“Cause that’s all the life of a painter is, the seen and gone disappearing into the air, rain, seasons, years, the ravenous beaks of the ravens. All we are is eyes looking for the unbroken or the edges where the broken bits might fit each other,” writes Ali Smith in her award-winning novel How to Be Both (Pantheon, 2014), in which one half of the book is narrated by the ghost of an Italian renaissance painter. The artist looks at the modern world through fifteenth-century eyes, offering artful descriptions as readers come to understand how the narrator of the other half of the book, a young woman living in present-day England, is connected. What benefit could inhabiting a voice from the past offer to invigorate your use of language? Try writing a short story in the voice of a ghostly visitor from another century. What is new through their eyes?
Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.