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Murakami Short Story Writing Competition

1Q84 cover Writer and translator Haruki Murakami is among Japan's best known authors,
and is beloved of readers the world over, especially for his fiction, which combines realism and fantasy, the spiritual with the surreal, and has attained a cult following.

His first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, was published in 1979, when the author was 30, and Haruki Murakamiwas followed by a string of critically acclaimed novels and short stories, including The Wild Sheep Chase, Norwegian Wood and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. His many awards include the Franz Kafka Prize (2006) and the Jerusalem Prize (2009).

October 18th sees the publication of his much anticipated new novel, 1Q84, a hypnotically addictive, mind-bending ode to George Orwell's 1984.

Haruki has given us permission to use a line from his new book. 'Carrying a single bag, the young man is travelling alone at his whim with no particular destination in mind.'

Now it's over to you. Create a short story using this as an opening line and let your imagination take you where it will. There are no rules and the competition is not restricted to UK residents; you just have to keep within the 1500-word limit and submit your entry by the closing date of midnight GMT on October 25th 2011.

The entries will be judged by Liz Foley, Haruki's publisher at Harvill Secker. The winner will be announced early in 2012 and the winning story will be published on the Foyles and Random House websites. The winner will receive a complete set of Haruki Murakami's backlist and a copies of Foyles' exclusive red-edged limited edition versions of 1Q84.

Important note for entrants: please do not use double-spaces between words, otherwise the system will reduce your allotted word count for by one for each extra space. (This will be amended for future competitions.)

Click here to find out about our exciting launch night event at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, where you can buy the book at midnight on pubilcation day.

Click here to see a biography of Haruki Murakami and a complete list of titles available in English, including the special Foyles editions.

Click here to read the first chapter of 1Q84.


* Author photo (c) Elena Seibert

Write a story starting with this line from Haruki Murakami's new novel: 'Carrying a single bag, the young man is travelling alone at his whim with no particular destination in mind.'
Maximum text length is 1500 words.

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Terms and Conditions

1. No purchase necessary. Proof of entering is not proof of receipt of entry.

2. To be eligible, entries must be received on or before the competition closing date as stated on this page, and must not exceed 1500 words in length (including the first sentence stipulated above); hyphenated words are counted as single words. Entrants shall retain copyright in their submitted entries; however, by entering, you do grant permission to allow Foyles Bookshops and/or Random House to display your story and your name on their website(s) without legal restriction or payment in any form. Foyles Bookshop, and their directors, officers, representatives, and promotional agencies are not responsible for contacting or forwarding prizes to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.

3. The competition is open to all. Parents/guardians must submit the entry for those under the age of 16.

4. The prize winners will be decided by Foyles Bookshop in conjunction with Random House. Foyles Bookshop will not enter into correspondence about the choice of winners.

5. The competition ends as specified on the competition page; no entry received after that time will be considered. The winners will be announced on The prize is a complete set of the works of Haruki Murakami, including Foyles' exclusive limited edition copies of 1Q84 (Books One and Two and Book Three).

6. The promoter reserves the right to amend the specification of the prizes or offer an alternative prizes of equal or greater value.

7. The prize winner/s will be notified by email. If the selected entrant does not meet all of the contract conditions, another entrant will be selected from the remaining eligible entries.

8. The competition is not open to employees of Foyles Bookshop and and their sponsors or their immediate families.

9. The decisions of the contest judges are final. The prizes must be accepted as awarded.

10. The right is reserved to terminate or withdraw this contest at any time.

11. Foyles Bookshops assume no responsibility for lost, stolen, delayed, damaged or misdirected entries or for any failure of the website during the promotional period, for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or entry to be received by Foyles Bookshop on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or any website, or any combination thereof including any injury or damage to an entrant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from playing or downloading any material in the promotion. Foyles Bookshop reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel or suspend the email portion of this contest should a virus or bug or other cause beyond the reasonable control of Foyles Bookshop corrupt the security or proper administration of the contest. Any attempt to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of this promotion is a violation of criminal and civil laws, and should such an attempt be made, Foyles Bookshop reserves the right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent permitted by law, including criminal prosecution. Entries are subject to verification and will be declared invalid if they are illegible, mechanically reproduced, mutilated, forged, falsified, altered or tampered within any way. Entrants agree to abide by the Contest Rules and the decisions of the independent judging panel, which are final.

13. Entries must be submitted by the named entrant (or their parent/guardian for children aged 16 or under) and will be invalid if found to come from a third party. Multiple entries from a single source (e.g 'competition entry' website/company) will be disqualified.

14. For name/county of prize winner/s, please send a stamped addressed envelope marked Foyles Bookshop, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0EB. No entries should be sent to this address.

15. Entry to the competition is conditional on acceptance of these terms and conditions.

16. The email address you provide to enter the competition will be used by us to contact you if necessary, and will not be shared with other companies. Foyles Bookshop will only use your email address in compliance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with our privacy policy.

17. The Promoters have organised these prize draws in good faith and do not accept liability relating to the prizes.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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