Note, there are significant changes since previous years.
The competition is open to all aged 16 or over, regardless of nationality or country of residence.
Entries must be:
- in English
- in a normal font size (12 point is fine)
Entries must be entirely your own work and never previously published or broadcast, online or offline.
You can submit as many entries as you like, provided the entry fee is paid for each one. However, please only submit your best stories. In the case of multiple entries, all will be read but no more than one will be short-listed. As the short list is created anonymously, this will be checked at the final short-listing stage and if necessary de-duplicated.
Please provide your real name and details. In the event that your story reaches the short list, you will be given the opportunity to specify a pen name for public use. We reserve the right to disqualify entries by anyone using multiple "identities" if we feel that these have been submitted with the purpose of deception.
Entries submitted on behalf of somebody else are not allowed and are disqualified.
Manuscripts must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title of the story and any that do will be disqualified. After the anonymous reading and selections, your name and details will be retrieved if your entry has been successful.
The word limit this year is 7,500.
There is no set theme.
Entry is by completing the online entry form and uploading your manuscript in Microsoft Word (".doc" or ".docx") or RTF (".rtf") format to our account in the Submittable.com system.
There is an entry fee of £6 per entry. Entry fees are non-refundable.
Unfortunately we cannot help with any payment problems you might experience due to geographical location, computer system incompatibilities or any other issues. Please do not submit correspondence concerning entries as this will likely break the anonymity and therefore disqualify your entry.
Opening date for submissions: 1 August 2013
Closing date: 20 December 2013
There is no fixed results date but we aim to announce the results early in Spring 2014. Depending on sponsorship, accounting and general logistics, we want to have a results event as in previous years but that is not guaranteed. There is no requirement to attend any event.
Members of Willesden Herald, Pretend Genius, Willesden Writers' Group committee and this year's judges are excluded.
Please notify us if your story is accepted elsewhere for publication before our results are announced, so we can remove it from the competition.
We will not enter into any correspondence about entries or results.
We cannot provide any feedback on individual entries.
We will reduce the entries to a short list from which the winning entries will be chosen anonymously by this year's judge (Charles Lambert).
The results will be announced online and by email to the writers concerned.
The prizes for 2014 are:
1st place: A one-off Willesden Herald mug inscribed "The Willesden Short Story Prize 2014" plus £300.
2nd: 2 x £150 (two runners-up)
All ten short-listed stories will be included in "New Short Stories 8", with a cover design by acclaimed artist Stratos Fountoulis.
Author compensation for inclusion in New Short Stories is limited to two complimentary copies of the anthology.
Worldwide copyright on each entry remains with its author. By entering you grant permission, only if your story is short-listed,
(a) to include it in "Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 8" (the book) print and ebook editions;
(b) for an excerpt from it to be read at the results and or launch event for the book;
(c) for said reading to be recorded and shared through online video and sound sharing media.
We guarantee that a short list of ten will be selected, from which a winner and two runners-up will be chosen.
The aim of this competition is to encourage the creation of excellent new short stories. Organisation, reading and judging are done on a voluntary or nominal basis, all for the love of the short story.
By submitting an entry you agree to accept these rules in full.
Please read some of our previous collections to get an idea of what we like and why we do this. You can find them here: New Short Stories.