The Hysteria Writing Competition couldn’t take place each year without the help of our wonderful volunteer writing competition readers, and you can find out more about this year’s team below. Each reader reviews all the entries in their category, this gives them the opportunity to really see what makes a good entry this year. As you know fashions and tastes change and our unique review form allows the teams to be as unbiased as possible when it comes to the individual entries. Your entry will be judged against the same set of criteria as every other entry, we try not to judge each piece against any other.
The things that our readers are looking out for include whether they’d recommend it to a friend, how unique the entry was an whether it meets this year’s theme. Of course they are looking at a few other things too, we wouldn’t want to give all our secrets away!
We don’t ask our readers to be expert writers either although we do have a fair few each year, we’re also looking for passionate readers; those who read anything and everything and who can spot a good story or poem quickly and easily.
Our reading team is always chosen from a bunch of people who all volunteer their time and experience and I hope you’ll make them all welcome.
If you think you’d like to be a reader in next year’s competition just add yourself to our mailing list and we’ll be in touch in February or March next year.
Flash Fiction Readers
E.E. Rhodes is an archaeologist who accidentally lives in a small castle in Worcestershire in England. She writes short fiction and creative non-fiction. In 2021 she won The Phare’s ‘Write Words’ Short Story prize and The Intrepid Times ‘Reunions’ travel writing award. Recent work can be read in Janus Literary, Fictive Dream, Twin Pies Literary, and The Cabinet of Heed. She tweets @electra_rhodes
Laura Besley has been listed by TSS Publishing as one of the top 50 British and Irish Flash Fiction writers with her story ‘On Repeat’ (Reflex Fiction) and her story ‘Silenced’ was nominated for Best Microfiction by Emerge Literary Journal. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020 and her collection of micro fiction, 100neHundred, will be published in May 2021. Having lived in the Netherlands, Germany and Hong Kong, she now lives in land-locked central England and misses the sea. You can follow Laura on Twitter @laurabesley.
Michelle Christophorou: Michelle Christophorou’s stories have won/been placed in various contests, including Strands International, Retreat West, Funny Pearls, and Blinkpot. Her story, ‘Wearing You’, was included in the BIFFY 50 list of best UK and Irish flash 2019/20. In another life, Michelle practised law in the City of London. You can follow Michelle on Twitter @MAChristophorou.
Patricia Good: Hi, I’m Patricia Good and I’m a School Support Assistant from Glasgow. I enjoy my job but find I don’t manage much writing on working days. So, I have recently been lucky enough to drop to 3 days a week to give me more writing time. As yet I’ve spent my extra days reading blogs about writing, drinking tea, and staring into space. I’m sure some solid writing will follow. I write flash fiction and short stories and have previously had short stories published in women’s magazines and been placed in writing magazine competitions. My writing goal for 2021 is to send out more work and bring together multiple threads I have for a longer piece of writing. Scary!
Rachel Angel: I’m Rachel and I live in North Wales with my husband and eldest son. I’ve always loved writing short stories for my own enjoyment and reading stories that tug at the heartstrings or leave a lasting impression. In my fifties, I am currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing with the Open University. I am really looking forward to reading the flash fiction entries in this year’s Hysteria competition.
Shreya Dhital was six years old when her mother approached her with books in her arms. Reluctantly, she picked a blue, hardcover book the size of their family portrait which hung on the wall above the sofa as she sat with a dramatic huff and opened it to the first page. With the sass of a mildly discontent six-year-old, she read the words: “The Magic Faraway Tree” by Enid Blyton. A week later, she finished the entire series. While reading books, she fell in love with the magic that words could create. To further explore words that would be strung together to structure meaningful sentences and captivating stories, Shreya began her journey as a writer.
The flash fiction category will also be read by Adaobi Ojukwu
Abdulrahman M. Abu-Yaman is a Nigerian writer, poet, artist, and calligrapher. He holds a certificate of participation for the Commonwealth “Unseen & Unspoken” poetry competition in 2017 and another in “Poetry and what to write about” facilitated by Sadiq Dzukogi in 2019. He is the winner of the Wakaso Poetry Prize (January, 2021) and a finalist in the Hysteria Writing Competition (2020). Some of his works have featured in national and international anthologies like The Lagos Review, African Writer, Kalahari Review, Afritondo, Brittle Paper, Ann Arbor Review, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, London Grip Magazine, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Writers Space Africa, Antarctica Journal, Oddball Magazine, Daily Trust Newspaper and elsewhere. He has performed his poems in literary events like Abuja Literary Society Poetry Slam (2016), Green Niger Summit (2018) and Minna Poetry Slam (2021). He is the host of Literature Today on Ultimate FM 103.9 Campus radio of College of Education, Minna, Niger State. You can follow Abdulrahman on Twitter @abuu_yaman.
Diane Jackman: Diane Jackman’s poetry has appeared in small press magazines and anthologies, and has won or placed in several competitions. Starting as a published children’s writer she now concentrates on poetry. She is passionately interested in medieval rabbit warrens and Anglo-Saxon literature. She runs a poetry café in Brandon in the heart of the Breckland, England’s desert, and is about to take part in a heritage project about the Vikings in Breckland. She has completed several online poetry courses during lockdown but has avoided writing a single poem about viruses. You can meet her on her website here: www.dianejackman.co.uk
Gillian Scholey is from West Cumbria on the fringes of The Lake District. She writes short stories, poetry, flash fiction, and plays, and is currently also writing her first novel! Her scripts have been performed by Theatre by the Lake ‘Elders’, ‘Fit’n’Active’ Theatre Group, and Knock and Nash Productions. Her writing has appeared in Vision Poetry Anthology, Myslexia, and Hysteria 7. Gillian now divides her time between volunteering/acting in four local theatres (Pre Covid and with hopes for the future!), writing, and persuading her husband that they really do need a Westie puppy. She may need to pen a best seller to finance the latter!
The poetry category will also be read by:
- Clare-Louise Billington
- Kate Meyer-Currey
Short Story Readers
Nicky Plaskett: I am 37 and I’m in the final module of a BSc with the Open University. I work full-time as an animal behaviourist in a zoo, my job revolves around ensuring our animals have choices and can cooperate in their daily husbandry and that we teach them and the staff the skills needed to do this well. I am excited to be part of the judging team for this year’s hysteria writing competition as I love having new things to read. I particularly enjoy reading action and crime novels.
Richard Teague: In 1987 I made a decision that was to define my next three decades when I entered Monash Medical School in Melbourne. Sometimes I wonder what might have been, had I pursued a writing career. I didn’t return to writing until my late 40’s when a colleague asked to read one of my short stories. It’s amazing what a little praise can do for the soul. That’s how it (re)started for me. I’m still excited by short stories. Where else can you experience intrigue, passion, crazy characters, horror, love, and death within 20 pages? That’s why I can’t wait to read the entries to the Hysteria Writing Competition. Good luck! Richard Teague.
The short story category will also be read by
- Andree Birch
- Helen Challis
- Jan Davis
- Julie Kirk
- Maxine Clayton