The rules have changed for 2016. Please read carefully.
This competition is open to all aged 18 or over, regardless of nationality or country of residence.
Entries must be:
- In English
- In a normal font (12 point preferred)
Entries must not contain any quotations for which copyright might have to be obtained, e.g. song lyrics.
Entries must be entirely your own individual work and never previously published or broadcast.
Manuscripts must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title of the story.
Any comment or enquiry to the readers or judges about an entry before the results are out will disqualify.
The word limit this year is 7,500. There is no minimum.
There is no set theme.
You can submit as many entries as you wish but we're not keen on "multiple identities".
Please let us know if your story is accepted for publication elsewhere before our results are announced. You can always use Submittable to withdraw your entry.
If your story has won a prize in another public competition, it's excluded. If it was only short-listed or long-listed that's okay, as long as it hasn't been published.
Previous prizewinners in this competition are excluded. We regret that winners of first or runners-up prizes in previous Willesden Herald short story competitions, i.e. the top three only from each year, are excluded.
Also excluded: Organisers and sponsors, of course, and relatives of this year's readers and judges.
We will not enter into any correspondence about entries or results.
Unfortunately we cannot help with any payment problems you might experience due to geographical location, computer system incompatibilities or other issues.
Entry is by completing the online entry form and uploading your manuscript in Microsoft Word (".doc" or ".docx") or RTF (".rtf") format to our account in the Submittable.com system.
Judging and Dates
All judging is anonymous, using the Submittable "blind" setting we don't see who has sent in the stories till after the judging.
We will reduce the entries to ten from which the overall winner will be chosen anonymously by this year's judge, Katy Darby.
The results will also be announced online, of course, and by email to the writers concerned, as well as at the event. The overall winner will not be announced till the night of the event.
Opening date for submissions: 1 May 2016
Closing date: 31 August 2016
Results due by 31 October 2016. We will be organising a results and book launch event and so the exact date may vary.
- 1st prize is a one-off Willesden Herald mug inscribed "The Willesden Short Story Prize 2016" and a bottle of champagne courtesy of Liars' League.
- Additionally either (a) half of all net entry fees OR (b) all net entry fees after the first 150 entries, whichever is the greater, will be divided equally among the ten short-listed.
- All ten short-listed stories will be published in "Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 9".
- Two complimentary copies of the anthology to each of the ten authors.
- A results / book launch event with Liars' League actors reading from the short-listed stories.
- Literary agent Carrie Kania of Conville & Walsh agency has kindly agreed to read the ten winning stories.
- to include it in "Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 9" print and ebook editions;
- for the story or an excerpt from it to be read at the results and or launch event for the book;
- for said reading to be recorded and shared through online video and sound sharing media.
Note: Author compensation for inclusion in "Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 9" is limited to two complimentary copies of the anthology plus an equal share of prize fund, as described above.
By submitting an entry you agree to accept all the above rules and terms in full.
"And finally," as They Say on the News
The aim of this competition is to encourage the creation of excellent new short stories. Organisation, reading and judging are done on a voluntary or nominal basis, all for the love of the short story.