Verulam Writers' Circle
The Verulam Writers' Circle is simply the best real-life writers' group in the UK, possibly on the planet. They are based in St Albans and there's much more about them here.
I was a member on and off for over twenty years, including a disastrous two-year reign as chairman, until I moved away from St Albans. I literally wouldn't have got anywhere as a writer without their support.
They run a number of annual internal competitions, three of which are for fiction:
- The Crystal Decanter Competition - this is set and judged by the previous year's winner, and the winner gets to keep a rather splendid crystal decanter for a year.
- The President's Competition - this is set and judged by the Circle's president, Nick Cook.
- The David Gibson Cup - this is set by the previous year's winner and judged by popular vote, with the entries stuck to the walls of the meeting room.