The People's Friend Writing Bursary

Deadline date - 5th February 2024

The UK's biggest prize solely for unpublished authors, with the aim of uncovering the best hidden writing talent. Organised by The People’s Friend magazine for its 155th anniversary, the short story competition has a top prize of £10,000 and is open to any amateur author.   

The People’s Friend is the biggest publisher of magazine fiction in the UK, commissioning over 900 short stories every year, including many first-time authors. The home of great reading, it has a long tradition of running paid competitions to find new talent, with some of its most prolific names discovered in this way.   

Stuart Johnstone, editor of The People’s Friend says: “We know how tough it is for writers to get their break, especially with so many cuts to arts funding in recent years. So, to help celebrate our 155th anniversary, we would like to give one new writer a helping hand by paying them a bursary of £10,000 to help fund their writing journey, as well as being published in the Friend. 

“The People’s Friend has always been about improving wellbeing, and the positive power of story goes beyond sheer entertainment value. More and more research is showing that reading reduces stress and improves mental health.   

“Through decades of change, in not only the world itself, but in the pages of the Friend, our passion for stories has never faltered. And that’s why we’re looking for a new writer, a new voice and a new source of great stories for our readers.” 

Writers are invited to submit short stories of around 2,000 words by Monday February 5th in one of three genres: thriller, comedy or romance and there will be subcategories for entrants aged over and under 30.  

Winners will be announced at the end of February, in a new look People’s Friend.   

To find out how to enter, including terms and conditions, go to  


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