2016 Nottingham Writers Club Short Story Competition

The theme of the competition this year is ‘Fire’ which, on the face of it, seems a bit limiting so we asked our members to suggest ways in which it can be used. These are just some of the ones we received:

Bonfire, house fire, barbeque, candle flames, fireworks, firing a gun, canon fire, lightning, brush fire, wood burning stove, coal fire, garden fire, firing someone from work, rockets, St Elmo’s fire, execution by firing squad, burning crop fields, smoke signals, brazier, fire pit, roasting chestnuts on an open fire, volcanic eruption, gas explosion, dynamite, cowboy shoot out, food smoker, sauna, assassination …

We decided to stop there!

As we want to encourage new and less experienced writers to ‘have a go’, we’ll give a few lines of feedback on every 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 during 2015. And don’t assume if it’s your first competition you won’t win. One of our runners up last year told us it she’d never entered a competition before.

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.

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.

The competition opens for submissions of entries on 1st February 2016, with the last day for receipt being 29th February 2016.

  • 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  • The work must be original and previously unpublished, and the copyright of the author.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 during 2015.
  • 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: Please send to NWC, c/o 29 Redwood Avenue, Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2SG, between 1st February and 29th February 2016. If insufficient postage is used, the NWC will not pay the difference.

Receipt of all entries will be acknowledged by e mail but if you prefer a postal confirmation please include a stamped, addressed postcard. The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.

The winners will be notified by e mail (or post if no e mail address is available) and there will be regular updates on the e mail – the long list, the short list and the final eight.

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.

Online entries: Please submit via our website between 1st February and 29th February 2016.

Click here for an entry form: 2016 COMP INFORMATION