Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Tell A Tale in 500 Words

“A day wasted on others is not wasted on one’s self” Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens is celebrated as one of Britain’s greatest writers. With novels such as Oliver Twist, Bleak House, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities he created some of the most amusing and enduring characters in fiction.

Dickens lived in the Victorian era, a time of change and moral responsibility where social problems such as poverty, rioting and poor working and living conditions were widespread. During his life, Dickens was an advocate for children’s rights and free public education and through his novels attempted to address the social inequalities he observed.

In A Tale of Two Cities, he explored his concerns that the troubles people were facing in England would lead to a revolution similar to that which had happened in France in the 1790s and drew attention to the inevitability of violence caused by the irresponsibility of people in power.

 

This project needs you!

In celebration of Dickens and to mark the Autumn 2016 theatre tour of Mike Poulton’s adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities, we want you to write a 500-word tale with the theme making change happen. Dickens wrote many short stories and believed doing so helped people release private emotions and fantasies that couldn’t be placed in longer narratives.

 

Get writing! 

Dickens created worlds and characters to bring wider attention to the issues he felt needed to be changed and to give a voice to the people of his time.


We want you to tell a tale with the theme making change happen. How you do it is up to you! Your tale doesn’t have to be set in Victorian England, or even England at all! It doesn’t have to be about people or politics. It could be about a lonely robot or a baby frog. Be as imaginative as you can!

 

All we ask is that you look at the themes from A Tale of Two Cities as your inspiration and think about what you would like to change and how.

Themes: inequality, revolution, sacrifice, violence, shadows and darkness, imprisonment.

 

Prizes

A Tale of Two Cities premieres on 12th September at Royal & Derngate, Northampton. It then tours to cities and town across the UK until 26 November 2016.

  • At each city or town, Theatre Cloud and the Tell A Tale judges will select two tales to send to the cast of A Tale of Two Cities. An actor will then choose their favourite tale and perform a filmed reading at the theatre. Each reading will be available to watch online and makes it onto the shortlist.
  • In the final week of the tour, the Tell A Tale judges will review the shortlisted tales and decide which one comes top and receives a grand prize of £300. Judges will also choose a runner-up who will win £150. A third prize will be awarded to the tale that’s most popular with audiences online.
  • Everybody that participates in the project will receive an exclusive £10 ticket offer  (valid on 2 tickets) to see A Tale of Two Cities on stage at their local theatre.

Get Involved

#TellATale

Write a 500-word short story with the theme of 'making change happen'.

Register to TheatreCloud.com and add your submission

 

Deadline: 6pm, 19 November 2016

Rules

1. Entry to this project is free and open to persons of all ages who reside in the UK.

2. Your story must be your own original work and must be unpublished at the time of entry. We accept no responsibility should entrants ignore these Terms & Conditions. Short stories should be fictional and must be no longer than 500 words in length.

3. Submit your story by registering to theatecloud and uploading your work via the online form. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept submissions by other methods. All submissions will be published here on the project page.

4. Submissions will be judged on originality, characterisation and enjoyment, in addition to the relevance to the theme and a consideration of Charles Dickens’ beliefs.

5. Entrants retain all rights to their entries but by submitting a story to the project, grant and acknowledge our right to publish the story as required in promoting the project and in the fulfillment of prizes.

6. Due to the large number of entrants, we are unable to respond individually to all submissions

7. Entry opens on Monday 8 August 2016 and closes on Saturday 19 Nov 2016 at 6PM. Submissions received after this deadline will not be accepted.

 

For more information or help, please email [email protected]

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Submissions

Night Night
By richard payne

Night Night by Richard Payne ‘Night Night.’ It wasn’t fair. It just wasn’t. But I had a plan. ‘Oliver! I won’t tell you again. Get to bed!’ he added. One rule…

A New Beginning
By Dacey Matthews

My name is Millie and I was a servant. If I am to tell you my story, it’s best if I start at the beginning. I was only seven years old when I lost my mother. She left behind my father and I. A few…

Smithdown Road
By Natasha Varshney

“Move outta the way you fuckin’ smackhead!” I shoot a death ray with my eyes at the skinheaded goon driving a shiny new E-Class Saloon. I square up to both man and machine in the middle…

A Midsummer Meeting
By Tamsin Prideaux

It was midsummer when we met Wally, and the long Scottish evening had inched back the threatening thunder clouds. Sunlight shafted diffidently across the barbeque smoke. A small, scruffy man with shuffling…

How They Will Rage at the Rich in Their Mansions
By Tom Payne

Loftus worked in an investment bank by the river. It was a good job. But each evening on his way home he had to walk past a beggar crouching by the station entrance pleading for change. It enraged him…

Blonde on Blonde
By Carol Bowerman

It’s hard to make decisions that hold their shape during execution. She speaks at him. Dark ochre. Flame brown. Boiling milk carefully held to a simmer. Gesturing carefully. This. Why. Please. Arches…

Sunday Confessions
By Tim Abbot-Cole

Since Mrs Meldrew’s coffee morning, William had anticipated his Sunday sermons. He recalled it now, running his hand on the walnut banister to his pulpit. Mrs. Cartwright had been nattering away…

In Search of A Fairer Afterlife
By Simon Jones

Despite searing flames blazing all around her, Linda felt deathly cold as she stood naked and chained to a pillar whilst one of Hell's minions jabbed hard with its rusty spear. She writhed in agony…

Weekends Are The Worst
By Isobel Fearn

Weekends Are The Worst I hear the car doors slam. How long have I got? Maybe half an hour if I'm lucky. I look at the fancy metallic clock on the dresser in the kitchen. The one I have to dust and…

Lemons from the Sky
By Lena Cavanagh

‘Lemons from the Sky’ ‘Papou,’ says his elder grandson coming with his brother to sit on either side of him on the sofa. ‘Yaya says it’s the 17th November today and…

Not a Ten Year Plan
By Tony Higgs

I was dropped once. I am here now remaining dropped. Don't you dare care for me, feel sorry for me. I'm in this corner watching your existence. Back off from taking me from this corner. My dusty…

Entrapment
By Jan Porter

As a butterfly flapped its wings, her world fell apart. Panic stalked her mind shredding her memory. Helen opened the window to set it free, but it continued to flap helplessly against the glass. The…

Another brick
By GAIL WRIGHT

Years ago, before 2016, before it started, people actually did have a choice. Or so they say, the old people who no longer care about speaking out. What’s to fear now? Death will be here soon anyway.…

Nothing good about these times
By Sophie petit-zeman

It’s the worst of times, with you at war. A dead soldier’s mother once told me she never imagined anything would happen to him. I never imagine anything else. Where’s Harry Patch when…

The Network
By Grant Bremner

‘I’m going to switch the network transmission through our satellite in just over five minutes Joshua so get the tape ready to play. I’m going to barricade the door.’ Joshua’s…

Shaking The Leaves Off
By Mary-Clare Newsham

When I say it was the best of times, what I mean is that we were in love, and back then I still thought that was enough to save a person, and that buying warm bread from the market and eating it with…

The Experiment Gone Wrong
By Bethany Coulton

As I stared at what remained I thought- was it really worth all of that? It was my fault, I made that happen and I couldn’t take it back. Laughter filled the air as the smoke rose and suffocated…

New Life by Jackie Thomas
By Jackie Thomas

“Carton?” “Sorry.” My eyes flew open and I gazed into a pair of crinkly eyes. “I wondered if you would like a carton of juice? My daughter packed me so much for the journey…

Clarita (based on true events)
By Louis Abrillo

“Help Me.” The only two seconds that I went back to sanity. He’s been very helpful these past days. But they were very insistent. I’m exhausted… please spare me……

The Broken Man
By J.J. Patrick

The shouting from above woke him. A rude and uninvited rumble of Scottish profanity accompanied by a crash, the words themselves muffled by the plaster and floorboards but the sense of anger palpable…