July, 29th, 2010 – Today Circalit, the UK’s premier social networking platform for writers, announced a free short story competition on the theme of “Broken Identities” with Little Episodes, an independent publisher and production company who raise awareness for those suffering from depression and addiction through the arts. The competition is peer reviewed, meaning that the public can read the submissions and vote for their favourites. By making all the submissions public, Little Episodes and Circalit hope to encourage writers to open up about mental health issues. Writers can submit their work by creating a free account at www.circalit.com and posting their submissions up online. The deadline for submissions is 15th Sept 2010. Celebrated author and critic, Kasia Boddy, will judge the final winner from a short list of candidates. Kasia Boddy is author of numerous books including The American Short Story Since 1950, and she is currently editing an anthology of the top 25 American short stories of all time for Penguin Classics.
Little Episodes is a growing phenomenon in London, hosting events where people can display their art, play music, recite poetry and prose, or perform stand up comedy to raise awareness for depression. They are currently producing the second volume of their anthology series, “An Expression of Depression” where the winning short story will be published. Actress Sadie Frost, a contributor to Little Episodes anthology, said of the project, “I just thought, what a great thing to do, to channel that energy into something positive… I was in and out of hospital for a couple of years. The one thing that kept me alive at that time was writing.”
Lucie Barât, Founder of Little Episodes, said, “We’re really excited about the idea of doing a peer reviewed competition and we love Circalit’s approach. With Circalit, it’s not just about having a single winner, it’s about getting the public involved by reading submissions and voting for their favourites. Circalit and Little Episodes have the same ethos, we want to give talented artists who haven’t had the break that they deserve a platform from which to make themselves heard and get some exposure. We both hope that this will be a good opportunity to raise awareness for mental health issues through art.”
Kasia Boddy, Senior Lecturer in English Literature at University College London, commented “I think this is a very worthwhile project and I’m glad to be a part of it. This collaboration between Circalit and Little Episodes demonstrates the strengths of the internet as a social and cultural resource with real potential to change lives.”
Circalit, which started life as a site where screenwriters could showcase their work to film studios, has already hosted free competitions with companies such as the BBC and Hollywood producer, Julie Richardson. It’s social networking features make it an invaluable resource for writers looking to make industry contacts and it is integrated with Facebook, giving talented writers the means to spread their wings and go viral across the internet.
Raoul Tawadey, CEO and founder of Circalit, said, “We’re very happy to be working with Little Episodes, who do a fantastic job destigmatizing depression and encouraging self-expression through creativity. We’re proud that Circalit can be used as a platform to bring these issues to life, and we hope to discover some bright new literary talent. This is a great opportunity for writers to gain exposure, so I encourage everyone to read the short stories and vote for your favourites.”
Talking to Fried Eye, Robert Tucker, Communication Director, Circalit, added, “The winning short story will be published in Brainstorms, the second Little Episodes anthology. The competition is for a very worthy cause and entirely free to enter so I hope that we will get a significant support from the participants.”
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