In preparation for this year’s festival, we are once again running a short story competition. This year, there will be just one category, for entrants of 16 years and over. The task is to write a short story on any subject or theme, apart from children’s stories. The maximum word count is 750 words; there is no minimum word count. There will be three cash prizes: £200, £100, and £50. The competition opens on 25th April and closes at midnight on 31 July 2020. Entry fees are £5 for one; £9 for two. Submissions can be made either online or via mail.

Competition Rules

  1. The competition is for short stories on any subject or theme.
  2. The competition opens on Saturday 25th April. The closing date for entry is 11.59pm on 31 July 2020. Any entries received after this date will be disqualified and no refunds of fees will be made.
  3. All entries must be previously unpublished.
  4. Entry is open to anyone over the age of 16, living anywhere in the world.
  5. All entries must be in English.
  6. The maximum word count is 750 words. There is no lower word limit.
  7. The cash prizes are £200, £100 and £50.
  8. There is an fee of £5 for one entry or £9 for two.
  9. Multiple entries are permitted.
  10. Contact details must be provided separately. Do not enter any personal details on your actual story as judging takes place anonymously.
  11. A shortlist will be announced mid-September. The winners will be announced at the launch event on 15th October.
  12. The decisions of the judges will be final.

How To Enter: Online

  1. Stories may be entered electronically to with a covering email providing your contact details and your payment reference.
  2. Your story must be sent as a Word or PDF attachment, preferably double-spaced in a clear 12 point font.
  3. Use your story name as the file name.
  4. The fees must be paid by PayPal.
  5. Let us know if you are sending your fee from a PayPal account which is not in the name you are using to enter your story. This will enable us to match up fees and entries.
  6. Use the Pay Now button on this website to make your payment, and make a note of the reference when you pay.
  7. Electronic entries will be acknowledged by email.

How To Enter: By Post

  1. Stories may be entered by post.
  2. Type or print out your story in double spacing on one side of the paper only, preferably A4 size, in a 12 point font.
  3. Entries should be accompanied by a separate sheet of paper giving us your contact details, story title(s), word count(s) and payment reference if you are paying via PayPal.
  4. Do not include your name or any other personal details on the actual story, but number your pages, and staple your pages together.
  5. No postal entries will be returned, so make sure you keep a copy of your entry, and if you would like an acknowledgement that your entry has been received, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.
  6. Payment may be via PayPal, as for electronic entries, or by cheque, made out to Exeter Literary Festival.
  7. Send your postal entries to: Exeter Literary Festival SSC, The Granary, 3 Palace Mill, Rock Road, Chudleigh, TQ13 0JJ.
Payment Options