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Free Short Story Competition with Retreat West

Writers & Artists and Retreat West have teamed up for a free writing competition that offers you the chance to win a place on one of Retreat West’s incredible writing retreats. All you have to do is write a short story no longer than 1,000 words!


To enter, all you have to do is submit a short story (for adults) of no more than 1,000 words. The only stipulation here is that your story – which can be about anything you like – must use a beach as its setting.

NOTE: This competition has now CLOSED. No further entries are being considered.


The author of the winning story will receive a place on Retreat West’s Plotting Retreat, taking place from 17-21 November 2017 in West Bay, Dorset. Workshops over the weekend will be led by Richard Skinner, novelist and head of the Faber Academy, and Retreat West founder and novelist Amanda Saint. The retreat provides a unique opportunity to hone your writing skills in a beautiful location. Full details of the retreat can be found on the Retreat Website here.

Both the winner and two runners up will also receive the latest edition of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook , a copy of one of our Writers' & Artists' Yearbook Companion Guide series, and a copy of the 2016 Retreat West Anthology of stories from the annual RW Short Story Prize and RW Flash Fiction Prize. The winning stories will also be published on


Jane Elmor lived most of her life in London, where her occupations included playing in bands, dealing in vintage clothes and composing for short films and TV. Then she moved to the Somerset countryside to concentrate on writing. Jane has three degrees, including an MA in Creative Writing. Her first novel was My Vintage Summer, followed by Pictures of You, both published by Pan Macmillan. Jane teaches on the Open University MA in Creative Writing and is working on her third novel.

Retreat West

Retreat West was founded by novelist and short story writer, Amanda Saint, in 2012 and provides writing retreats, courses and competitions. So far some of the people that have worked with Retreat West on retreats, courses and competitions include Man-Booker Prize shortlisted author, Alison Moore; Richard & Judy Book Club author, Rowan Coleman; multi-award-winning short story writer, Vanessa Gebbie; Polari Prize winning-novelist and founder of the London Short Story Festival, Paul McVeigh; and the head of the Faber Academy’s fiction programme, novelist and poet, Richard Skinner.

Terms & Conditions

These are the full terms and conditions for our short story competition with Retreat West.

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

2. The competition is open to all ages, professions and nationalities, and you don’t have to reside in the UK to enter. 

3. All entries must be original and unpublished.

4. Writers may submit one entry only.

5. Winners will be notified at the email address stated in their entry. Sign-up for our 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: "Retreat West Short Story 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 a Word/PDF attachment. As long as it’s clear and easy to read, we have no other formatting requirements.

7. Your entry must be submitted before midnight on Sunday 17th September, 2017. Entries will not be accepted after this date. 

8. By submitting, all entrants thereby grant Retreat West the right to publish their entry in an upcoming anthology in the event of their work being selected as the winning entry.

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 in connection with the competition.

11. Retreat West, the Bloomsbury Publishing Group and the winners may enter into agreements which will grant Retreat West and 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 winners of the competition will be announced on the blog pages of

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

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

16. Writers & Artists may, from time to time, inform you of new books and special offers that we think will be of interest.

17. Please send direct competition queries to Any sent to will not be answered. 

18. The prize winner will be responsible for arranging their own travel to and from the writing retreat.