Creative writing competition: The King Lear Prizes


03 April 2020
The new national arts competition for people over 70 in quarantine has prizes of £1,000 in each category, including short stories and poetry

The King Lear Prizes have been launched to encourage people with no professional experience in the arts to create new works of writing, poetry, drama, music and arts during the time they are in quarantine.

The prizes, which are supported by Age UK, take their name from Shakespeare's King Lear, which was written in 1605/6 when there were outbreaks of plague in London.

There are prizes of £1,000 in each category: short stories, poetry, solo musical compositions, short plays and art. Competition judges include Gyles Brandreth (poetry), Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight (drama) and Julian Lloyd-Webber (music). Shortlisted entries will be performed by eminent actors and musicians and broadcast online.

'The King Lear Prizes are a great way for people to try their hand at writing,' said Steven Knight. 'While people are at home, I would urge them to enter the competition and set themselves a goal that they can work towards over the next few weeks. There is a lot of talent out there amongst people who have simply never tried before. I’m looking forward to seeing the entries and uncovering some hidden talents. Give it a go: what have you got to lose?'

Short story entries may be any length between 2,000 and 10,000 words. Poems must be no longer than 40 lines. Short plays should not exceed 15 minutes in length. All entries should be original and unpublished.

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Entry is free.

The closing date is 29 May 2020.

For full details see the website.


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