Hastings Literary Festival 2021 Competition and anthology

Dateline Hastings: 23-09-21


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Anthology launch

Our Dateline Hastings: 23-09-21 anthology, bringing together the work of 12 competition finalists, was launched by playwright and festival patron Sir David Hare on September 25, 2021. Here he's pictured (centre) with overall winners Ryan Smith and Elizabeth Allen, who were chosen by the judges, along with Martin Rieser (not pictured) to receive £100 each.

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Our magnificent finalists celebrate anthology launch

Eight of the 12 Dateline Hastings: 23-09-21 finalists are pictured here with playwright and festival patron Sir David Hare (fourth left) celebrating the anthology launch. 

They are, L-R:

Rosanna Lowe, Mark Shepherd, Elizabeth Allen, Alba Frederick, Ryan Smith, Bronwen Griffiths, Amy Mackrill, Charlotte Wührer.


(Finalists not pictured: Amanda Addison, Belinda Brady, Dillon Jaxx, Martin Rieser)

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Winners  announced

DATELINE HASTINGS 23:09:21


Thank you again to all who entered our unique competition. We were so pleased to see entries covering a dazzling diversity  of topics, in multiple forms and from a multitude of locations across the world.


Our judges were not only looking at the quality of the individual pieces, but how they would flow together to create a cohesive anthology which is alive to what is happening right now, expressed through poetry and prose.


We would like to congratulate those invited to our unique workshop on September 23, to finalise their pieces prior to publication:

Alba Frederick

Amanda Addison

Amy Mackrill

Belinda Brady

Bronwen Griffiths

Charlotte Wuhrer

Dillon Jaxx

Elizabeth Allen

Mark Shepherd

Martin Reiser

Rosanna Lowe 

Ryan Smith

Due to the volume of entries we are unable to enter into any individual correspondence with those who were unsuccessful this year, but please do check back this winter when we will announce our next competition.  

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Competition closed

Our competition is now CLOSED for entries. We’d like to thank so many of you for entering our ‘one off’ experience. Our judges are now busy reading your entries and making decisions. 


Twelve of you will be coming to an all-day workshop in Hastings on Thursday September 23, 2021. You will work with Pete the Temp, Andrea Samuelson, Christine Harmar-Brown and Antony Mair to finalise your copy ready for the printers.


The anthology Dateline Hastings: 23-09-21 will be launched by Sir David Hare at a Hastings Literary Festival event on the afternoon of Saturday September 25. Yes that’s right, you will have a hard copy of the anthology in your hands less than 48 hours after it's finished!

Those invited to the workshop will be contacted in the week commencing August 16 and a full list of finalists will be published here on August 24. As well as featuring in the anthology, finalists will win tickets to the launch event and three winners will receive cash prizes of £100 each.

Dateline Hastings: 23-09-21 was inspired by works like Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer and Olivia Laing’s Crudo, which reflect what’s happening right now, blurring the lines between fiction and non-fiction.