Rules, Entry Fees and Prizes

Please read the following rules and guidelines carefully:

  • The competition is now open and closes at midnight on Friday 31st May 2024. (postal entries postmarked by 31st May but received later will be accepted).
  • Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must not have been previously published (whether in print or online), broadcast, or have won/been placed in any other competition. (Entries which have been short- or long-listed elsewhere are fine.)
  • The competition is open to entrants of any nationality and from any location, writing in English.
  • There is no minimum age for entrants to the main competition, but younger entrants are advised that age is not taken into consideration.  Please see the ‘ABOUT’ page for details of a prize for local writers aged 16 – 21.
  • All entries are judged anonymously: do not include your name on your manuscript. Postal entries should include a separate cover sheet with your name, address, telephone number, email, story title and word length, plus a cheque to cover entry fees (£ sterling only please). No entry form is required for postal entries. For online entries, please enter your details and upload your story as directed on the ‘Enter Now’ page of the website.
  • Stories can be on any theme and in any style, but must be written in English and be between 1000 and 2200 words in length (not including the title). Stories which fall outside this word length will be disqualified.
  • Postal entries should be typed (double-spaced), single-sided with pages numbered and securely fastened, and accompanied by a separate cover sheet. Please ensure you apply the correct postage.
  • Multiple entries are permitted, provided each is accompanied by the relevant entry fee.
  • Entries may be withdrawn from the competition by notification in writing or by email, but entry fees will not be refunded.
  • Stories may be submitted simultaneously elsewhere, but any entry which wins a prize in another competition and/or becomes published prior to July 2024 will become ineligible. Please email the competition if this is the case; unfortunately, we are unable to refund entry fees.
  • If you require an acknowledgement that your postal entry has been received, please include a stamped, self-addressed postcard. We do not routinely acknowledge receipt otherwise, but online entries receive a receipt of payment email from PayPal.
  • Please keep a copy of your story, as entries will not be returned.
  • All entries are judged anonymously. Experienced readers assist the named guest judge in selecting the shortlist. Judges’ decisions are final.
  • Entry fees are £6 for each short story submitted by March 31st; £8 for stories submitted April 1st – May 31st. If you require a detailed critique of your work, an additional payment of £70 per story critiqued is required.
  • Long and shortlists will be posted at in late June; winners will be announced in July and then posted on the website.
  • Copyright of each entry remains with the author. The competition organisers will contact winners before publishing their story on the website or forwarding it to any other party.
  • Prizes: the prizes in 2024 will be as follows: 1st prize £400, 2nd prize £200, 3rd prize £100. There are also local 1st and runner-up prizes for writers living a 25 mile radius of Frome Library.
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