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Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2015 Short Story Competition

For published and aspiring writers alike - enter the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2015 short story competition and you could win:

  • a cash prize of £500
  • a place on an Arvon residential writing course of your choice

We're offering you the chance to win £500, plus a place on an Arvon writing course of your choice! All you have to do is enter a short story (for adults) of no more than 2,000 words, on the theme of 'Joy' and email it to with "WAYB15 competition" as the subject line.

The closing date is midnight on Sunday 15th February 2015. The winners of the competition will be announced on this site in March 2015.

Arvon run four historic writing houses in the UK, where published writers lead week-long residential courses. Covering a diverse range of genres, from poetry and fiction to screenwriting and comedy, Arvon courses have provided inspiration to thousands of people at all stages of their writing lives. Find out more and book a course online at

Don't forget to read the full details, terms and conditions (below) before you enter. Please remember to register on before submitting your entry.

Good luck! 

This year's competition will be judged by Lucy Wood, author of the critically acclaimed short story collection Diving Belles and Other Stories. She has been awarded the Holyer and Gof Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. Diving Belles and Other Stories was long listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize, shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and was a runner-up in the BBC National Short Story Award. Lucy Wood has a master’s degree in creative writing from Exeter University. She grew up in Cornwall and lives in Devon.

Terms and conditions

These are the full terms and conditions for the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition 2015.

1. No purchase necessary, but entrants must be registered on

2. The competition is open to all ages, professions and nationalities.

3. All entries must be original unpublished prose of 2,000 words or fewer.

4. Writers may submit one entry only.

5. Winners will be notified at the email address stated in their entry. Sign-up for the Writing newsletter here if you want to be notified about the winner or check back on You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook, where competition updates will also be posted.

6. Entries must be submitted via email to with the subject heading: 'WAYB15 competition'

Please include your email address and other contact details in the body of the email. Your entry can appear in the body of the email or as an email attachment.

7. Your entry must be submitted before midnight on Sunday 15th February, 2015. Entries will not be accepted after this date.

8. By submitting, all entrants thereby grant The Bloomsbury Publishing Group the right to publish their entry on in the event of their work being shortlisted and/or winning the competition.

9. The Bloomsbury Publishing Group cannot accept responsibility for entries which are not received or which are received after the closing date due to technical failure or for any other reason.

10. Winners agree to participate in publicity events in connection with the competition.

11. The Bloomsbury Publishing Group and the winners may enter into agreements which will grant The Bloomsbury Publishing Group the publishing, broadcasting, serial and electronic rights in the shortlisted and winning entries.

12. The Bloomsbury Publishing Group reserves the right to change the rules of this competition without notice.

13. The winner of the competition will be notified in March 2015 and the winning entry published on

14. Prizes must be taken by 31 December 2015 and are subject to availability.

15. The decision of the competition judges will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

16. Employees of The Bloomsbury Publishing Group, and members of their immediate family, are excluded from participating in the competition.

17. We may, from time to time, inform you of new books and special offers that we think will be of interest.

18. Please send direct competition queries to

Recent competitions




Writing Historical Fiction Competition


After a record number of entries, our annual Short Story Competition has drawn to a close.  But fear not! The Writers & Artists Team is not one to rest on its laurels!

This time around, we’re giving all writers of historical fiction the opportunity to grab our guest judge, Celia Brayfield, by the lapels. The task is simple...

Clearly evoke the time and place your historical piece is set within no more than 1,000 words.  

That means we don’t just want a title of “Hastings: 1066”. We want to get a sense of the world your protagonist is walking through. What’s happening? How are people dressed? What are they eating? How do they talk?  The winning entry will have succeeded in completely immersing us in their chosen period.

Your entry can be a standalone story or part of a larger piece you’re working on. And it CAN involve fantastical elements if you so wish, though it must still be set in the real world. So long as it’s unpublished and it’s set in the past then you’re eligible to enter.  Entries must be submitted via email to with the subject heading: 'Historical fiction competition'.  Best of luck!

Writing Historical Fiction

Come along to our Writing Historical Fiction Masterclass with Sarah Dunant and Celia Brayfield. Click here to find out more.

Competition deadlines:

Entries must be submitted by midnight (GMT) on Sunday 11th May.

A winner and two runners up will be announced on this website on Tuesday 27th May.


First prize: £150, a pair of tickets to visit Beamish Museum and a copy of Writing Historical Fiction: a Writers & Artists Companion

Runners up: £25 each and a copy of Writing Historical Fiction: a Writers & Artists Companion

At Beamish, the Living Museum of the North,  you can touch, taste, see, hear and smell history – it’s a real sense of your past. 

Introducing Your Villain Competition


For our latest Writers & Artists competition, we’re looking for you to take inspiration from the likes of Captain Hook, Voldemort, Sauron…even the man who shot Bambi’s mum! 

Yes, that’s right… we want you to write about VILLAINS.

To be in with a chance of winning, we’d like you to submit a piece (of no more than 500 words) that captures the very moment that your main character’s arch nemesis makes their grand entrance. 

Your entry can be a standalone piece written solely for this competition, or it can be an excerpt of a manuscript you’re already working on; it matters not.  All we want to read is that moment your villain bursts into colour. 

Give us description, some action, maybe some dialogue. In short: give us goosebumps.

Your piece should be aimed at either children, YA or be a crossover of genres, and we’ve asked YA author Laura Powell (Burn Mark and Witch Fire) to judge the entries.

Whilst Laura delves into the realms of fantasy and witchcraft for her series, it’s up to you where you take your inspiration from. Whether that’s from legend or fact, we want a character that we’re going to remember for all the wrong reasons. 

To read Laura's article on her advice about how to choose a villain, click here.

Competition Details

The winner will receive signed copies of Burn Mark and Witch Fire, as well as a copy of either the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2013 or the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2013 AND a 20% discount on Writers’ & Artists’ editorial services.

There will be also be two runners-up announced, both of whom will receive copies of Burn Mark and Witch Fire.

In addition, the three winning pieces of writing will be published on the site.

The deadline for this competition is midnight on Sunday 19th May. A shortlist of ten will be announced on Friday 24th May, and the overall winners will be revealed on Friday 31st May.

Please note that those on the shortlist will not be contacted directly, so do ensure you check the site on Friday 24th to see if you’ve made it.

To enter, please email your entry of no more than 500 words to by midnight on Sunday 19th May.

The subject line of your email should read ‘VILLAIN COMPETITION 2013.’

Flash Fiction competition 2013



Can you write a story in 200 words or less?

To celebrate the continuing rise of the short story and following on from the huge success of last year’s competition, Writers & Artists and Bloomsbury are delighted to announce another Flash Fiction challenge.

For this year’s competition, we’d simply like you to write a story of no more than 200 words based on the theme of ‘alienation’ and/or ‘the quest for belonging’.

And to tie in with this theme, we've asked Roshi Fernando, author of Homesick, to judge all of this year's entries.

The lucky winner will receive not only a bundle of all our short story collections published from this year and 2012, but also two tickets to see George Saunders discussing his new collection Tenth of December

Jon McGregor (IMPAC Award-winning author of Even the Dogs and If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things) will be chairing the event, which takes place on Wednesday 29 May.


1st prize: Bundle of short story collections plus two tickets for George Saunders and Jon McGregor’s event at the Southbank Centre
2nd prize: a signed copy of books by Jon McGregor, D W Wilson & Roshi Fernando
3rd prize: a signed copy of Roshi Fernando’s Homesick

Competition details:


Our competition will run from today and the closing date is before midnight on Monday 25 March. The winner will be announced on Monday 15 April.

To enter, please email your story of no more than 200 words to by Monday 25 March.

The subject line of your email should read ‘FLASH FICTION 2013’.

Travel fiction competition

As the temperature drops and the nights remain dark, we can safely say winter will linger for a while yet. Last summer’s holiday might seem like a distant memory, but reliving it could help you win a fantastic prize!

Thanks to Directline Holidays, we have a Kindle to give away. Perfect if you're a regular globetrotter; the Kindle fits into a pocket and can hold a staggering number of books.

To Enter

Please note that our Travel Fiction Short Story competition is now CLOSED. We are currently considering the entries - the winners and runners-up will be notified by Friday 15th March.

The physical location of your story can have a striking impact on the emotional landscape your characters navigate. The location of your story guides the mood and tone of your writing and can shape your characters' beliefs and behaviour.

We're challenging you to write a short story which brilliantly evokes a location of your choice. We're looking for lush description that amplifies the story, immerses us in another time or place, or renders a familiar location strange. We want to see characters that are wrought in the context of their location and we hope to find a short story with plenty of life, detail and imagination.

The story must be no more than 500 words and entries should be submitted to before midnight on 28 February 2013.


First prize: An Amazon Kindle e-book reader

Second prize: A copy of Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2013

About Directline Holidays

Directline Holidays are an online travel agent, which has been established since 1993, and specialises in package holidays to destinations all over the world including Egypt, Italy and the Caribbean.