Vote for Writers’ HQ at the Saboteur Awards!

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Omg you guys! We’re only on the shortlist for a Saboteur Award. Our very own Flash Face Off open mic night is in the running for Best Regular Spoken Word Night and we are beyond chuffed about it. So if you’re a Flash Face Off-er and/or you love us heaps and/or you just like being told what to do then we would super appreciate it if you could CLICK HERE and vote for us before 7th May.

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That’s the tl;dr, here’s the long version:

What are the Saboteur Awards?

The Saboteur Awards Festival is an annual celebration of a excellent literary endeavours and events, hosted by Sabotage Reviews.

Every year the general publique (that’s you) is invited to nominate and vote for their favourite authors, publishers and literary orgs in a whole load of categories, including: best short fiction collection, best novella, best magazine, best literary festival, best anthology, and best regular spoken word night (ahem ahem ahem Flash Face Off oh hai). There’s also a great line-up of events at the festival itself (online for 2022, but with a live awards ceremony in Birmingham for the nominees!).

Voting for your faves is totally free and super easy. And you don’t have to fill in every category, just a minimum of three. Soooo if you’re already voting for WHQ that just leaves two lovely literary thangs to show some love. Nice.

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What award category can I vote for Writers’ HQ in?

We’re so glad you asked. Writers’ HQ is shortlisted in the Regular Spoken Word Night category as we’ve been running Flash Face Off every dang week since April 2020 (holy lockdown, baby). All you gotta do is put in the title of the event (Writers’ HQ Flash Face Off) and you’re good to go.

Why should I vote for the Flash Face Off?

Flash Face Off is our free weekly flash fiction challenge and it’s a freakin goldmine of writerly support, feedback, camaraderie and general literary brilliance. Seriously, just check out our latest wall of fame to see just how many FFO writers have been published, longlisted, shortlisted, and winning prizes just in the last month! Our authors are taking over the literary world for real.

So how does it work? What is this sorcery? Why is it so awesome?

Well, it’s simple, inclusive, accessible, and very, very effective — the perfect place to workshop your flash and learn alongside your peers in a lovely, supportive, private writing space.

Every Saturday morning we post up a new set of opposing prompts (face-off, geddit?), eg: hot vs cold, chicken vs egg, comprising a selection of intriguing images and quotes.

Writers have until midday Thursday to write a piece of flash (max 500 words) and post it up on our FFO forum for feedback and wild applause. (This is the magic part, in which you get to read a bunch of freshly-formed flash, offer your own constructive critique, and get a load of generous comments on your own piece, helping to develop everyone’s work week by week.)

Then, every Friday night, we pick a handful of authors to read their stories at our online spoken word night, followed by Q&As, a whole load more support and appreciation, and the occasional Dolly Parton sing-along (if you know, you know).

Look, it’s fun, often ridiculous, but most of all it’s REALLY good for your writing. And over the past few years it’s created the most wonderful flash community, full of the most excellent humans.

But don’t take it from us. Here’s what a FFO regular has to say about it:

FFO is a gamechanger.

I honestly don’t believe there is anything else on the planet that can compete with it in terms of the potential it offers writers to workshop their work, develop, find encouragement and genuine critique, be part of a community that is definitely more than the sum of its parts, and be given the confidence to send work out into the big scary world and see it fly.

The potential to learn to believe in our own abilities, and to grow. I like to think of WHQ as a garden for developing writers and of FFO specifically as an amazing exotic, generative hothouse within that garden. It’s this hothouse element to which there is no equal. Yes, there are university courses. Yes, there are community college courses. Yes, there are many other communities of writers, both on and offline. But I can’t think of a single place which offers what FFO offers, for no payment whatsoever. I have to pinch myself to understand that. Paying members don’t get anything more from FFO than non-paying ones do, and this is such an enormous strength of FFO that I can only applaud Sarah and Jo for keeping it this way. It takes great vision to see that commercialising FFO would destroy its power.

Jo Clark, WHQ member

So if you’ve ever taken part in FFO, please vote for us before 7th May. We will give you eternal love, thanks, and extra special gold stars 🌟 🌟 🌟

And if you’ve never heard of FFO before now, give it a try!

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Poppy O'Neill

Poppy O'Neill

Poppy does lots behind the scenes at Writers’ HQ. She also writes nonfiction books about mental health for children and adults and reads entries for NYC Midnight. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester, for which she won the Kate Betts Memorial Prize. She lives in Sussex with her wife, two children, two cats and a dog.
A happy woman sitting on a green sofa with a laptop. Lovely kitchen in the background. I'd be happy too tbh

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*In case you missed the promotion, you’re not paying for this. We’re doing a whole Buy One Gift One Free hooha throughout September.