Interview with Grand Prize winner, Gail Sidonie Šobat

//Lessons from the Greeks is the poetry collection which was honoured with the Grand Prize (category: unpublished books) in Eyelands Book Awards 2020. Gail Sidonie Šobat from Canada kindly accepted to give an interview to Gregory Papadoyiannis via email. Her book will be translated in Greek and will be released from Strange Days Books in 2021 //

Read also a short review for the book by the (EBA judge, poet and writer) Andriana Minou!

How does it feel to be the grand prize winner of our international book awards?
As I think I mentioned, I was stunned and humbled by the news and so very grateful. I’ve been writing for many years and such honours are rare, indeed.

Have you ever imagined that you could be the winner of a writing contest in a country far away from your country?
This was a dream of mine. I’ve always hoped to have more international readers, and my work has been previously published into Lithuanian, but winning an international contest was a fantasy, until now.

How did you hear about the contest?
I belong to the League of Canadian Poets which had your call for submissions listed in its newsletter. I was intrigued, so I applied!

When did you start writing?
As a child, I was encouraged by teachers who “saw” something in me, particularly my Grade- one teacher, my Grade-nine teacher and my high school teacher, Duane Stewart, who remains a dear friend and reader to this day. He encouraged me to begin submitting to literary magazines after high school, and I did. I published my first novel in 2001 and my first book of poetry in 2003.

You wrote a brilliant poetry collection. What was the inspiration for ‘Lessons from the Greeks’’ Is there a lesson that you were personally taught by (ancient obviously) Greeks?
Thank you for your kind comment.
Several years ago, a close friend and I were invited to write a poem for a birthday occasion. I came up with the titular poem of this manuscript, “Lessons from the Greeks,” and was lucky to have that pieceincluded in my previous collection. But that poem remained percolating in my mind. It wouldn’t leave my thoughts and I realized that the Greeks—ancient and modern—still have so much to say to us. That wisdom, born of great poets, playwrights and philosophers I’ve had the privilege to read, study and teach, is particularly relevant today in the turmoil of the 21st century and current decade.
I began playfully: writing within the frame of Greek poetic forms and also through the lens of Greek mythology and drama. Some of the poems reflect that playfulness and others are quite dark, apropos of tragedy and elegy, which is, I sometimes despair, where we are in this world.
Is there a lesson I learned or taught? It’s all happened before; it all happens again. Do we learn anything? I’d like to believe so. I’d like to believe we’re stumbling towards sagacity. And in that stumbling, we could do worse than to read the Greeks. In fact, I think if we did, we’d be all the wiser.

I can see from your bio that you have travelled a lot in your life. Have you ever been in Greece?
Yes, I have been to Greece some years ago. I just loved it! What a beautiful place. As a person in love with the sea, despite living on the Canadian prairie, Greece is a paradise!

How do you feel that your poems will be translated in Greek?
I am thrilled and honoured, and I wish I knew the language.

What are your plans as a writer for the future?
Oh my, such a question! I would like to dedicate more time to my own writing, but I am also a university professor, and I run a non-profit charitable arts organization that hosts writing camps and retreats for young people. So I’m ridiculously busy trying to support young writers in ways similarto how I was supported. I don’t envision giving up that work, but I would certainly cherish more writing time for myself. I have an adult manuscript and a children’s novel manuscript that I would like to place with a publisher. And I am thrilled and excited to see Lessons from the Greeks in novel form.

WRITER’S BIO
Gail Sidonie Sobat is a poet, a singer, and the author of 11 books. She is the creator/coordinator of YouthWrite®, camps for kids who love to write…just about anything!©, and an instructor in the communications programs at MacEwan University and in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta.
Gail has presented across Canada, including Canada’s North; Doha, Qatar; Hanoi, Vietnam; Bern, Switzerland; Helsinki, Finland; Istanbul, Turkey; and more recently at the Northeastern Modern Language Association in Baltimore, Maryland. She’s been writer-in-residence in several Canadian schools, at Queen’s University, in Doha, Qatar, at the University of Alberta through the Canadian Authors Association, for the Metro Edmonton Federation of Public Libraries, and for NorthWords in Yellowknife, NWT. Her work is published in academic and literary journals, anthologies, and has been broadcast on radio and performed on stage. Gail is a Global TV Woman of Vision and a recipient of her city’s Arts and Culture Citation Award. She’s moved 40 times in her life from Badlands to Siksika Nation Reserve to hideous suburbs to Istanbul to the Sunshine Coast to her writer’s garret in a century-old temperamental house.

POETRY UNPUBLISHED: Lessons from the Greeks / Gail Sidonie Šobat: “Lessons from the Greeks” is more than a contemporary deconstruction of ancient Greek mythological characters; in this poetry collection, Gail Sidonie Šobat is reconstructing an entire poetic world that feels too true to be mythical. Lyricism and humour, tenderness and irony, passion and wit are the main materials the poet uses to build this world that teaches lessons indeed, without, however, being tediously didactic; Šobat’s poetry is refreshingly relevant, striking a balance between the amusing and the profound, through thoughts and images articulated with vibrant energy. ANDRIANA MINOU

Gail Sidonie Šobat photos by GEOFF McMASTER

EYELANDS BOOK AWARDS 2020 – PRIZES

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,

Dear friends,

Dear writers,

We are glad to announce the prize winners of our Eyelands international Book Awards For 2020

Here are the results for the international Eyelands Book Awards 2020.

First of all, we would like to thank all participants and all the kind people from webpages, blogs, zines and magazines who spread the news about our book awards. It was the third for our contest and submissions from all over the world were more than ever. As usual, it was very hard to choose finalists from all submissions and then even harder to choose the prize winners among the finalists. Many good books were submitted, many excellent works were to be read again and again in order to choose the winners.

Judges for the prizes were Andriana Minou, Patricia Marchesi (last year’s grand prize winner) and Gregory Papadoyiannis. Our guest judge for this year, Patricia Marchesi was the one to choose the grand prize winners among finalists who received equal votes from the jury.

This year we had to find ways to deal with the disruptions caused due to the pandemic, which didn’t allow us to hold an awards ceremony for last year’s grand prize winner. We have therefore decided, in order to be as fair as possible to prize winners, to offer them something extra–in case we won’t be able to organize a ceremony in Athens in 2021 either; both grand prize winners for the categories of published and unpublished books are invited to spend a week’s holiday in our Three Rock writers’ resort on the island of Crete!

There is also another alternative for the grand prize winner of the published book (both for 2019 and 2020): to be translated in Greek if there is no restriction about the rights of the book.

This year, we also launched a special prize for writers who have participated in Three Rock Writers’ Resort Program.

(you can see more here: http://www.strangedaysbooks.gr/2019/02/ )

As promised, one of the writers who spent one or two weeks at the Resort in order to write part of a book that was proposed according to the rules of the program, will be awarded a contract for the translation of his/her book in Greek. And that’s the Three Rock prize, which you will see among other prizes this year.

We also decided to give two Special Distinctions for two excellent writers under the age of 18. For next year’s Eyelands Book Awards 2021, there will be a new category especially for writers under 18!

The Award ceremony – subject to circumstances – will take place in Athens in May 2021 for the grand prize winners (published books) of both 2019 and 2020.

Next year’s contest will be launched on June 20th, 2021

ΕΒΑ PRIZES 2020

SPECIAL DISTINCTION:  U18 – Zone book /Mysteries – Cooper White / New Zealand

SPECIAL DISTINCTION: U18 Maximum Flight – Abigail Keoghan /Ireland

(submission and photos after parents approval)

POETRY PUBLISHED

Fingertip of the tongue- Sarah Rice /Australia

POETRY UNPUBLISHED

The storehouse of wonder and astonishment – Sherry Mossafer Rind / USA

CHILDREN’S /GRAPHIC NOVELS  PUBLISHED

The infinity trap – Ian C Douglas /United Kingdom

CHILDREN’S / GRAPHIC NOVELS UNPUBLISHED

Surfing, Your Star Shines Above Me – Vezna Andrews /USA

SHORT STORIES PUBLISHED

Making love while levitating three feet in the air – Jeff  Fearnside /USA

SHORT STORIES UNPUBLISHED

Don Quixote’s Death and Other Stories-Ratomir Rale Damjanovic / Serbia

NOVELS PUBLISHED

Empire of Glass – Kaitlin Solimine / USA

NOVELS UNPUBLISHED

The Gift of Sunshine: Story of a Hong Kong Family- Susan Wan Dolling /USA

HISTORICAL NOVEL/MEMOIR PUBLISHED

A roll of the dice – Mona Dash / United Kingdom

HISTORICAL NOVEL/MEMOIR UNPUBLISHED

The Red Tunic – Kate Wiseman / United Kingdom

THREE ROCK PRIZE: Lizardmaid – Robin Luce Martin / USA

GRAND PRIZES

PUBLISHED BOOK

Exile Music – Jennifer Steil / United Kingdom

UNPUBLISHED BOOK

Lessons from the Greeks – Gail Sidonie Šobat /Canada

Grand Prize: A five-day holiday in Athens plus a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards and publication (excerpts) online on our website. Eyelands cover all accommodation costs for the award winner. Air tickets not included. The author must agree to participate in the EBA ceremony (which will be held in Athens) and the related publicity (interviews e.t.c.). If for any reason the writer won’t be available to attend the ceremony the prize will be send via mail and the EBA will invite the grand prize winner of the unpublished category.

Five more prizes, one for each category, also win a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards

Certification document for every prize.

Section: Unpublished books

Grand prize: Publication from Strange Days Books. Released via amazon.com (international release) & from Strange Days Books

Five more prizes, one in each category, also win a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards

Certification document for every prize.

Special distinction category: certificate & hand made ceramic gift

All finalists and prize winners of eyelands book awards 2020 can apply for residency at Three Rock Writers Resort for SUMMER/AUTUMN/2021 –till May,31, 2021

wish you a happy new year

EYELANDS BOOK AWARDS 2020 – FINALISTS

We are glad to announce the finalists of our Eyelands Book Awards For 2020/ Prize winners to be announced on December, 30, 2020

(By submission order/ number of finalists according to category participants)

POETRY PUBLISHED

Weight of the ripened – Gina Ferrara /USA

Goodbye toothless house – Kelly Fordon /USA

Fingertip of the tongue- Sarah Rice /Australia

Dust Blown side of the journey – Eleonore Schönmaier /Netherlands

Rewriting Stella – Dan Tuttle /USA

POETRY UNPUBLISHED

Hummingbird from Heaven – Keti Bozukova /Bulgaria

Crows at Sunset – Terry Watada / Canada

Lessons from the Greeks – Gail Sidonie Šobat /Canada

The storehouse of wonder and astonishment – Sherry Mossafer Rind /USA

Diary of the heart – Neal Hall /USA

CHILDRENS /GRAPHIC NOVELS  PUBLISHED

Swords in the sky  – Judy Brulo /United Kingdom

Susie in Spectra   – W.E. Lake / United Kingdom

The infinity trap – Ian C Douglas /United Kingdom

The Red Eyes – Lee Ching Kai /Malaysia

CHILDRENS / GRAPHIC NOVELS UNPUBLISHED

Tweaked Tales  –  Judy Brulo / United Kingdom

Grandma Grumbly: A Story to Read Aloud – Mike Mesterton-Gibbons /USA

Surfing, Your Star Shines Above Me – Vezna Andrews /USA

Maximum Flight – Abigail Keoghan /Ireland

Amy’s Plan – Eunice Barnes /USA

SHORT STORIES PUBLISHED

The World Within-A Play – Yamini Mathur / Thailand

Nom De Plume – Christy Iron /Greece

 Making love while levitating three feet in the air – Jeff  Fearnside /USA

Hotel du Jack – Dan Brotzel /United Kingdom

SHORT STORIES UNPUBLISHED

Discarded Encounters – Gita Simic/ Bosnia-Herzegovina

The Girl Who Can Take The Most Electricity – Anna Mantzaris /USA

Blu’s Muse – Craig (blu) Ritchie / Canada

 Don Quixote’s Death and Other Stories-Ratomir Rale Damjanovic / Serbia

 Goddesses from Clay and Shrapnel – Lahari Mahalanabish (Chatterji) / India

NOVELS PUBLISHED

Book Title: Empire of Glass – Kaitlin Solimine / USA

Misplaced Heads – Jayanthi Sankar / Singapore

The Agent-Marsha Roberts /USA

Spivey Davenport – VM Roberts /USA

The memory stones – Caroline Brothers / United Kingdom

NOVELS UNPUBLISHED

The Kitten – Laurie Jameson /USA

My blood on your head- Elias Yussif / Ghana

Goldfish – J A Gardiner / United Kingdom

Blue Monkeys – Christie B. Cochrell / USA

The Gift of Sunshine: Story of a Hong Kong Family- Susan Wan Dolling /USA

Lizardmaid – Robin Luce Martin / USA

HISTORICAL NOVEL/MEMOIR PUBLISHED

A wolf by the ears – Wayne Karlin / USA

A roll of the dice – Mona Dash / United Kingdom

Dear Suffolk: My Teenage Memoirs – VM Roberts / USA

Exile Music – Jennifer Steil / United Kingdom

Spinning: Choreography for Come Home – Janine Kovac / USA

HISTORICAL NOVEL/MEMOIR UNPUBLISHED

Wishbone:  The Enduring Joy and Increasing Meaning of Odyssey

-Carol W. Folbre /USA

The Red Tunic – Kate Wiseman / United Kingdom

Remembering Greece-Wendy Craig / New Zealand

The Girl Who Got Out of Zanzibar’ – Sophie Neville / United Kingdom

American Heroine – Katherine Lim / United Kingdom

Eyelands Book Awards -Grand Prize winner’s book, ”Florissant” -Greek Edition

Fifteen-year-old Wynd doesn’t know she’s a fairy, but she has already nearly lost herself to the wind. She longs to fly, to be free, to disappear. Problem is, she cares too much about her ten-year-old sister to leave her behind. Sylva would never make it in the foster care system on her own. She thinks she’s a tree. And no one believes her but Wynd.

The two sisters were found, five years earlier, on a road by a forest. They have vague memories of this forest, as well as of the gunshot sound that killed their mother. When Sylva becomes deathly ill, it’s up to Wynd to save her sister and take her back home to Florissant, an enchanted forest with a boarding school for orphaned fairies. Yet little does Wynd know that coming home is only the beginning of a great — and dangerous — adventure that will force her to face her deepest fears in order to save the fairy realm.

It turns out Shakespeare wasn’t right about everything when he wrote A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He got some of the fairy lore right. And some of the characters.

But the great playwright could have never guessed that, centuries later, the fairy kingdom would relocate to the New World – the state of Georgia, to be more precise – where there were still old-growth forests that could sustain magic.

And not even someone with the imagination of Shakespeare could have guessed that a fifteen-year-old wind fairy would cross paths with Titania and Oberon all that time later, and help them save the fairy kingdom with a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in an enchanted forest. But no doubt he would have found the irony delicious.

Patricia Marchesi is an English professor specializing in Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. She teaches at a liberal arts college an hour from Atlanta, GA. Her academic research into the role of trees and forests in Shakespeare’s plays led to her discovery of how precious and rare old-growth forests are, and inspired her to write Florissant. Before embarking on the young adult fantasy genre, she wrote two science fiction novels for middle grade readers, Shelby & Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes and Shelby & Shauna Kitt and the Alterax Buttons, both of which were self-published and won Children’s Literary Classics gold awards.

Marchesi is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has also lived in Austria and England. In the United States, she has lived in New York, Delaware, Colorado, Arizona, and (now) Georgia.

STRANGE DAYS BOOKS / Strange days in the world -11/ Translation: Gregory Papadoyiannis/ 192 pages/  ISBN: 978-618-5278-48-9 / Cover by BetiBup 33 Design Studio.

Eyelands Book Awards 2020- just two weeks for closing

Grand prize (published books): Five-day holiday in Athens plus a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards and publication (excerpts) online on our website.

The ceremony (due to the pandemic and the postponement of this year’s events) will take place in Athens for both the awards of 2019 and 2020!

Grand prize (unpublished books): Translation into Greek and publication from Strange Days Books

Ten more prizes, one for each category of every section, also win a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards

Certification document for every prize.
Final results are to be announced on December 30th 2020.

The award will be given in a special ceremony in Athens*
Judges: P.H.C. Marchesi (children’s books/graphic novels), Andriana Minou (poetry-short stories) Gregory Papadoyiannis (novels/ novellas, historical fiction/memoir)

Grand Awards Judge: P.H.C. Marchesi

Entry fee: $30 (27 euros)

NEW!! Early bird submission $ 22 (20 euros) for all the writers shortlisted in any of our Eyelands International Contests

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES & DATES & DETAILS

Opening: Friday, July 10, 2020

Closing: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at midnight PST.

Submit your book or manuscript online $30.00 (27 euros)

Eligible submissions include: poetry, novellas, short story collections, novels, children’s books, historical fiction/memoir, graphic novels.

Multiple submissions allowed.

Early bird submission fee for every additional submission

Simultaneous submissions allowed, but please notify us if full manuscript is accepted elsewhere. 

Finalists for every category to be announced on November, 20, 2020

Final results are to be announced on Wednesday, December, 30, 2020.

There are no restrictions regarding nationality

Participants must be 18 years old otherwise we need parents’ consent to accept the submission.

Manuscripts must be written in English.

There is no restriction about the form or style of writing. We prefer the pages to be numbered. Files should be uploaded as an MS Word document or PDF. Fill the entry form, copy and paste it in the body of your email.

Submit your manuscript online to: eyelandsmag@gmail.com

or

strangedaysbooks@gmail.com

AWARD CATEGORIES (select one per entry application):

The following are eligible: 

1/Full-length books of fiction (novels or novellas of any genre)

2/ Collections of short stories by one author

3/Collected and selected poems

4/ Historical fiction – Memoir

5/ Children’s books – Graphic Novels      

 You may find all the details here:

Eyelands Book Awards 2020

Eyelands gr. & Strange Days Books are glad to announce the

EYELANDS BOOK AWARDS 2020!!

olive tree Grand prize (published books): Five-day holiday in Athens plus a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards and publication (excerpts) online on our website.

The ceremony (due to the pandemic and the postponement of this year’s events) will take place in Athens for both the awards of 2019 and 2020!

Grand prize (unpublished books): Translation into Greek and publication from Strange Days Books

Ten more prizes, one for each category of every section, also win a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards

Certification document for every prize.
Final results are to be announced on December 30th 2020.

The award will be given in a special ceremony in Athens*
Judges: P.H.C. Marchesi (children’s books/graphic novels), Andriana Minou (poetry-short stories) Gregory Papadoyiannis (novels/ novellas, historical fiction/memoir

 

Grand Awards Judge: P.H.C. Marchesi

Entry fee: $30 (27 euros)

Early bird submissions: $ 22 (20 euros)

Marchesi photo

P.H.C. Marchesi (Grand Prize for unpublished book 2019) will be the judge of the Grand Awards this year. Her book ‘’Florissant’’ translated by Gregory Papadoyiannis will be released in Greece, from Strange Days Books 2020 next September!

 

 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES & DATES & DETAILS

Opening: Friday, July 10, 2020

Closing: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at midnight PST.

Submit your book or manuscript online $30.00 (27 euros)

Early bird submission $ 22 (20 euros) till September 1st, 2020.

Eligible submissions include: poetry, novellas, short story collections, novels, children’s books, historical fiction/memoir, graphic novels.

Multiple submissions allowed.

Early bird submission fee for every additional submission

Simultaneous submissions allowed, but please notify us if full manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

Finalists for every category to be announced on November, 20, 2020

Final results are to be announced on Wednesday, December, 30, 2020.

There are no restrictions regarding nationality

Participants must be 18 years old otherwise we need parents’ consent to accept the submission.

Manuscripts must be written in English.

There is no restriction about the form or style of writing. We prefer the pages to be numbered. Files should be uploaded as an MS Word document or PDF. Fill the entry form, copy and paste it in the body of your email.

Submit your manuscript online to:

eyelandsmag@gmail.com  [or]  strangedaysbooks@gmail.com

PRIZES & PUBLICITY

Section: Published books

Grand Prize: A five-day holiday in Athens plus a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards and publication (excerpts) online on our website. Eyelands cover all accommodation costs for the award winner. Air tickets not included. The author must agree to participate in the EBA ceremony (which will be held in Athens at the time of his/her holiday) and the related publicity (interviews e.t.c.).

There will be five finalists for each category.

Five more prizes, one for each category, also win a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards

Certification document for every prize.

Section: Unpublished books

Grand prize: Publication from Strange Days Books. Released via amazon.com (international release) & from Strange Days Books

Five more prizes, one in each category, also win a special handmade ceramic designed especially for Eyelands Book Awards

There will be five finalists for each category.

Certification document for every prize.

For each entry, submit the book, entry form, and $30 fee (via paypal). Registration will be confirmed via email. In December, all entrants will be notified of winners. Please fill in, copy and paste the entry form in the body of your email

ENTRY FORM & PAYMENT

Pay via paypal – See the banner on this website

Click the «buy now» button. Fill the description with: EBA

Entry fee: $30 (27 euros)

Early bird submissions: $ 22 (20 euros)

* After the payment is complete, you can send the email with your manuscript as an attachment and the entry form completed, copied and pasted in the body of your email

*An email confirmation that your entry has been received will be sent within three/four days

* We do accept simultaneous submissions

* Every writer can submit more books with the early bird payment fee of $22 for every one of them

*There is no fee for the first prize winners of previous Eyelands international short story contests

*All books must have been published between September 20, 2016 and September 20, 2020.

 

ΕΒΑ - 2020

 

ENTRY FORM (submit one entry form per book):

Book Title:

_______________________________________

Author:

_______________________________________

Category:

_______________________________________

Publisher: (for published books only)

_______________________________________

ISBN: (for published books only)

_______________________________________

 

Contact Information

 

Address:

______________________________________

E-Mail:

______________________________________

 

 

AWARD CATEGORIES (select one per entry application):

The following are eligible:

 

1/Full-length books of fiction (novels or novellas of any genre)

2/ Collections of short stories by one author

3/Collected and selected poems

4/ Historical fiction – Memoir

5/ Children’s books – Graphic Novels      

         

any book of poetry (up to 250 pages) written by a single author is eligible

EBA follows the CLMP Contest Code of Ethics.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us at

eyelandsmag@gmail.com  [or]  strangedaysbooks@gmail.com

 

LINKS
See more at:

https://eyelandsawards.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Kate Wickers – 10th Eyelands ISSC prize winner

Kate Wickers, author of ”Sixteen” is one of our prize winner writers from Eyelands 10th international Short Story Contest (theme: Numbers). So here is what she answers to our quetions about the contest, her story, here writing career (actually she has just finished her first novel) and … Greece!

1How does it feel to be a prize winner of an international short story contest based in Greece?
Well, it feels just wonderful, and I’m so pleased, after procrastinating, that I submitted my story. Also, after spending time alone as a writer, wondering if what I’m writing will ever actually be read, it’s lovely to make and feel a connectionwith the other writers who put their work forward to be judged.

I think it was your first time to submit a story here. How did you hear about the contest?
I heard about the contest from a friend, who I studied with during an MA in Creative Writing. She’d read the last anthology andsaid it was wonderful, so encouraged me to submit a story.

I can see from your bio that you have seen many of your stories published over the years. When did you start writing?

Well, forever. As a kid I’d rewrite fairy tales, often making myself the main protagonist. Through school, I won awards for creative writing and loved to write plays, and later I studied for a BA in Media and Communications, which gave me a taste of so many writing disciplines before I settled on journalism. As a journalist and travel writer, I have written professionally for over twenty years, and my features have been published in over sixty British and international publications, such as The Telegraph, The i, The Daily Mail and The Australian. Creative writing wise, I’ve only had a few published – a couple of short stories; a piece of flash fiction and a poem.

2You have two books ready for publish now. Can you tell us few more things about them?
The first isa gritty novel set in London and follows the lives of three people before and after a terrorist attack on a train. The second is a murder-mystery adventure for middle grade readers set in Vietnam. Both are out on submission to publishers currently through my literary agent. It’s quite a nerve-racking time, especially given what a tough market it is at the moment but I’m trying to stay optimistic.

You wrote an excellent story. What was the inspiration for ‘Sixteen’?

Since visiting Dubrovnik to write a travel feature a few years ago, I’d been mulling over the idea of writing a creative story. I was touched by how the bullet holes from the Balkan wars have been left in the masonry of many of the buildings. It brings goose bumps to run a hand over these war-scars, which are now part of the city and the history of the people who live there. Each one of those bullet holes tells a story.

It was very touching the way you describe how Agneza, your main character, feels and amazing how you connect her story with numbers. I think the whole atmosphere is a kind of tragicomedy as we could say in Greek. Is that so?

Absolutely. Tragicomedy is a perfect way to describe this story. I think it is a human compulsion to search for humour when all around looks bleak.Perhaps that’s what keeps us going? Agneza is a drama queen (more than a little like me at that age), and I hoped to catch the essence of being a bored teenager waiting for something momentous to happen.

 

3

Have you ever been in Greece?

Yes, several times. The Cycladic islands in particular are a favourite destination from when I first island-hopped around them in my early twenties. I’ve just written a feature on Mykonos for a beautiful magazine called Lodestars Anthology, which will be published in their Greece issue later this year.

What are your plans as a writer for the future?

Novel number two is underway, set in Bristol where I grew up. It follows the lives of two best friends and the effect that each has on the other from teenage years into adulthood, and looks at how memory can play tricks, often distorting the truth to suit us. I’m also continuing with my work as a journalist, writing travel features as inspiration for when we can travel again.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

Kate Wickers’ bio

My career as a travel writer began twenty-four years ago, while at university studying for a BA in Media & Communications, when a professor suggested that I should ‘write about something I love and get it published’. I took her advice and by the time I graduated I was writing regularly for The Sunday Telegraph, and have never looked back. My writing credits include features over sixty British and international publications including The Scotsman, The i, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Lonely Planet Magazine, The Financial Times, Conde Nast Traveller, The Australian and The Globe & Mail.  For a Rough Guide special edition celebrating women in travel, called Women Travel, I contributed a chapter on Peru. My travel writing is studied for the module ‘Best Contemporary Travel Writers’ at the University of Virginia.
I have just completed my first novel and also my first children’s book, currently both are out on submission to publishers through my agent at Artelus Literary Agency.

/////////////////////////////////////////

 

”Sixteen” will be published in two different collections of the 10th international story contest, an English language version that will be published by Strange Days Books in October 2020. The prize winning stories of the international section will be translated into Greek and published alongside the Greek prize winning stories in a second book.

 

Interview with Kathryn Holzman – 10th contest grand prize winner

 Kathryn Holzman our  grand prize winner ‘’talks’’ via e-mail about the contest, her writing career and plans for the future and of course about her holidays in Greece- postponed due to the circumstances- for next summer.

κάθριν χόλτζμαν

How does it feel to be the winner of our 10th international short story contest?
I am thrilled. This is such an honor.

Have you ever imagined that you could be the winner of a writing contest in a country far far away?
Never. I have always considered the act of writing its own reward, but this is more exciting than I had imagined. I love the idea of sharing my story with people in another country, especially one with the history and distinction of Greece.

I think it was your first time to submit a story here. How did you hear about the contest?
I read about the contest in the weekly Duotrope list of calls for submission. When I saw the theme (Numbers), I thought: I have a story about that.

When did you start writing?
I always aspired to be a writer. If you asked me as a young girl what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always “an author.”  When I moved to New York City in my twenties, I wrote poetry. In fact, I met my husband at a poetry reading he ran in Manhattan. Unfortunately, for many years, my career and family eclipsed my writing, though it always remained high on my “to-do” list.

 I can see from your bio that apart from a very interesting life so far you haveseen your work published very recently. Can you tell us a fewmore things about your two books, the story collection and thenovel?
My chapbook of short stories, FLATLANDERs, is a collection of tales about life in rural Vermont where I spend much of my time. Second-home owners and homesteaders coexist in Vermont under a fragile truce. Whether sharing a blackberry patch with a bear or dropping off garbage at the local transfer stations, life in Vermont unites its residents in surprising ways.

 REAL ESTATE, which is being published in the Fall by Propertius Press, is my first novel. It was inspired by my childhood in California’s Santa Clara Valley,which transformed in a very short period from an agricultural valley filled with apricot orchards to what is now known as Silicon Valley. I follow two neighbors from very different backgrounds, through this transition.

Reading at Wardsboro Library #1
Reading at Wardsboro Library

You wrote a brilliant story. What was the inspiration for ‘The Long Lost Bottom’?
As a financial manager for physicians, I spent much of my career crunching numbers, to the detriment of my creativity.  While reading Thoreau in my classic book club, I was intrigued by his comments on measuring the depth of Walden Pond. From there, things just got out of hand. I love when writing takes off on its own and I follow my protagonist’s lead.

There is a very special atmosphere in your story which has a lot to do with gambling. I can say that you are describing these characters so vivid that I imagined that you spent a lot of time watchingpeople gambling. Is that so?
While I do have friends whose childhoods were shaped by parents who gambled, I think my personal experience, both personally and professionally, is more with obsession. I worked for a time with public inebriates and saw how obsession can hijack a person’s life.

What are your plans as a writer for the future?
Now that I have the opportunity, I intend writing to be my lens. I participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) each November and have several historical novels in the works. I have a great writing group that encourages me to continue writing my short stories.

kathryn holzmanHave you ever been in Greece before?
Never, the closest I have been is Spain. But my favorite cookbook is Food of Crete. It is well thumbed and stained by olive oil.

Are you already dreaming of your holidays in Crete next year?
In this year of the pandemic, I can’t imagine anything I would rather dream about.

 

SHORT BIO

Raised in Seattle and the Santa Clara Valley of California, Kathryn Holzman left the west coast of the US seeking adventure in the Big Apple where she met her husband at a poetry reading. After attending Stanford University and NYU, she chose Health Care Administration as a career, working with public inebriates, dentists, urologists, and cardiologists. When the right side of her brain rebelled against endless databases and balance sheets, she moved to New England with her husband, now a digital artist. Both flourish in the lush beauty of Vermont and the creative communities of Western Massachusetts. Her short fiction has appeared in over twenty online literary magazines and print anthologies. She is the author of a collection of short fiction, FLATLANDERS, Shire Press 2019. Her first novel REAL ESTATE is being published by Propertius Press in Fall, 2020. Links to her work can be found at kathrynholzman.com.

 

‘The Long Lost Bottom’will be published in two different collections of the stories of 10th international story contest, An English speaking version that will be released  (as it happens every year) with the shortlisted stories (international section) of the contest, by Strange Days Books in October 2020. Prize winning stories of the international section will be translated in Greek and published in another book with the shortlisted stories of the Greek section.

 

 

Eyelands 10 ISSC – ”Numbers”: Results

We are glad to announce the results of Eyelands.gr & Strange Days Books th short story contest (international section). Theme: Numbers

ΑΦΊΣΑ ΔΙΕΘΝΕΣ 

FIRST PRIZElogo eyelands

The Long Lost Bottom  by Kathryn Holzman / USA

PRIZES

 Sixteen, by Kate Wickers / UNITED KINGDOM/

57, by Anna Voronko / USA/

Living By Numbers , by Liz Gwinnell / UNITED KINGDOM /

 

SHORT LIST (in submission order)

Michael K. Bourdaghs /Counting Sheepish           

Michael Knapp / Lucky paws

Judith Brulo /The Very Large Very Quiet House

Charles Osborne /Double Identity

Jill Yates / Fourteen Plus Two

John Roberts / Twentyone Today 

Elliott Wagner-Smith / Ηow to be human 

Angus Whitty /Supermarket    

Yvonne Bruce / An Age Old Lie 

Αtefe Roozbahani / You are or not              

Angela Fitzpatrick/The Unfortunate Life of Quin Toller  

Suzette Leal /The Sevens       

Taria Karillion / Countdown to…                                    

Eleni Kyritsi/Numerophilia

Christina Demertsidou/Sia

Vincent Budzinski/ It Takes Two To Tango 

Laura Fisher / Lucky Numbers    

Henrik Hillenbrand /Two Four Three              

Caroline McEvoy/Neighbours

Kevin Scully /It’s only money

Lucas Gortemaker & Brent de Nef/ They tell me my dog is black

Ryan Gibbs/ The Seven Wonders of Cagliari

Mary Guise /Counting the Days  

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Brief bio of the first prize winner:
Kathryn Holzman lives and writes in New England with her husband, a digital artist. Her short fiction has appeared in both online literary magazines and print anthologies. She is the author of a collection of short fiction, FLATLANDERS, Shire Press 2019. Her first novel REAL ESTATE is being published by Propertius Press in Fall, 2020. Links to her work can be found at kathrynholzman.com.

Liz Gwinnell was the first prize winner in Eyelands 5th ISSC in 2015 (Borderline Stories)  with her story «Waiting For My Tomorrow» and received a distinction in Eyelands 6th (Colours)

//

Judge: Gregory Papadoyiannis.

First prize is a 5 day holiday at Three Rock, Crete, in August/ September 2020. The grand prize winning writer will be a guest of honour and present his/her story and his/her work in the 6th Sand Festival. Air tickets not included. She will also get a handmade ceramic gift.

The three prize winners will also get a free copy of the book with the winning stories of our contest & a special gift and certification document plus publication in the anthology of the shortlisted stories of the contest (Greek section), translated in Greek –and a free copy of this book too!

  • All the shortlisted stories will be published in the anthology. The book will be released through “Strange Days” publications and http://www.amazon.com in November, 2020. All the shortlisted writers will also get a free copy of the book!
  • An interview with the first prize winner will also be featured in eyelands.gr
  • In case the first prize winner does not claim the prize of staying till the end of the 10th of July 2020, the second (and then the third) prize winner will be notified in order to take her/his place.

Prize stories will be  published in two different anthologies (Greek and English).  All the stories of the shortlist will be published in November 2020 in a special English edition, released also  through amazon.com & strange days books.

Congratulations to all!! It is a pity that according to the rules we have not the ability to make the list longer, although it was the greatest year so far as for the quality of the stories submitted.

*Due to the circumstances the 5 days holiday-prize is a stay at Three Rock, Triopetra, Crete, instead of the island of Serifos. Sand Festival will also take place on the island of Crete instead of Serifos but it is the winner’s decision if she choose her stay at the days of the Sand Festival. Additionally, the first prize winner can postpone her holidays in Crete for the next summer.

 

 

 

 

EYELANDS 10th – till APRIL 20th

The contest runs from January 10th through April 20th, 2020
The theme of the contest this year is «Numbers»
First prize: A five-day stay on the island of Serifos
First three winners’ stories published in two different anthologies (Greek and English).
All the stories of the shortlist will be published in a special English edition, released through amazon.com & strange days books. All shortlisted writers get a free copy of the book!
Entry fee: 10 €
Judge: Gregory Papadoyiannis

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RULES OF THE CONTEST

* Theme of the contest: Numbers

*Entries must be short stories, of any genre, maximum length is 2,500 words and must be previously unpublished in a book, printed magazine or web-based journal. Entries must be in English.

* The contest closes at midnight UTC on 10th of April

*This is an international contest. There is no restriction such as nationality etc of the author, but you have to be 18 years old on the 11th of March 2020 to enter the contest.

* No “eyelands” editor, judge, or relative of theirs, is allowed to enter.

* Entries must be submitted electronically (see below).

* Winners and the shortlist to be announced on June 10th, 2020

* Copyright of manuscripts remains to the author.

* In addition to the story being published on http://www.eyelands.gr, the author’s acceptance of the prize gives eyelands.gr the right to include the story in the anthology that will appear in book form. Entry grants permission to include the three prize winners and the shortlisted stories in the book which will be published and will be available from “Strange Days” publications.

* There is a limit for the stories to be published in the anthology: no more than 25. In case we receive more than 200 submissions.

* There will be two collections of stories – one that will be published in Greek including the translated stories of the first three winners of the English Section and another one with all the shortlisted stories of the English Section.

PRIZES & HONORABLE MENTIONS

First prize is a 5 day holiday on the island of Serifos in August 2020. The grand prize winning writer will be a guest of honour and present his/her story and his/her work in the 6th Sand Festival. Air tickets not included. First prize winner also gets a handmade ceramic gift.

The three prize winners will also get a free copy of the book with the winning stories of our contest & certification document plus publication in the anthology of the shortlisted stories of the contest (Greek section), translated in Greek –and of course a free copy of this book too!

  • All the shortlisted stories will be published in the anthology. The book will be released through “Strange Days” publications and www.amazon.com in November, 2020. All the shortlisted writers will also get a free copy of the book!
  • An interview with the first prize winner will also be featured in eyelands.gr
  • In case the first prize winner does not claim the prize of staying in Serifos till the end of the 10th of July 2020, the second (and then the third) prize winner will be notified in order to take her/his place.

NOTE: Free entry for the prize-winning writers of previous eyelands contests

 

ENTRY FORM AND PAYMENT

Pay via paypal – See the banner in eyelands Home Page.

See also here: https://eyelandscontes.wordpress.com/

Click the «buy now» button. Fill the description with: EISSC

Entry fee is 10 euros

Τhere is also the option to make the entry payment via bank/wire transfer. If you choose this option please ask for further details

* After the payment is complete, you can send the e-mail with your story attached in word. doc /docx format to:

eyelandsmag@gmail.com

or

strangedaysbooks@gmail.com

 

writing in the subject line: Eyelands Short Story Contest or just ΕSSC

*An email confirmation that your entry has been received will be sent within three/four days after receiving your e-mail

*We don’t accept postal entries

* We do accept simultaneous submissions

* Every writer can submit more than one story as long as they pay the full entry fee for each story

* Name and address of the author should appear only in the body of the email

*The title of your story can be anything other than “Numbers”

*There is no entry fee for the prize winners of previous eyelands international short story contests

 

 

 

links
www.eyelands.gr
https://eyelands.gr/english-section/

https://eyelandscontes.wordpress.com/2020/03/22/eyelands-10th-international-short-story-contest-2020/

https://www.facebook.com/eyelands.portal/

STRANGE DAYS BOOKS
www.strangedaysbooks.gr
www.paraxenesmeres.gr