The deadline for entries to the Brighton Festival and Lulu.com short story writing competition has been extended and is now open to entries until Wednesday 24 May.

The quality of the entries so far has been very high and so we have taken the decision to extend the closing deadline to allow more authors the opportunity to submit their work.

Extracts from Everyday Epic stories received so far. Please follow this blog to receive extracts on the story submissions.

Don’t say a word

Starting to work through her ‘to-do’ list, Dani is interrupted by the new starter who had emailed her earlier that morning. She demands to know why Dani won’t meet with her, that her time is important and that she insists that Dani attend the meeting. Dani is unprepared for this and starts to panic. She grabs her whiteboard, writes that she can’t talk now; that she can’t talk at all. The new starter doesn’t go away. The voice becomes more strident. Dani looks for an escape route but her way is blocked by the woman with the loud voice. Dani starts tapping, but it doesn’t calm her this time, and the tapping gets closer and closer to hitting but the voice still continues; Dani can no longer make out the words, only the harsh tone. She needs to run but can’t get away. She starts hitting her head against the wall next to her desk, trying to make it all stop, trying to get herself away from the pain that the voice causes her.

(Julie, West Sussex)

Heartbreak

My husband would be furious if he knew I was here. I’d broken my promise not to see this boy again, but I just had to see him one more time. The choir shuffled onto the stage, not quite the grand entrance that had been rehearsed. A few younger men broke up the ranks of grey-haired chaps fumbling with their song sheets. Most of them were men of my own age, or slightly older, dressed in an assortment of rainbow colours, as requested by the choir director. The early evening sun shone through the stained-glass windows of the old church. Friends and family fanned themselves with the programme of tonight’s show and I caught the scent of decaying lilies placed beside the altar.

(Christopher, West Sussex)