Thursday, 19 March 2020

It's that time of year usually reserved for the Short Story Competition. We thought long and hard about whether it was appropriate to run a competition in 2020 against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the end we decided that with mandated social distancing across the world we might provide a welcome distraction from the troubling situation we all find ourselves in. So we are running the competition as usual, but with a difference.

This year's competition is once again open to entrants worldwide providing the submission is in English and as always entry is completely FREE! However, we are encouraging all entrants to make a donation to a charity whose work can be seen to help those individuals, families and societies facing particular heartache over Covid-19.

We have provided links on our submission page to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Age UK and Meals on Wheels America but you should feel free to choose your own locally. We're often asked for feedback on entries and so I'm pleased to announce that anyone donating £10/$10 or more can forward on their email confirmation (redacted as required) to us and indicate they would like to receive feedback on their short story.

The winning entry this year will receive a brand new Google Home Mini as well as see their story featured prominently on this site and shared across our social media channels. The winner will also be rewarded with a one hour session with the 'plot doctor', our manuscript troubleshooting service. There's also runners up prizes of a free eBook from a selection for any shortlisted entries.

In honour of our Covid-19 charity drive this year's theme is 'Isolation'. You can interpret the theme however you wish, a character could be in physical isolation, or merely feel isolated mentally or emotionally. They could crave isolation when they currently have none, or they could be driven to distraction by it. Perhaps your character is on a one-man mission to Mars or to explore the Mariana Trench, their isolation could last for months or years, or perhaps just a few fleeting minutes. For more ideas and tips on writing to a theme, as well as our guide to writing a good short story, please see this article we've written especially for the competition. You don't have to read it to win... but it can't hurt right?!

So if you enjoy writing short stories, please do get involved and tell your friends.

Click here to find out more and details of how to enter.

Click here for tips on writing a short story for a competition.

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