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  • Prize money will be determined by sponsorship received during our funding period of August-October 2024. Minimum prize levels will be:

    1. 1st place (£250)

    2. 2nd place (£100)

    3. 3rd place (£50)

  • In addition to the top three prizes, we hope to award between four and eight category prizes which might include:

    1. writer with a disability or chronic health condition

    2. LGBTQ+ writer

    3. writer of colour

    4. working class writer

    5. new writer

    6. historical fiction

    7. humorous prose

    8. speculative fiction

    9. hermit-crab fiction

    10. lyrical writing

Entry Fee

  • This competition is free to enter. Each writer may only submit one piece.

  • Writers who feel in a position to do so may opt to donate a “coffee” on my Ko-fi page. These donations will be used to fund free and reduced-price places for my Write Beyond The Lightbulb courses, as well as to provide free editing and mentoring opportunities for low-income writers, and to support other opportunities that seek to level the playing field. I may also decide to use such donations to run this competition again in the future.

Key Dates
  • The competition will open for entries on 1st December 2024.

  • The deadline for entries will be 28th February 2025 at 11:59pm GMT. Entries received after this date will not be eligible.

  • The longlist will be announced on the 28th March 2025.

  • The shortlist will be announced on 7th April 2025.

  • The winners will be announced from 14th April 2025 onwards.


  • Entries must be no more than 400 words. Titles are not included in the word count. There is no minimum requirement. Word count will be checked at

  • Entries should be written in English. However, all variants and dialects of English are welcome.

  • The competition is for any form of narrative prose aimed at adults. Traditional poems, stories aimed at children, and essays are unlikely to be successful.

  • The competition doesn’t differentiate between fiction and non-fiction, and welcomes narrative prose in any form that meets the above criteria – flash fiction, short-short, vignette, haibun, hermit crab, prose poem etc.

  • The competition doesn’t have a theme. Entries can be on any subject and written in any style.


  • Entrants must be 18 years or over on the closing date.

  • This is an international competition open to entrants from all countries. 

  • Entries must not have been previously published or accepted for publication, either online or in print, prior to the announcement of results. This includes blogs and personal websites.

  • As the competition is being organised by Matt Kendrick, pieces written and shared on his Write Beyond the Lightbulb courses are not eligible; nor are pieces that have been sent to Matt for feedback or line edits.

  • Entries which are deemed to be racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist or otherwise promoting views not in-line with the normative writing-community position will be disqualified.

  • Entries must be the sole work of the entrant. Any pieces that are deemed to have plagiarised existing work or breached copyright (e.g. by use of song lyrics) will be disqualified and will become ineligible for any prize monies.

  • The use of AI in the writing of entries is strictly prohibited.


  • Entries must not include your name, address, email, telephone number or any other personal information.

  • Entries should use Arial, 14pt font and should be single-spaced.

  • The filename of your entry should be the title, punctuation removed. If your title is longer than five words, please only use the first five words. If your entry is untitled, please use the first five words of the piece itself.

Judging Process

  • Entries will be judged on their individual merits.

  • In the first stage, entries will be read anonymously by at least two readers. Readers will score entries on originality, narrative, characterisation, impact, structure, voice, and language.

  • In the second stage, entries will be read by a further two readers in order to determine a longlist.

  • The longlist will consist of fifty stories.

  • The longlisted stories will be read by the competition judge in order to determine a shortlist and, eventually, the winners.

  • The shortlist will consist of twenty stories.

  • The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Publication of Results

  • The longlist, shortlist and winners’ announcements will be posted to this website on the above dates.

  • Competition entrants will be notified in a BCC email at each of the above stages to let them know that a results update has been published. Please note that individual feedback on unsuccessful entries will not be possible.

  • Winning authors will be contacted regarding their prizes as soon as practicable after the winners’ announcement.

  • Payment of prizes will be via Paypal. If winning authors reside in countries where Paypal doesn't operate, prizes will be awarded in kind as either an equivalent-value course, workshop or editorial opportunity.

  • The three winning entries will be published on this website. The winners of the additional prizes may also be offered publication. The competition organiser reserves the right to suggest edits prior to publication – the author will be consulted on any proposed changes.

  • Authors will retain all rights and copyright to their works. The Welkin Writing Prize requests one-time, non-exclusive rights and non-exclusive electronic archival rights to show your work indefinitely on this site.

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