Entries are now open for the Surrey Life short story competition

Could you be Surrey's next top storyteller

Could you be Surrey's next top storyteller - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s that time of year when we call for budding writers to put pen to paper and enter our readers’ short story competition, in partnership with Guildford Book Festival


With literary greats including Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle all finding inspiration in Surrey, we’re challenging you to do the same, let your imagination run wild and write an entry for our Readers’ Short Story Competition.

Since it launched in 2018, the competition has gained huge momentum, doubling the amount of entries year on year.

Once again last year, following careful deliberation, the judges were unanimous in picking their winner. Stay Safe by Rachel Meade was chosen for its suspense-building narrative and gripping ending – you can read the story at surreylife.co.uk.

This year we have again teamed up with Guildford Book Festival in a bid to find the county’s next big bite-size literary star. We have also launched a children’s edition of the competition which you can enter through this link.


The winning story will be published in Surrey Life magazine and broadcast live on BBC Surrey. In addition, the winner will receive a selection of books signed by authors taking part in this year’s Guildford Book Festival, which runs from October 4 to 11.

The competition is open to Surrey residents aged 18 and over who have not previously been professionally published and distributed online or in bookshops. The short story should not exceed 1,000 words and must be submitted by July 31, 2020.

Shortlisted authors will be invited to attend the launch of Guildford Book Festival in October, when the overall winner will be announced. The judging panel includes Surrey Life editor Rebecca Younger, multi-million bestselling author Adele Parks, BBC Surrey and Sussex editor Sara David and Guildford Book Festival co-director Alex Andrews.

Most Read

Alex says: “This year’s Guildford Book Festival once again has a really exciting line up, including our Spring readers’ Day this month on April 25. As well as showcasing the work of established writers, the festival has always supported and celebrated new writers and we are as passionate about that today as we were when the festival began over 30 years ago.


“We’re delighted to be joining forces again with Surrey Life magazine to find new talent and we can’t wait to see what this year’s entries bring.”

The Judges:

Bestselling women’s fiction author Adele Parks lives in Guildford with her husband and teenage son. She has sold more than three million copies of her novels in the UK and her books have been translated into over 26 languages.

Her latest novel, Lies, Lies, Lies is out now and her new novel, Just My Luck, will be published on May 14.

Fill out my online form.

Alex Andrews lives in Shamley Green with her husband, three sons and her Sprollie dog, Tilly. She joined Guildford Book Festival in 2016, having previously worked for The Book People, where she managed Puffin Post and Puffin Book Club Magazines.

She has also worked on the Red House Children’s Book Awards and as head of publicity at children’s publisher Templar.

Sara David is the editor of BBC Surrey and BBC Sussex. She has been a BBC journalist for more than two decades and before that worked in commercial radio. In her spare time, she loves nothing more than getting stuck into a new book.

Rebecca Younger joined Surrey Life as editor in 2016 having previously spent over a decade working on the news and features desks of local and national newspapers. She has written guidebooks on the south east of England and enjoys discussing and debating new novels at her monthly book club.

Submit your story in the form below

Entry details and terms & conditions: The competition is open to previously unpublished individuals aged 18 and over. To enter, upload an original, unpublished short story, written in English and of no more than 1,000 words.

The competition closes at midnight on July 31, 2020. Stories received after the closing date will not be considered. The winner will be selected by a panel of judges and will be based on literary merit, originality and readability. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these terms and to have agreed to be bound by them. For full Archant T&Cs visit surreylife.co.uk.

Comments powered by Disqus