SWC Annual Open Short Story Competition 2021

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

Closing date: 31st October 2021


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  • Your entry should be an unpublished, original story on any theme of up to 2000 words (previous publication includes via internet or independent press).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




Online entry available HERE

Southport Writers' Circle