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 an 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 our mailing list and we’ll be in touch in February or March next year.
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Flash Fiction Readers
Laura Besley has been listed by TSS Publishing as one of the top 50 British and Irish Flash Fiction writers with her story ‘On Repeat’ (Reflex Fiction) and her story ‘Silenced’ was nominated for Best Microfiction by Emerge Literary Journal. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020 and her collection of micro fiction, 100neHundred, will be published in May 2021. Having lived in the Netherlands, Germany and Hong Kong, she now lives in land-locked central England and misses the sea. You can follow Laura on Twitter @laurabesley.
Patricia Good: Hi, I’m Patricia Good and I’m a School Support Assistant from Glasgow. I enjoy my job but find I don’t manage much writing on working days. So, I have recently been lucky enough to drop to 3 days a week to give me more writing time. As yet I’ve spent my extra days reading blogs about writing, drinking tea, and staring into space. I’m sure some solid writing will follow. I write flash fiction and short stories and have previously had short stories published in women’s magazines and been placed in writing magazine competitions. My writing goal for 2021 is to send out more work and bring together multiple threads I have for a longer piece of writing. Scary!
Rachel Angel: I’m Rachel and I live in North Wales with my husband and eldest son. I’ve always loved writing short stories for my own enjoyment and reading stories that tug at the heartstrings or leave a lasting impression. In my fifties, I am currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing with the Open University. I am really looking forward to reading the flash fiction entries in this year’s Hysteria competition.
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 Readers
The short story category will also be read by: Helen Challis
Nicky Plaskett: I am 37 and I’m in the final module of a BSc with the Open University. I work full-time as an animal behaviourist in a zoo, my job revolves around ensuring our animals have choices and can cooperate in their daily husbandry and that we teach them and the staff the skills needed to do this well. I am excited to be part of the judging team for this year’s hysteria writing competition as I love having new things to read. I particularly enjoy reading action and crime novels.
Richard Teague: In 1987 I made a decision that was to define my next three decades when I entered Monash Medical School in Melbourne. Sometimes I wonder what might have been, had I pursued a writing career. I didn’t return to writing until my late 40’s when a colleague asked to read one of my short stories. It’s amazing what a little praise can do for the soul. That’s how it (re)started for me. I’m still excited by short stories. Where else can you experience intrigue, passion, crazy characters, horror, love, and death within 20 pages? That’s why I can’t wait to read the entries to the Hysteria Writing Competition. Good luck! Richard Teague.