Competitions

SWC Annual Open Short Story Competition 2021

First prize: £150      Second prize: £80     Third prize: £30

Closing date: 31st October 2021

WE ENCOURAGE ONLINE ENTRY, AVAILABLE HERE

Chief Judge: Spencer Leigh

Spencer Leigh was born in Liverpool in 1945 and has lived in the area all his life.
He has written several books on the Beatles and the Mersey Beat era including Let’s Go Down The Cavern (1982). He wrote 1,000 UK Number 1 Hits with Jon Kutner in 2005 and he collaborated with Hunter Davies on The Beatles Book (2016). In recent years, he has been writing music biographies for McNidder and Grace, the most recent being Bob Dylan: Outlaw Blues (2020). Spencer has written hundreds of obituaries for newspapers and each week he writes a weekly My City column for the Liverpool Echo. He has also written hundreds of sleeve notes for LPs and CDs: he says, “I’m proud to say that the soundtrack album for Heartbeat topped the album charts, but of course nobody bought it for my notes.”

Full Rules:

  • Your entry should be an unpublished, original story on any theme of up to 2000 words (previous publication includes via internet or independent press).
  • Do not put your name or any other identifying information on your story (including in headers/footers) but do give it a suitable title. Titles should be both appropriate and interesting.
  • There is no set theme or style for the competition, other than the above.
  • Entries in English please (dialect allowable).
  • You do not need an entry form. Send us a separate cover sheet with each entry’s title, word count, your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address.
  • For internet entries: Put the above cover sheet details in the body of email. Please include PayPal ref. number OR put the story(ies) names in the comments box on PayPal when paying. Also please use basic formatting in any of .doc, .docx, rich text or .odf file types only when attaching your entry file(s) to the email. Any sidebars, headers, footers or unusual layouts may result in your electronic entry being rejected. Please do not use .pages files unless you have no other alternative.
  • No individual correspondence will be entered into regarding receipt of works/payments. Please do not send any confirmational material or use Recorded Delivery.
  • Once your entry has been submitted, any entrant contacting the judges for any reason deemed to be an attempt to circumvent the judging process is liable and likely to be disqualified.
  • If entering by post, please include an SAE if you wish to receive a print of the results/judges report (if available) when the competition is finished. For email entries, please note clearly in the body of the email “I would like to receive a copy of the results”.
  • Winners will be informed in Dec 2021/ Jan 2022, results will be published on this site thereafter. There may be a delay publishing results and/or winning stories depending on circumstances and permissions.
  • Winning stories may be published on this site for 12 months with permission of original author(s).
  • The organiser’s decision is final.

Optional – Paper saving single-spaced entries encouraged.

  • The fee is £3.00 for each story, or £10 for 4 (E-entries have a processing fee.). You can pay by cheque or postal order made out to Southport Writers’ Circle.

Send postal entries to:

SWC Short Story Competition

5 Carrwood Park

Southport,

Merseyside,

PR8 5FA

Online entry available HERE

SWC Annual International Poetry Competition 2021

Online entries CLICK HERE

First Prize: £150, Second Prize: £75, Third Prize: £25

Catherine Fenerty Humour Prize: £25

Final date for entries – 30th April 2021

Chief Judge : Ali Harwood 

Ali Harwood is an artist, poet, writer and teacher. Born in Wiltshire, Ali grew up around Bristol and has lived in Liverpool since 2007. As a poet, Ali’s work is published widely, including Made of Iron (2019), The Quality of Mersey (2018) and the Live From Worktown Anthology (2014). He is organiser and compere of the Liver Bards monthly poetry event and has performed poetry at many locations, including the Museum of Liverpool, the Mersey River Festival and the Ancient Chapel of Toxteth. His poetic picture book ‘Liverpool Liver Birds’ (2019) remains popular. He is currently Artist in Residence at Love Wavertree – where he has created a large outdoor mural – and has recently enjoyed illustration and painting commissions from the British Antarctic Survey and Cammell Laird respectively. As a former deputy headteacher, he continues to enjoy tutoring young people aged 5-16 and delivers educational and creative assemblies and workshops in schools.       

  RULES: Please read carefully

  • Entry fee is £3 per poem or four poems for £10 (online rate varies due to handling fees). For postal entries Cheques/Postal orders should be in sterling and payable to: SOUTHPORT WRITERS’ CIRCLE.
  • A maximum of 40 lines per poem is allowed.
  • Poems should bear no identification of the poet.
  • Humour entries should be marked with an ‘H’ in the top left of the page. Humour entrants are not disqualified from also winning main prizes.
  • Please enclose a separate sheet with your full contact details (address, email, phone number) and list of titles submitted. For online entries, this contact information should be put in the body of the email.
  • All entries must be typed (on A4 paper for postal entries) in English (dialects allowable), and must be the original, unpublished work of the entrant.
  • If your work is published in any form after entry, please let us know. In some cases this may disqualify your entry and entitle you to a refund of your entry fee.
  • For online entries, please include PayPal ref. number in body of email OR put the poem(s) names in the comments (information) box when paying. Also please use basic formatting in any of .doc, .docx, rich text (.rtf) or .odf file types when attaching your file to the email. Any .pdfs, sidebars, headers, footers or unusual layouts may result in your electronic entry being rejected without notice. Please, do not paste your entries in the body of the email.
  • The closing date for entries will be 30th April 2021. Winners will be informed in June, general availability of results thereafter. There may be a delay publishing results and/or winning poems depending on circumstances and permissions.
  • Any correspondence deemed to be an attempt to circumvent the judging process may cause your entry to be withdrawn.
  • Please keep a copy of your poem(s) as manuscripts cannot be returned.
  • The organiser’s/adjudicator’s decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding receipt of individual entries or payments. Please do not contact us regarding bounced payments unless you are certain Paypal is not functional.
  • If you would like a copy of adjudicator’s report (if and when available), please include an SAE for paper entries, or for online entries please state you wish to have the results in the body of the email.
  • No application form is required.

Envelopes should be sent to:-

SWC Poetry Competition

5 Carrwood Park

Southport,

Merseyside,

PR8 5FA

  • Please DO NOT send entries by signed-for delivery or send any other material such as return/receipt postcards as these will be disregarded/destroyed.

Online entries CLICK HERE

SWC Annual Open Short Story Competition 2020

First prize: £150      Second prize: £80     Third prize: £30

Closing date: 31st October 2020

DUE TO THE CURRENT ONGOING SITUATION WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE ONLINE ENTRY, AVAILABLE HERE

Chief Judge: Professor Ailsa Cox

Ailsa Cox is the world’s first Professor of Short Fiction. Her own fiction is published in various magazines and anthologies, most recently The Mechanics’ Institute Review and Confingo. Her collection, The Real Louise, was published by Headland Press in 2009. She has taught Creative Writing for many years, most recently at Edge Hill University, where she founded the Edge Hill Prize for a published short-story collection. Her book Writing Short Stories has been used by new and experienced writers all over the world. She is also a short-story critic, with publications including her book Alice Munro, and studies of other writers from Katherine Mansfield to Malcolm Lowry and Jon McGregor. Born in the West Midlands, she has spent all her adult life in North West England.

Full Rules:

  • Your entry should be an unpublished, original story on any theme of up to 2000 words (previous publication includes via internet or independent press).
  • Do not put your name or any other identifying information on your story but do give it a suitable title. Titles should be both appropriate and interesting.
  • There is no set theme or style for the competition, other than the above.
  • Entries in English please (minor dialect allowable).
  • You do not need an entry form. Send us a separate cover sheet  with each entry’s title, word count, your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address.
  • For internet entries, put above details in body of email but also please include PayPal ref. number OR put the story(ies) names in the comments box when paying. Also please use basic formatting in any of .doc, .docx, rich text or .odf file types when attaching your entry file to the email. Any sidebars, headers, footers or unusual layouts may result in your electronic entry being rejected. Please do not use .pages files unless you have no other alternative.
  • No individual correspondence will be entered into regarding receipt of works/payments. Please do not send any confirmational material or use Recorded Delivery.
  • Once your entry has been submitted, any entrant contacting the judges for any reason deemed to be an attempt to circumvent the judging process is liable to be disqualified.
  • If entering by post, please include an SAE if you wish to receive a print of the results/judges report (if available) when the competition is finished. For email entries, please note clearly in the body of the mail that you would like to receive the results.
  • Winners will be informed in Dec 2020/ Jan 2021, results will be published on this site thereafter. There may be a delay publishing results and/or winning stories depending on circumstances and permissions, so please exercise patience.
  • Winning stories may be published on this site for 12 months with permission of original author.

Optional – Paper saving single-spaced entries encouraged.

  • The fee is £3.00 for each story, or £10 for 4.  You can pay by cheque or postal order made out to Southport Writers’ Circle. (E-entries have a processing fee.)

Send postal entries to:

60 Dinorwic Rd,

Southport,

Merseyside,

PR8 4DL

Online entries available HERE