Short Story Competition

The Competition is open to all young people aged 9-18 who submit an original short story of between 200-500 words. Stories may be in any genre (mystery, science-fiction/fantasy, historical, etc.) and may be told in any person (i.e. first, second or third). Entries will be judged by a panel chaired by Clare Dawson, a retired lawyer. None of the judges will know the authors’ names until the winners have been selected.

  • The winning authors will have their short stories published in the Bury Free Press
  • The winning authors will also be invited to read their short story so it can appear on the Free Press Website
  • Winners will receive a £30 Waterstones Book Token and an engraved trophy
  • Runners up will each receive a £10.00 Waterstones Book Tokens

Closing date for Entries:  7 October 2019.

The Winning authors will be presented with their prizes on 18 October 2019 at West Suffolk College.

Rules of the competition

1.     There are two age categories: Ages 9-12 and ages 13-18. There will be one winner and two runners-up in each age category.

2.     Stories should be printed in 12-point Times New Roman font with line spacing no smaller than 1.5 point.

3      Stories should be between 200-500 words long.  Please show word count.

3.     The title of the story must appear as a header on each page and pages should be numbered.

4.     Though copyright in the stories will remain with their authors, the Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival (“BLF”) reserves the right to use all or any part of the stories for publicity purposes and authors must agree to their stories being published in the Bury Free Press and/or any other newspaper or magazine nominated by BLF

5.     Please do not write your name or any other identifying material in the header or anywhere else in the document.  Personal details should only appear in the Entry Form to ensure anonymity.

6.     BLF cannot guarantee the return of paper copies of stories so authors should keep a copy

To enter, download and complete the entry form and send it by email as an attachment along with your story (as a separate attachment) to

Alternatively, send the form and your story by post addressed to: Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival c/o 15 Northgate Avenue Bury St Edmunds IP32 6BB.