Rome's oldest Irish pub The Fiddler's Elbow has launched a short story competition, in English and Italian, offering substantial prize money.
The theme of the competition is "Pub Life" and writers are encouraged to describe what the pub means to them. Whether your preferred hostelry belongs to the trendy or spit-and-sawdust variety, whether you see it as a meeting point or a place of escape, the writer's goal is to describe the pub as a microcosm of humanity "stuffed into a pint glass".
The top prize is €400, second prize €300, third €200 and fourth €100. Entries should not exceed 8,000 characters, with spaces, and should be emailed in PDF format, with entrant's name and contact details, to ﬁddelbow@gmail.com no later than 30 July.
The man behind the idea is known to all who have entered the door of the Fiddler's Elbow since it opened in 1976: Gino Bottigliero, the pub's owner. After more than three decades in the business, Bottigliero is well placed to recognise all aspects of "Pub Life", but to help him judge the best entries he has assembled a jury that includes university professors of English literature, a diplomat and a senior librarian.
The winners' names will be made public on Facebook and on the pub's website, and two weeks later an award ceremony will take place at the Fiddler's Elbow where the winning stories will be read by their authors or, in absentia, by actors.