WELCOME to the Bedford International Writing Competition.
To celebrate the fifth year of the Competition we are delighted to announce that we are increasing our first prize in both poetry and short story categories to £500.
The Bedford International Writing Competition is open for submissions from 1st May to September 30, 2020.
We receive entries from across the world and our home town of Bedford boasts a rich cultural and racial mix. We are excited to contribute to this cultural vibrancy through our annual competition and events. In addition to our main prizes, The Bedford Prize, kindly sponsored by The Harpur Trust, enables us to award £100 each to the highest placed story and poem by Bedford residents.
All proceeds from the Competition are donated to charities which aim to encourage reading, literacy and language skills.
Each year we feel privileged to read your short stories and poetry. As our Competition goes from strength to strength we look forward to receiving your submissions.
2020 Short Story Competition Rules
1. The start date for the Short Story Competition will be 1st May 2020.
2. All entries must be received by midnight on 30th September 2020.
3. The competition is open to anyone aged 17 years and over.
4. Entries can be from anywhere in the world.
5. UK entries may be submitted online or by post. Overseas entries must be submitted online.
6. Postal entries can only be accepted from within the UK.
7. Postal entries must be accompanied by an entry form and the appropriate entry fee and addressed to The Administrator, Bedford Writing Competition, 28 Miller Road, Bedford, UK, MK42 9NZ.
8. One entry form, whether submitted online or posted, may cover up to three stories. Multiple entry forms may be submitted.
9. Online entries will generate an automatic confirmation of receipt at the time of submission.
10. A confirmation of receipt of a postal entry will be sent to the email address, if supplied? otherwise the entrant should enclose a stamped addressed envelope/postcard.
11. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual may submit.
12. The standard entry fee is £6 per story; three stories entered on the same form £12.
13. For full time students, the entry fee is £4 per story; three stories entered on the same form £8.
14. Cheques must be made payable to Bedford Writing Competition.
15. Stories must be no more than 3000 words.
16. Stories must be written in English.
17. Stories must be typed, double-spaced, on single-sided sheets and in a readable, 12 point font.
18. Stories must not have been published, self-published, published on a website, broadcast, been placed first, second or third, or been awarded a prize in any other competition.
19. The pages of any stories sent by post must be numbered and the complete set held together with a paperclip.
20. The title of the story must appear at the top of each page.
21. Nothing must appear on any page which would identify the author.
22. Stories will not be returned, so please retain a copy.
23. Stories cannot be altered once entered.
24. All entries will be considered anonymously by a panel of readers and the judges.
25. The members of the organising committee and the panel of readers are not eligible to enter the competition.
26. Any plagiarised work will be disqualified along with any other work submitted by the entrant.
27. The winner of first prize will receive £500, second prize £150 and third prize £100.
28. There will be an additional Bedford prize of £100, donated by the Harpur Trust, awarded to the best story written by a resident of Bedford.
29. A resident of Bedford is defined as anyone who lives within the Bedford Borough Council boundary – click here to see map.
30. The shortlisted stories and the Bedford Prize winning story will be published in an anthology as a downloadable e-book after the results have been announced.
31. If a story is shortlisted or has won the Bedford Prize then, once this has been made public, its publication will take precedence over the requirement of any other competitions the story may have been entered in.
32. The shortlist will be posted on the Bedford International Writing Competition website in December 2020.
33. Results will be announced at the Awards Presentation Evening to be held in January 2020.
34. The competition organisers reserve the right not to award prizes if, in the judge’s opinion, such an action is justified.