TALENTED new writers have been invited by Dales publishing company Hartlington Press to submit a short story for a writing competition.

Grassington Festival, whose theme this year is the power of the written word, is also involved in the project, which is open to all ages and aims to uncover new literary talent.

With three age categories, 8 to 12, 13 to17 and 18-plus, Penny Hart-Woods of Hartlington Press anticipates a rich variety of stories to be submitted.

Would-be authors have until Friday, July 4, to draft their stories, which must begin with the line ““My great aunt Mary sent me a letter. It said…” and can be between 500 and 4,000 words long. The winner of each category will receive a Kindle Paperwhite and have their story published.

Hartlington Press, based in Hartlington near Skipton, specialises predominantly, though not exclusively, in publishing for the rapidly expanding e-book sector and is particularly keen to foster new talent to satisfy a growing need for “instant purchase, instant download and instant gratification”.

Penny Hart-Woods said: “We are getting interesting submissions from all over the country but are particularly keen to work with Yorkshire authors, hence us launching the writing competition which will largely be promoted in the local region.”

As part of the festival events, on June 22 at 8.30pm in the Octagon, Hartlington Press will be hosting a literary evening featuring readings from two contrasting recently published novels and an opportunity to hear Yorkshire crime-writer Lesley Horton speak about her work. Prospective writers are encouraged to come along to chat about their own projects. Contact the festival office on 01756 752691 or visit www.hartlingtonpress.co.uk for details.