligible applicants were invited to write a piece of flash fiction writing of up to 500 words in any genre you choose: sci-fi, thriller, romance, journalism, social record, historical fiction… all styles are welcome. Or to send us up to 500 words of creative non-fiction: the biography or the past life of a street, or a neighbourhood or landmark, perhaps? Or to put pen to paper and send us a poem of up to 40 lines inspired by the theme.

There will be cash prizes of £25 for the best entries in each of two age categories: 14-19 and 20+.

In addition, we aim to select the best pieces from your submissions for publication in an anthology that will be available in paperback and e-reader formats. Writers of selected pieces may also be invited to read their work at future Lit Fest events, either in person or online. 

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