MJMeads.com Short Story Competition 2017.

Following on from last year's success I'm running another short story competition this year.  In order to reach the widest possible audience this year's competition will be open to entrants worldwide, as long as the submission is in English.  Because the rules governing prizes are extremely complicated when running competitions for overseas entrants there will not be a cash value prize this year, instead the winning entry will take pride of place on MJMeads.com for the winning author to link to if they wish. Shortlisted entrants will also be entitled to a free copy of my debut novel 'Milk' in their preferred format, signed and dedicated as required.

I'm soon to be moving house and so the theme for this year's short story competition is 'Home'.  You can interpret the theme however you wish and it can be central to the plot, or it can merely reflect the introduction or conclusion of the story.  Relevance to the theme is one of the criteria the stories will be judged on, but it's not necessary repeat the word multiple times, or mention it at all in fact!

RULES:
Story Theme: Home.
Word Count: Min 1500 – Max 2500 words.
Format: Word docs preferred, .txt or .rtf is also fine.
Participants: All countries, all ages, English language submissions only.
Closing Date: 15th April 2017
Please Note: Previously unpublished stories only, entries previously submitted to other competitions are allowed. Entries from children are allowed but should be submitted by a parent/guardian/teacher and be aware that they will be judged against adult entries, there is no separate category for children.

The initial shortlist will be drawn up by MJ Meads, then the winner and any runners up will be selected by a panel of authors and book lovers chaired by MJ Meads.  The judging panel's decision is final.

HOW TO ENTER:
Please send your entries to mj@mjmeads.com

IMPORTANT DATES:
The closing date for entries is 15th April 2017.
The shortlist will be announced on 15th May 2017 at which point the individual authors will be contacted.
The winner and any runners-up will be announced on 31st May 2017.

PRIZES:
There will be one overall winner and between one and three runners-up, all of whose stories will be published in full on this site and featured in a separate article about the winning entries.  Last year's competition drew over 1000 unique visitors to the site and with this year being global I'd expect even more so there will be many eyes on your work and hyperlinks to your author website will be provided.  All authors of shortlisted entries will be eligible to receive a free copy of my debut novel 'Milk' in their preferred format, signed and dedicated as required.

FEEDBACK SERVICE:
I received a lot of emails and comments last year regarding feedback and after some research and in consultation with a few fellow writers I've decided to offer a feedback service for those who request it.  Any entrant can request feedback on their short story, why it didn't make the shortlist, or if it did why it fell short of winning.  Feedback will be presented on a one page document (around 500 words) which will include both what was liked about the story and areas that could have been improved or how it may have better represented the theme, as well as basic storytelling/writing critiquing. There will be a charge for feedback of £8/$10 which represents the time it takes to collate the feedback and write it up in an easy to understand format that is hopefully valuable to the writer.  Feedback is a non-refundable service and is only of benefit to those who appreciate insight and healthy criticism of their writing!  Requesting feedback will not affect your chances of winning and feedback requests will only be accepted and the feedback provided after the initial shortlist has been published. This is to save the anyone from paying for feedback unnecessarily.

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