National Short Story Competition 2017

First National Competition

In 2017, the NWC is celebrating its ninetieth birthday. We're very proud that the Club has reached this milestone and, as part of our year of celebration, we've made the theme for this year's competition food and/or drink. There are many ways to write on this subject and here are a few we've thought of.

A wedding, a birthday party or dinner, a first date, a barbeque, cocktails on the beach, room service at a hotel, drinks after work, drinking alone, girls' or boys' night out, hen or stag party, hunting or fishing, working at a bar or restaurant, food fads, diets, home cooking, chocoholics, alcoholics, who needs recipes?, cooking disaster, dinner party, poisoning (accidental or on purpose), going to a cookery class, museum display, childhood incidents, allergies ...

As we want to encourage new and less experienced writers to 'have a go', we'll give a few lines of feedback on each entry and, as this isn't a competition for professionals, please don't enter if you've earned 300 or more from short story writing up to and including 2016.

The story must contain no more than 2,000 words excluding the title.

There will be three main prizes - 200, 100 and 50 - plus five runners up prizes.

All writers will retain the copyright to their entry/entries and the top three stories will be published on the NWC website. Winners will also receive a small certificate with the judge's comments on the back.

Good luck and happy writing.

Helen Yendall

About our Judge

Helen Yendall writes short stories and serials for women's magazines and is a former Poet Laureate for Warwick. She's been placed in several short story competitions, has taught creative writing since 2008 and often runs flash fiction writing competitions on her blog:

Rules of Entry

(Please read carefully)

Short story up to 2,000 words (not including the title). Please don't exceed this limit as this could lead to your story being disqualified.


Postal Entries: 5 for one entry, 10 for two and 4 each for three or more entries. There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit but each one must be accompanied by its own entry form. Fees to be paid by cheque or postal order, made payable to 'Nottingham Writers' Club'. Please don't send cash.

Online Entries: 6 for one, 12 for two and 5 each for three or more. Fees to be paid by credit/debit card or PayPal. The additional 1 charge covers the cost of transaction fees and printing.

If you'd like to get a 2 discount per story, join the Nottingham Writers' Club as an Associate Member.

The competition opens for submissions of entries on 1st February 2017, with the last day for receipt being 28th February 2017.

  • The competition is for any resident of the United Kingdom who is over 18 years of age at the time of entry.
  • The work must be original and previously unpublished, and the copyright of the author.
  • All entrants must be non-professional writers. For the purpose of this competition, we define 'non-professional' as a writer who has earned less then 300 for short story writing up to and including 2016.
  • Entries must not have been previously published, self-published, and/or posted on any website, blog or online forum; broadcast, nor winning or placed (as in 2nd, 3rd runner up, etc.) in any other competition.
  • Copyright remains with the author; but the top three winners agree to their stories being published on the Nottingham Writers' Club website.

Entry Format

  • Entries must be in English, typed in an easy to read font size 12, double line spaced on one side of A4 paper, margins set to approximately 2.5 cm.
  • Pages must be numbered, have a footer showing the title, and be stapled together with a cover page showing only the title, pseudonym and word count (an example is at the bottom of this document).
  • All other information is to be given on the accompanying entry form. We ask for a pseudonym to ensure fairness in the judging process.

Entries will not be returned but shredded after the judge has made her decision so please make sure you keep a copy.

Postal entries: Send to NWC, c/o 29 Redwood Avenue, Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2SG, between 1st February and 28th February 2017. If insufficient postage is used, the NWC will not pay the difference. Please don't send recorded delivery as I'm not always in to sign for it.

Receipt of all entries will be acknowledged by email but if you prefer a postal confirmation you need to include a stamped, addressed postcard. Last year, several e mails weren't received so please check in your Junk file in case it's gone in there. The judge's decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.

The winners will be notified by e mail and entrants will receive regular updates when the long list, short list and winners are on the website.

If you don't hear from us within seven days of sending your entry, please contact us by e mail or use the contact form on our website. Last year we had a few e mail addresses that didn't work and one envelope that arrived empty. Also, don't send entries to The Mechanics as we only hold meetings there and you may miss the entry deadline.

Online entries: can be submitted via our website between 1st February and 28th February 2017.

File type: doc, docx, odt, rtf or pdf. Size: less than 3MB.

To download the entry details, please complete this form. If you have any questions, please use the contact form. Good luck.

Register your interest


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