Short Story Competition Rules

Westgate Literary Festival 2019 Short Story Competition

Submission – New Writers

To be eligible to submit an entry in this category you must be aged between 5 years old and no more than 7 years old on 31st July 2019. Should you be shortlisted, you may be asked for proof of age. Your submission must be no less than 250 words in length and no more than 500. There is no entry fee for this category.

Submission – Young Writers

To be eligible to submit an entry in this category you must be aged between 8 years old and no more than 11 years old on 31st July 2019. Should you be shortlisted, you may be asked for proof of age. Your submission must be no less than 250 words in length and no more than 500. There is no entry fee for this category.

Submission – New Teen Writers

To be eligible to submit an entry in this category you must be aged between 12 years old and no more than 14 years old on 31st July 2019. Should you be shortlisted, you may be asked for proof of age and School/College. Your submission must be no less than 500 words in length and no more than 1000. There is no entry fee for this category.

Submission – Late Teen Writers

To be eligible to submit an entry in this category you must be aged between 15 years old and no more than 17 years old on 31st July 2019. Should you be shortlisted, you may be asked for proof of age and School/College. Your submission must be no less than 1000 words in length and no more than 2000. There is no entry fee for this category.

Submission – Adult Writers

To be eligible to submit an entry in this category you must be 18 years old or over on 31st July 2019. Should you be shortlisted, you may be asked for proof of age. Your submission must be no  less than 1500 words in length and no more than 5000. Your entry fee per submission is £10.

For All Submissions

Your submission must be written in English. You may submit your entry in either Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word format along with your fee via our competition entry page. Your entry must reach us before midnight 31st July 2019. Your submitted story must be an original piece of your own work and must not be published elsewhere. Your story must have Westgate-on-Sea as your theme, how you include it is up to you.

The judging panel operates a policy of blind judging where the judges do not know any details about the author so please do not have your name and/or address anywhere on the document that you upload. Entries including names and addresses will be disqualified. Please check your email receipt from the competition confirming we have your entry to be certain you have uploaded the right file. WestgateLit cannot accept any responsibility for you uploading the wrong file with your PayPal payment. You may submit more than one entry, but must pay the fee for each entry you upload. If you use the same receipt number more than once, all submissions using that number will be disqualified and the fee forfeited. Entries from writers under the age of 18 cannot be accepted without the confirmed consent of their Parent or Guardian. Entries without will be disqualified.

In submitting your competition entry you are granting WestgateLit First British Serial rights to publish your work online and in print, and to use your story for promotional purposes. Copyright remains with the author. The Judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

Formatting Advice

  • Pages should be numbered but the entrant’s name should not appear on any page except on the entry form.
  • Each page should be numbered at the bottom right, preferably in the footer.
  • Each page should have the title of the story at the top right preferably in the header.
  • All text should be 12 point in size and in either Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana for ease of reading by the judging panel.
  • 1.5 lines spacing;
  • Leave a single space after your full stops, and colons, etc.
  • Ensure that your titles are centred, and in bold.
  • All paragraphs should indented, but no indentation after each page break.
  • Double quotation marks should be used for speech and single quotation marks for other appropriate purposes.

Contacting You

By entering the competition and providing your details, you are consenting to us contacting you by email, about the Westgate Literary Festival 2019 Short Story Competition and related events such as the Westgate Literary Festival. We will only contact you if there is something that needs to be communicated, for example if you are shortlisted, or invited to attend any of the sessions at the Festival. We will only contact you about the Westgate Literary Festival Short Story Competition in future years if you specifically agree to us doing so by giving us your consent to do so when entering. We will not share your contact details with any other organisation without your consent.

If you are under the age of 18 years we will only contact you about the Westgate Literary Festival 2019 Short Story Competition and your details will not be shared with any other organisation.

Please note that although shortlisted authors will be invited to attend the awards ceremony as part of the Westgate Literary Festival, the competition organisers will not and cannot pay travel fees or sponsor visas to attend the event.