Fifty Shades ‘a key influence’ in Ann Summers erotic fiction competition

Posted: February 12, 2015

Ann Summers has announced the winners of its erotic fiction writing competition, which it launched late last year in a bid to find the next erotic literary phenomenon. Entrants were challenged to create a story where the readers are taken on an erotic journey but with a key theme throughout – the woman must be in charge.

The competition attracted over 400 entries and key discoveries included: 25% of story themes featured a work-based fantasy; 15% of storylines were bondage-inspired; 32% of stories included items such as floggers, whips and restraints, with the most popular items being eye masks, handcuffs and hog ties; and 9% of the stories submitted included more than one lover.

When it came to location, a third of stories involved the fantasy of having sex in a hotel, nine were based on a train and five took place in a library. Other popular hook-up spots included a lift, in a park and in space…

Jo Hemmings, celebrity relationship coach and behavioural psychologist, said: “The number of entries and what these stories reveal proves that we really cannot underestimate the impact Fifty Shades of Grey has had on what people want to read, write and do. Pre-Fifty Shades of Grey we definitely wouldn’t have seen a response like this or the focus on sex accessories and bondage. The response shows that people have just been waiting for their chance to share what they can do. They know where FSoG all began and that it’s possible to start from the ground up.”

The judges (CEO of Ann Summers Jacqueline Gold, Killing Kittens founder Emma Sayle and Cliterati founder and erotic novelist, Emily Dubberley) read every entry and decided that the three winning entries were: Ruby by Izzy French, On Top by Matt Cole-Wilkin and Something for the Weekend by Catelyn Cash.

Overall winner Izzy French, a 49-year-old librarian who has previously had short stories published by Xcite, received £1,000 and the two runners up received £500 – plus a selection of goodies from Ann Summers. The winning entries can be read on the Ann Summers website.