Guest judge heralds ‘courage’ of our writers 

APRIL 2024:  Our tenth season of competitions has come to a close with another outstanding intake that made us shiver, laugh and sigh…..sometimes at the same time. Not an easy feat!

This season we welcomed author, Julian Anderson onto our judging panel. Here’s what he thought of our entries:

“I’ve always been a big fan of anthologies. They provide the reader with an opportunity to find new authors and writers with a chance to reach a new audience. That’s why I was delighted when the Anansi Archive invited me to be a guest judge.

“Having reviewed a couple of these collections, I knew I was in for a hard time selecting the best from stiff competition. Whilst there can only be one winner, I had a fantastic time reading all the entries. My congratulations to everyone who submitted their work. I know from personal experience it can take a lot of courage.”

For more information about Julian and his work please click the  link below.

 Author Julian Anderson






That’s right, we’ve just hit our sixth anthology with The Nine Lives of Billy Nightjar and we think it just may be the best yet! That’s not to belittle the previous editions which have produced some fine work but in this edition, we have accomplished a range of genres, styles and locations as never before. Yes, ‘locations’. It’s always interesting and provocative to find yourself in another part of the world experiencing a different culture throught the eyes of someone who knows and understands it – NOT (gratefully)  filtered through the eyes of a western observer.  So, we present to you as great a diversity as we have had in this anthology and hope that you like it.

As always, if you buy it, please review it on Amazon or any other platforms. Alternatively, just pop us an email and tell us what you think. Is there anything we could have done better? Let us know.

OCTOBER 2023: ENTRANTS to the summer season of Anansi Archive competitions have done themselves proud.  Picking Tony Kirwood (Short Ficiton), Nikki Davison (Flash Fiction) and Sam Hendrian (Poetry) as our eventual winners was as heart-searching a task as our judges have experienced. Entries read, re-read, discussed, debated, pored over, reviewed…..we do not undertake this assignment lightly. Alas, there has to be a decision at the end of this task and it is no reflection on the quality of many that they have not – in our opinion – quite crossed the line.

So, did we get it right? Perhaps you can be the judge of that when you read them here on our website. Or you can compare these with other entries that were not placed in our forthcoming anthology. We are particularly excited by the sixth Anansi Archive collection as it will feature the best of our last two seasons which have been of an exceptionally high standard.

Keep checking the website for details of the publication date. We are aiming for the beginning of November.


Talent blossoms in Spring season competitions

  JULY 2023: MANY congratulations to our top entries from the Spring competitions. This season was exceptionally difficult to judge because the standard was so high and there were many contenders for our best three in Short Fiction and Flash Fiction. While the quality and quantity was particularly high in these categories, curiously the number of poetry entries was our lowest ever.

All the judges expressed what a pleasure it was to read the Short and Flash submissions and it is occasions such as these that we get really excited about the writers out there.

There was a marvellous diversity in styles and so many of them nailed the essence of writing concisely to a purpose with vivid characters established quickly, prose that carried the narrative forward in a compelling way and some very satisfactory denouements that left the reader wanting more.

Wry humour, pacey action, gripping suspense and insightful character sketches provided some absorbing reading.

Yes, it made the judging hard – but we can’t wait to see the next anthology! Watch this space….


The Anansi Archive competitions entries pass the 2,000 mark

APRIL 2023 – Thank you to everyone who participated in the Winter writing competitions and congratulations to Holly Hamp, Harriet Watson and Fiona Dignan for their triumphant entries in the Short Fiction, Flash Fiction and Poetry categories.

The winter 2022/23 intake represented our sixth season of competitions and during this time we have received more than 2,000 entries and produced four anthologies. From the feedback we receive, it’s clear that for many writers, competitions are an important platform for their work. While it’s disappointing when your writing doesn’t receive the recognition you hoped it would, for those who keep the faith and persist, eventual success can spur them on to even greater things.  Our advice to those who have not achieved this so far is to keep trying.  A number of our winning or runner-up entrants have only achieved this after repeated attempts. If you want some specific feedback on your entry, please email us. We will be honest but gentle! Or, if you need a bit more help, why not sign up for one of Christopher Fielden’s writing courses (see below).


Free course

STRUGGLING  to write that killer story (who isn’t?)?  Award-winning author Christopher Fielden is offering some top tips for writers on his courses.

You could try his free short story writing course or his comprehensive course, which uses short story case studies to clearly show how all his advice has been used in practice to generate publishing success. Check out the details below:

And, for one of the most comprehensive lists of  writing competitions anywhere on the internet, have a look at this page on the same site:


Writer’s HQ News:

The Writers’ HQ novel plotting programme for 2024 is open for booking! Get yourself set up for an amazing year of writing. Bursary support available #amwriting #WritingCommunity
Don’t miss your chance to join the Writers’ HQ new year novel plotting programme Plotstormers 2024, designed to get you ready and set up for a solid 12 months of novel writing, starting with the idea and getting you to The End. #WritingCommunity
Information about Plotstormers 2024

Plotstormers 2024 is designed to get you ready and set up for a solid 12 months of novel writing, starting with the idea and getting you to The End.

Now in its seventh year, the Writers’ HQ new year Plotstormers is a tried and tested programme, helping writers build a practical understanding of story structure and plotting, and walk away with a comprehensive outline of your story and a plan for what to do next.

Writers’ HQ director Sarah Lewis says, “the world is oversaturated with people trying to sell you courses to plot your novel. We’re also trying to do that, but mostly we’re a secret cult hellbent on destroying the capitalist patriarchal hegemony and we know the best way of doing that is through the stories humanity tells itself about itself, so we’re also trying to catalyse the revolution, and that’s the added value of doing Plotstormers. Plus we give out gold stars.”

Writers’ HQ is dedicated to supporting writers on a low income and bursary places are available.

New season of competitions

The Anansi Archive’s Autumn season of competitions is now open with entry fees as low as just £1. Find out how you can enter here: