The Hysteria Writing Competition couldn’t take place each year without the help of my wonderful volunteer writing competition readers. You can find out more about this year’s team below. Each reader reviews all the entries in their category. This gives them the opportunity to really see what makes a good entry.
As you know fashions and tastes change and the unique review form allows the teams to be as unbiased as possible when it comes to the individual entries. Your entry will be judged against the same set of criteria as every other entry. All the readers try not to judge each piece against any other.
The things readers are looking out for include whether they’d recommend it to a friend, how unique the entry was and whether it meets this year’s theme. Of course, they are looking at a few other things too but I wouldn’t want to give all the secrets away!
I don’t ask readers to be expert writers either although there are a fair few each year. I’m also looking for passionate readers; those who read anything and everything and who can spot a good story or poem quickly and easily.
The reading team is always chosen from a bunch of people who all volunteer their time and experience and I hope you’ll make them all welcome.
If you think you’d like to be a reader in next year’s competition just add yourself to the mailing list and I’ll be in touch in February or March next year.
Meet the readers
Flash Fiction Category
Lindy Newns lives in Manchester, UK. She has been shortlisted for various writing competitions and writes in several genres: stage, poetry, flash and short stories. Her work has appeared in Orbis, Popshot, Acumen, as well as in anthologies including Poems for Grenfell. She is currently working on a novel.
Steven Patchett is an Engineer, Husband, Father and Writer living in the wilds of Northumberland. He started writing Flash Fiction three and a half years ago and has pieces in Ellipsis Zine, Cabinet of Heed and Bear Creek Gazette, amongst others. He was fortunate to be one of the winners of Retreat West’s Online Flash Fest Micro competition in March of this year. He can be found on Twitter, and in the Retreat West Community, being supportive @Stevenpatchett7
Jill Sinclair has spent much of her career working as a television producer specialising in music, arts and archive-based programmes for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. She has always written – some fiction but mostly reviews, profiles and features for newspapers and magazines. She has had one non-fiction book published on the ‘Art of Being ill’. At the moment she is studying for an RHS Level 2 qualification in Horticulture and is in the process of creating a wildlife corridor along a neglected lane near where she lives in west London. She would like to do more writing but in the meantime, she’s an enthusiastic reader and a huge admirer of people who can write short stories and flash fiction.
Richard Teague made a decision in 1987 that defined the next three decades when he entered Monash Medical School in Melbourne. Sometimes he wonders what might have been, had he pursued a writing career. He didn’t return to writing until his late 40’s when a colleague asked to read one of his short stories. It’s amazing what a little praise can do for the soul. He is still excited by short stories after all, where else can you experience intrigue, passion, crazy characters, horror, love, and death within 20 pages? That’s why he can’t wait to read this year’s entries to the Hysteria Writing Competition.
Diane Jackman’s poetry has appeared in small press magazines and anthologies and has won or placed in several competitions. Starting as a published children’s writer she now concentrates on poetry. And her first collection Lessons from the Orchard is due out this summer from Sacred Eagle Publishing Ltd. She is passionately interested in medieval rabbit warrens and Anglo-Saxon literature. She has now led poetry workshops and also runs a poetry café in Brandon in the heart of Breckland, England’s desert. You can meet her on her website here: www.dianejackman.co.uk
Yvonne James works as a director at an educational consultancy company. Despite always having a love of the emotional journey poetry can evoke, she discovered during her English and Creative Writing degree in particular, that she genuinely enjoyed the near therapeutic qualities of writing poetry. Since then, she has been published in anthologies including Hysteria 8 and zines, such as Snakeskin Poetry. She sends very best wishes to the 2022 entrants and is genuinely looking forward to the privilege of reading your entered creations!
Vishaal Pathak is a writer based in India. He writes short stories and poems about memories and travel, some of which have appeared in literary magazines and as part of anthologies. His recent work can be read in Five on the Fifth and Vermilion. He enjoys writing both in English and Hindi and is currently pursuing a course in Creative Writing from an Open University in India.
Gillian Scholey is from West Cumbria on the fringes of The Lake District. She writes short stories, poetry, flash fiction, and plays, and is currently also writing her first novel! Her scripts have been performed by Theatre by the Lake ‘Elders’, ‘Fit’n’Active’ Theatre Group, and Knock and Nash Productions. Her writing has appeared in Vision Poetry Anthology, Myslexia, and Hysteria 7. Gillian now divides her time between volunteering/acting in four local theatres (Pre Covid and with hopes for the future!), writing, and persuading her husband that they really do need a Westie puppy. She may need to pen a best seller to finance the latter!
Short Story Category
Rachel Angel: lives in North Wales with her husband and eldest son. She has always loved writing short stories for her own enjoyment and reading novels and short stories that tug at the heartstrings or leave a lasting impression. Rachel is currently in the middle of studying for a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at the Open University. Rachel enjoyed being a reader for the flash fiction section of last year’s Hysteria competition and is really looking forward to reading the short story entries this year.
Eithne Cullen was born in Dublin and moved to London when she was six. She has had poems published in anthologies and magazines. She has published two novels: The Ogress of Reading and Never not in my Thoughts and a volume of short stories called Pencils and other Stories. She has had some success as a poet, was Hysteria Poet in residence in 2020 and published a pamphlet in 2021, called The Smell of Dust. She lives with her husband in East London. She is unashamedly proud of her three grown-up children and endeavours to embarrass them as often as she can.
Kate Franklin is 64 years young, born in the potteries and now living in Devon with her husband and cocker spaniel Toby. She has two grown-up children and twin grandchildren. She is an avid reader, who loves to read non-fiction and chic lit as a form of escapism, she is a true romantic! She also loves good autobiographies and is a fan of Peaky Blinders. Kate started writing her memoirs and a non-fiction book whilst recuperating from a hysterectomy back in 2017, both of which are still in progress. She loves holidays and keeps a diary about her most excellent adventures.