Short Story Competition: City Arts at 40

11 January 18 words: LeftLion

They celebrated their fortieth birthday in September, and have been ringing in the celebrations ever since. We were promised a year-long schedule of exciting opportunities and events, and they haven’t disappointed…

City Arts have teamed up with their neighbours, Nottingham Writers’ Studio, to get you lot playing around with words.

This short story competition aims to encourage people to dabble with fiction, memoirs, travel writing and all sorts, and submit them for a chance of bagging a cash prize. Unfortunately, no poetry is allowed on this occasion, as there may be something else appearing on the horizon for that... 

To tie it all together nicely, the theme for entries is "40." Take this as you will; a milestone birthday, a distance, the amount of chocolate bars your character has just consumed... The possibilities are endless.

Winners will be picked from three age categories: Young People (12-17), Young Adults (18-25) and Adults (26+), with prizes also being awarded for the best stories written by Nottingham City residents in each category. Whether you’re crowned a winner, a runner-up or otherwise, there will also be a special opportunity to be included in an e-anthology at the end of it all.

The full guidelines for entries can be found on the City Arts website, but here’s a quick round-up of the important stuff:

  • You can write up to 2,000 words
  • The story must be unpublished, so don’t go splashing it over the internet
  • No published author will be allowed to enter. This one is dedicated to absolute beginners.  
  • All entries must be anonymised, so the judges don’t know who’s who. When you submit your form, you’ll be given an entry number. This replaces your name on the manuscript.

There’s a maximum of four entries per person, so feel free to submit multiple pieces if you’re up for the challenge. One adult entry will set you back £4, so there’s nowt really to lose by gerrin’ involved. Best part is, any income raised through public events like this means City Arts can continue getting more and more of us involved in art. Lovely stuff.

The deadline for entries is Thursday 1 March 2018. You’ll have to wait until April before you find out who was successful, but winners will be invited to give a live reading of their story at an event on Wednesday 16 May 2018. Stick it in your diaries.

All details, including the entry form, can be found on City Arts' website. If you have any further enquiries, feel free to drop them a message on  

City Arts website

Nottingham Writers’ Studio website

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