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Independent Arts are launching their first creative writing competition for aspiring Island writers.

The competition, aptly named ‘Jot’, aims to encourage anyone from the Isle of Wight, with a story in their head, to express it and enter.

Independent Arts is an Isle of Wight charity focussed on using the arts to improve wellbeing, quality of life and to reduce social isolation. Supported by volunteers, fantastic practitioners and a small staff team in Newport, the charity engages with 1,700 people every month across the Island.

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Islanders are invited to submit an example of ‘a page of a work in progress’.  The competition is open to all Isle of Wight residents. There are 3 age groups: 5–11years, 12–17 years and 18 years+ and it is free to enter.

Entries will be accepted in a wide range of formats including video clips of performative pieces, auditory recordings or soundscapes of spoken word (not to exceed 3 minutes) and, of course, the written form (not to exceed one side of A4).

Independent Arts CEO, Lisa Gagliani MBE, says:

“As an Island charity committed to exploring change through creativity, we hope this competition will encourage novices and experienced storytellers, young & old, to literally jot something down, or to record a few minutes of spoken word, to express themselves and connect.”

The prizes include a subscription to Writing Magazine, generous book tokens, a Costa gift card and tickets to the Island Literary Festival.

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Judges include Edana Minghella (Patron of Independent Arts) and published writer Anmarie Bowler, Editor of Brevity and The Isle of Wight’s Literary Handbill, who will judge the 18+ age group. Winning entries in this age group may be published in a future issue of Brevity. Other judges include an award-winning published Island writer who has kindly sponsored the prizes and a number of other creative talents associated with Independent Arts.

To enter:

  1. simply download an application form from Independent Arts website, or obtain an application pack by visiting PPUG at 33 High Street, Newport (open 10:30-15:30 Thursday, Friday, Saturday).
  2. Write a single page of a ‘work in progress’ which could be a story, a poem, a play, a diary or an article – or if you prefer not to put pen to paper – you may record your work in progress (3 minutes maximum) on your chosen device.
  3. Send your application form and your entry by email to [email protected] with Creative Writing Competition in the subject line, or post to Independent Arts, Creative Writing Competition, Suite 3, 30 Quay Street, Newport PO30 5BA, to reach the charity no later than midnight on Friday 15th June.

A shortlist of nominees will be announced on the Independent Arts website and social media platforms (, during the week commencing Monday 6th July.  Winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on Friday 10th July at The People’s Pop-up Gallery (PPUG), 33 High Street, Newport 16:30-18:00.


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