Writing Competitions

We are pleased to announce the 2017 Winchester Writers’ Festival
Writing Competition


Thank you for entering and many congratulations to our winners!


1st Place: ‘St Ethelflaeda’ – Miriam Jones

2nd Place: ‘Slam Me Happy’ – Geoff Burnes

3rd Place: ‘Tales of the Woodcock’ – Julie Irigaray

Highly Commended: ‘Undreaming Frankenstein’ – Anamika Basu

Highly Commended: ‘Climbing Box Hill in a Snap Election Year’ – Kate Oliver

Highly Commended: ‘Doodlebug’ – Clifford Liles


Writing Can Be Murder

1st Place: ‘The Suicide of Uncle Alex’ – Ian Tucker

2nd Place: ‘Bucket List’ – Dianne Ingram

3rd Place: ‘The End of the Road’ – Tracy Davidson

Highly Commended: ‘Ninety-Five Slices’ – Emma Graham

Highly Commended: ‘A Room Full of Shadows’ – Jasmina Svenne

Highly Commended: ‘The Mystery of the Missing Souls (Chapter One)’ – Wendy Fitzgerald



1st Place: ‘Into the Past’ – Susan Kaberry

2nd Place: ‘Wise, Quirky, Original’ – Katy Jones

3rd Place: ‘Aino Yehudi’ – Victoria Richards

Highly Commended: ‘He Got His Fangs’ – Alexis Wolfe

Highly Commended: ‘Egyptian Spring’ – Jane Anderson

Highly Commended: ‘Ms’ – Anna Meryt


Writing for Children – Picture Book

1st Place: ‘The Princess and the Flea’ – Steven Howson

2nd Place: ‘Off to the Sea!’ Esther Millard

3rd Place: ‘Willow the Witch and the Great Cake Mistake’ – Katie Penman

Highly Commended: ‘The Extraordinary Nose of Walter Wilberforce’ – Catherine Emmett

Highly Commended: ‘Pirate Pink and the Awful Stink’ – Polly Owen

Highly Commended: ‘Stan Can!’ – Maxine Hewstone



Children’s Funny Fiction

1st Place: ‘Fergus Goole and the Nowhere Nobodies’ – Tom Vaughan

2nd Place: ‘Aisha and the Omegas’ – David Hall

3rd Place: ‘Weirdo-Wings’ – Hilary Brown

Highly Commended: ‘The Miniatures’ – Sharon Tandy

Highly Commended: ‘EATS’ – Camilla Chester

Highly Commended: ‘The Flowers Finishing School for Frights’ – Philippa Rae


Skylark Soaring Stories

1st Place: ‘Aisha and the Omegas’ – David Hall

2nd Place: ‘Eleven Bodies’ – Rachel McHale

3rd Place: ‘Tiger Taylor and the Case of the Diamond Dogs’ – Kristin Tridimas

Highly Commended: ‘Weirdos of London’ – Ellie Lock

Highly Commended: ‘Fergus Goole and the Nowhere Nobodies’ – Tom Vaughan

Highly Commended: ‘The Ragged Gull’ – Helen Gordon


Flash Fiction

1st Place: ‘Behold, the Lamb’ – Jacqueline King

2nd Place: ‘Steel Hawser’ – Donna Brown

3rd Place: ‘The Turning of Amelia Spencer’ – Elizabeth Kay

Highly Commended: ‘The Baby House’ – Margaret Davies

Highly Commended: ‘Delphine’ – Sue Crowder

Highly Commended: ‘With the Smell of Fresh Herbs’ – Jane Foster


First Three Pages of a Novel

1st Place: ‘Greengages Swimming in the Nude’ – Kate Edwards

2nd Place: ‘For One, Long Beat’ – Rosie Sharratt

3rd Place: ‘This Is Real’ – Anna Britton

Highly Commended: ‘Plums Taste Different Here’ – Sarah Harris

Highly Commended: ‘Counting Magpies’ – Sarah Potter

Highly Commended: ‘Red Affairs, White Affairs’ – Felicia Nay


Short Stories

1st Place: ‘Noli me Tangere’ – Juliet Lovering

2nd Place: ‘Echoes in the Attic’ – Judy Leigh

3rd Place: ‘Family Ties’ – Rebecca Munday

Highly Commended: ‘Everything Must Go’ – andra Kirley

Highly Commended: ‘Smart’ – Rebecca Barrett

Highly Commended: ‘The Gazers’ – Sue Crowder


Young Writers’ Competition

School Years 1 – 6
1st Place:  ‘Planet Earth’ – Charlotte Heselwood
2nd Place:  ‘Planet Earth’ – Jacob Jolliffe
3rd Place:  ‘Planet Earth’ – Imogen Inman

School Years 7-11
1st Place:  ‘The Fall’ – Maria Morek
2nd Place:  ‘Disappearing’ – Alice Evans
3rd Place:  ‘What on Earth’ – Liliana Temple






Congratulations to all!



Entrants are invited to submit poems on any subject up to a maximum of 40 lines for each entry. Single spaced.

1st prize: £125
2nd prize: £75
3rd prize: £50

Adjudicator: Joan McGavin, Poet and Lecturer

Sponsor: The Southern Daily Echo
Southern Daily Echo





Entrants were invited to submit the first 500 words of a short story or novel with a murder thriller theme.

1st prize: Books to the value of £60
2nd prize: Books to the value of £40
3rd prize: Books to the value of £20

Adjudicator: Simon Hall, Author

Sponsor: P&G Wells Ltd., Booksellers





Entrants are invited to submit a memoir of up to 2500 words.  This may be a self-contained piece, or it may be the first chapter of a full-length memoir. Entrants are reminded that memoir is not the same as fact-based autobiography.  Memoir emphasises story.  It is subjective, distinctive and usually focuses on a specific theme or series of memories or even a single event in order to engage the reader and illuminate an aspect of ourselves.

1st prize:  A place at one of the Writers’ & Artists’ ‘How to Hook an Agent’ lunches (value £175). Full details at www.writersandartists.co.uk/events
2nd prize:  A copy of either the 2017 Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook or the 2017 Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook plus two other writing advice books selected from:  www.writersandartists.co.uk/store/writersandartistscompanions
3rd prize:  A copy of the 2017 Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook or the 2017 Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook

Adjudicator: Paul Dodgson

Sponsor: Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook

The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, updated and published annually by Bloomsbury, is the perfect guide to all aspects of the media and publishing worlds. It gives invaluable advice on how to prepare a submission and which agents and publishers to approach. Essential reading for all writers of journalism, fiction, non-fiction, poetry and screen plays.

‘The writers’ bible’, Susan Hill
Writers and Artists logo.wpm




For readers aged 3-6
Entrants were invited to submit a text of no more than 600 words in prose or verse for children aged 3-6.  Only ONE entry per person allowedWritten feedback is not offered for this competition.

1st prize: Editorial meeting with the Little Tiger to discuss the winning submission, either in their offices in London or via telephone (travel not provided)
2nd prize: Book prizes and constructive written feedback
3rd prize: Book prizes and constructive written feedback
Highly Commended:  Constructive written feedback

Adjudicators: Editorial Department, Little Tiger Press

Sponsor: Little Tiger Press Group





For readers aged 8-12
Entrants are invited to submit the opening chapter or section (maximum 1000 words) of a humorous work for children and a one-page synopsis of the remainder.  Written feedback is not offered for this competition.

1st prize: Editorial meeting with Stripes Publishing to discuss the winning submission, either in their offices in London or via telephone (travel not provided)
2nd prize: Book prizes and constructive written feedback
3rd prize: Book prizes and constructive written feedback
Highly Commended:  Constructive written feedback

Adjudicators: Editorial Department, Stripes Publishing

Sponsor: Little Tiger Press Group
Stripes logo.wpm





Sponsored by Skylark Literary for writers of middle grade and young adult fiction. Skylark are looking for an instantly intriguing concept coupled with a remarkable writing voice – find out more at www.skylark-literary.com.

Entrants were invited to submit the first 2000 words of a work of fiction for readers aged 8-12 OR 12+. Please specify the audience you are writing for and include a one-page synopsis of your story. Please give the word-count of the finished novel if complete. Double-spaced, not previously published.  Written feedback is not offered for this competition.

1st prize: One-to-one consultation with a literary agent at Skylark Literary on story development (based on the sample and synopsis entered) of at least one hour – either in person if the winner can travel easily to London or over the phone if not – plus £75 towards travel expenses (or to be kept by the winner if they don’t need to travel).
2nd prize: One-to-one telephone consultation on sample and synopsis of 30 minutes, plus £50.
3rd prize: One-to-one telephone consultation on sample and synopsis of 20 minutes, plus £25.
Three runners-up: One or two paragraphs of written feedback on their sample and synopsis.

Sponsor and adjudicator: Skylark Literary




A flash fiction is a short, short story which does much more than its size would suggest. It shows a glimpse which implies a larger story, and every word works its hardest to bring meaning, plot, character and theme alive. In 500 words, send us a flash fiction which will intrigue, excite and entertain, and which will linger in the mind long after reading.

1st prize: Writing Magazine Mini critique service and publication in Writing Magazine October Competition Supplement
2nd prize: Writing Magazine one-year subscription
3rd prizeWriting Magazine one-year subscription

Adjudicator: Susie Wild, Publishing Editor at Parthian Books

Sponsor: Writing Magazine






Entrants were invited to send the first three pages (12 pt. double-spaced) of their novel plus a 600 word max.synopsis. Any theme or period.

1st prize: Editorial meeting with Little, Brown to discuss the winning submission, either in their offices in London or via telephone (travel not provided)
2nd prize: Books to the value of £70
3rd prize: Books to the value of £30

Adjudicator: Anna Boatman, Little, Brown Book Group

Sponsor: Little, Brown Book Group
Little Brown logo.wpm





Entrants were invited to submit quality short stories on any subject, theme or period (no children’s stories).  Length 1500 to 3000 words for each entry. Each entry must be a complete story.  Entries will be judged on their originality and excellent story-telling qualities.

1st Prize: Telephone consultation with literary agents Janklow & Nesbit UK to receive a detailed editorial report on the winning entry.
2nd Prize: Book prizes
3rd Prize: Book prizes

Adjudicator: The Chandlers Ford Writers

Sponsor: Janklow & Nesbit UK






Winners will be contacted individually and awards will be presented at an awards tea on Sunday, 25 June at the University of Winchester.                                                        

This year’s theme is ‘Planet Earth’. Entrants are invited to send prose (no more than one page) or a poem (of no more than 30 lines) about our planet. Use your imagination and experiment with words, using sound, shape and meaning to create something new. Please print out entry form below and post to: Young Writers’ Competition, Winchester Writers’ Festival, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR.

Please note that entries must be submitted in hard copy and not electronically or by email.  Entries will not be returned.

Two Categories:  School Years 1–6 and School Years 7-11.

Each of the categories offers prizes of National Book Tokens for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, tickets to Marwell Wildlife, and a framed certificate.  Prizes will be awarded at an awards tea on 25 June 2017 in Winchester.

Adjudicator:           Isabel Rogers, Hampshire Poet 2016/17

Sponsors:              University of Winchester, Marwell Wildlife

Download a Young Writers Competition Flyer and Entry Form 

Please feel free to print out the flyer and post at schools and libraries in  your area.


Entry Conditions:  Competition Information, Rules, and Terms and Conditions:

The closing date for all competition entries is 5:00 pm Monday, 15th May, 2017. Entries must be received by this date for inclusion in the competition.

Competition fees: £6 to enter/per entry, additional £10 per entry for constructive feedback – NB Writing for Children – Picture Book, Children’s Funny Fiction, Skylark Soaring Stories, and Young Writers’ competitions do NOT offer feedback.

New this year:  ALL entries must be submitted electronically via the Submittable competition entry software system.  No paper or email entries will be accepted (except for the Young Writers’ Competition, which must be in paper form.)

How it works:  To enter a competition, please click on the pink box above, which will take you to a payment page.
1.  Select the competition that you would like to enter.  Some, but not all, competitions offer constructive feedback for an extra charge.  Please ensure that you have read the submission and feedback details carefully before making your choice.
2.  If you are entering more than one competition, or are entering one submission for feedback and one without, please do separate transactions and payments.
3.  Your payment confirmation receipt will give you a weblink for your specific competition.  When you click on the weblink, it will take you to the Submittable competition entry system for that specific competition.
4.  Please create an account and password and upload your submission.  Make note of your password in case you need to access the system later.
5.  If you request and pay for feedback, it will be sent to you via Submittable between 18 June and 1 July, 2017.

Previous Publication:  All entries must be original, previously unpublished, in English, written by one author, and not have won an award in any previous competition.  Self-published entries are acceptable.

Format:  Entries must be typed, 12pt font, double-spaced (poetry single spaced), with the writer’s pseudonym and name of the competition on the bottom right-hand corner of every page.  Do not include your real name on the manuscript.

You are allowed to upload only one file per entry.  If a competition requests a synopsis, please create one file that includes the synopsis and manuscript.

Changes to Entries:  Once an entry has been submitted, it cannot be modified in any way.  Please ensure that your entry is in its final form before submitting.

Competition Entry Cancellation:  No refunds can be given for the cancellation of a competition entry.

Copyright:  Copyright of all works submitted for competitions remains with the author.

Number of Entries Allowed: Entrants may submit up to five entries for each competition, except for Picture Book, in which only one entry per person is permitted. Multiple entries to the Picture Book competition by the same person will result in all entries being disqualified.

Festival speakers may not enter the competitions.

Feedback: If you pay for feedback, you will receive your constructive comments by email from Submittable between 18 June and 1 July, 2017.

Judging Decisions:  The decisions of the judges are final and the judges reserve the right to withhold awards if no entry reaches an appropriate standard.

The first place winning entry of each competition will be published in The Best of 2017. Winners must send their unaltered manuscript in electronic format within 10 days following the Festival to Sara.Gangai@winchester.ac.uk. The editor reserves the right to limit the number of words and to correct manuscripts in accordance with the format, house style and quality standard of The Best of 2017.

Agreement:  By entering and paying for a competition entry, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions above.


If you have any questions about the above, please email sara.gangai@winchester.ac.uk or call 01962 826367.