competition categories

poems  |   short stories   |   flash fiction  |   novel award

All entries submitted can be on any subject, and written in any style or form.  However, we do not recommend poems or stories written for children.



Judge: Lemn Sissay

Line limit: 42 lines (no minimum). Title not included.

Entry fee:  £9 for each poem submitted.

Prizes: 1st £5,000, 2nd £1,000, 3rd £500 + Highly Commended 10 x £100


Short Stories

Judge: Peter Hobbs

Word limit: 5,000 words (no minimum). Title not included.

Entry fee:  £10 for each short story submitted.

Prizes: 1st £5,000, 2nd £1,000, 3rd £500 + Highly Commended 10 x £100


Flash Fiction

Judge: Kit de Waal

Word limit: 250 words (no minimum). Title not included.

Entry fee:  £8 for each flash fiction submitted.

Prizes: 1st £1,000, 2nd £500, 3rd £250 + Highly Commended 3 x £100

What is flash fiction?

Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some are as low as 250 words (such as ours), while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.

Other names for flash fiction include sudden fiction, micro fiction, micro-story, short short, postcard fiction and short short story, though distinctions are sometimes drawn between some of these terms; for example, sometimes one-thousand words is considered the cut-off between "flash fiction" and the slightly longer short story "sudden fiction". The terms "micro fiction" and "micro narrative" are sometimes defined as below 300 words.

Flash-fiction often contains the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles or complications, and resolution. However, unlike a traditional short story, the limited word length often forces some of these elements to remain unwritten - that is, hinted at or implied in the written storyline.


Novel Award

Judge: Nathan Filers in conjunction with The Literary Consultancy and A.M.Heath Literary Agents

Word limit: Entries will be the first chapters of the novel, a minimum of 5,000 words and a maximum of 8,000 words in total, plus a synopsis of 300 words.

Entry fee: £20

Prizes:  £1,000, plus mentoring from The Literary Consultancy and possible publication for your first novel, plus a runner’s-up prize of £500 and 3 prizes of £100 for shortlisted writers

For further information about the novel award visit Rules of Entry and Terms and Conditions


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“It’s incredibly affirming to have a poem placed in a competition as prestigious as the Bridport. As well as the immense personal pleasure, it’s really satisfying to know that the few verses you’ve worked on in solitude for so long have communicated their essence, the meaning you wanted them to have, to someone else."

Caroline Price (UK) - 3rd place Poetry competition 2016

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