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Colin writes about Creative Future's Literary Awards and Dao's plans to celebrate our tenth anniversary / 22 November 2013

Photo of Dolly Sen standing on a step-ladder whilst screwing a light bulb into the sky

Dolly Sen screws a light bulb into the sky at Bonkerfest 2008. Photo by Carina Wint

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In the run-up to Trish and I putting together our next literary project to celebrate ten years of DAO next Spring it I went to have a conversation with Dominique De-Light, Creative Future Project Director.

I was very pleased by the success of the Creative Future Literary Awards - not least because three Dao writers, Dolly Sen, Penny Pepper and Lynne E. Blackwood were amongst the 18 writers who received awards including a share of cash prizes. Up to summer 2013 Creative Future invited submissions of flash fiction and poetry on the theme 'The Spark' and were overwhelmed by the quality of writing submitted and the geographical reach of the competition.

Held at Charleston House, East Sussex, as part of the Small Wonder Festival at the end of last September the Award ceremony was hosted by award winning poet, Lemn Sissay, with guest speaker, and prize winning author Ros Barber. The event was the first awards ceremony for a national competition for marginalised writers - with plans for a second national competition for flash fiction and poetry in 2015.

You can read a selection of the award-winning entries on the site for Myriad Editions who were one of the sponsors of the Awards. I've been a fan of Dolly Sen's lightbulb antics for some time, so it made me chuckle to see two of her lightbulb poems in there.

Dominique told me that during the lead-up and in the aftermath of the big event at Charleston Farmhouse - that they were able to track an audience of a staggering 1.7 million who had found out about the awards and the publication, The Spark - mostly through online reviews, news and listings.

Paul McVeigh - Deputy Editor of the Word Factory, a London-based short story literary salon and blog which also offers mentorships to emerging writers - featured a blog about Creative Future's Literary Awards. Paul's blog is well worth looking up for the latest opportunities in the literary world.

It's very gratifying to find word about Dao getting out there - especially in light of our plans to develop the poetry side of what we publish. We want to begin inviting work on a theme of 'perceptions of disability and difference' in line with our remit to further a conversation about what disability, impairment and marginalisation mean to us in our daily lives. 

So watch this space for further news...