SWC Annual Open Short Story Competition 2022

First prize: £200      Second prize: £100     Third prize: £50

Closing date: 31st October 2022


Chief Judge: Dinah Birch

Dinah Birch is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Cultural Engagement and Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool.  External roles include chairing the Editorial Board of The Conversation (an international online journal for the dissemination of academic research for the general public: http://theconversation.com/uk), and serving as President of the British Association for Victorian Studies.

Dinah has published widely on Victorian fiction and poetry, and on the work of the critic John Ruskin. Her books include Our Victorian Education (2008), and she has published editions of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford (2011), Anthony Trollope’s Can You Forgive Her? (2012) and The Small House at Allington (2014) with Oxford University Press, together with recent essays on George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, and John Ruskin.  She is Director of Liverpool Literary Festival (supported by the University of Liverpool), and runs an annual short story competition for students and staff.

She writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement, contributes to Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time and Sky Arts broadcasts, and has served as a judge on the Booker Prize panel.  

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  • Your entry should be an unpublished, original story on any theme of up to 2000 words (previous publication includes via internet or independent press).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. 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 or .pdf files unless you have no other alternative.
  • No individual correspondence will be entered into regarding receipt of works/payments. Please do not send any material to confirm delivery or use Recorded Delivery.
  • Once your entry has been submitted, any entrant contacting the judges for any reason that is deemed to be an attempt to circumvent the judging process is 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 2022/ Jan 2023, 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