Entries are open for the Surrey Life Short Story competition

Surrey Life

Write a short story to be in with the chance of being pubilshed in Surrey Life - Credit: Unsplash/Patrick Tomasso

Last month we launched the Surrey Life Short Story Competition that is run each year in partnership with Guildford Book Festival.

If you have yet to get started, well don’t panic, there is still time to keep your thinking caps on and embark on your opus. The closing date is July 31st

The annual Guildford Book Festival will be running between 3rd - 10th October 2021

The annual Guildford Book Festival will be running between 3rd - 10th October 2021 - Credit: Guildford Book Festival

This year we are launching our Adult and Children’s competitions simultaneously – although we have given the children an extra month to complete their masterpieces, we know they are busy at school and all you adults have a lot more time on your hands (!).  

The rules for the adult competition are very straightforward: you must be 18 or over, so far unpublished and the story – which can fall into any genre - needs to be a maximum of 1,000 words. Judges for this year’s event are international bestselling author Adele Parks, Guildford Book Festival co-director Alex Andrews, BBC Surrey editor Sara David and Surrey Life editor Jane Thynne.  

Bestselling author and Patron of The Guildford Book Festival Adele Parks

Bestselling author and Patron of The Guildford Book Festival, Adele Parks - Credit: Archant

The winner of the adult competition will have their story published in the magazine, read out on BBC Surrey and will also receive a selection of books from an array of Guildford Book Festival authors. 

For the children, the theme of this year’s event is Bedtime Stories. Sponsored by leading bedding company Simba, the tale can be about absolutely anything that takes your fancy - bugs, boats, fairies or firefighters - as long as it can be read while you are tucked up in bed - the choice is yours. Again, just like the grown-ups, your story must be an original tale, but unlike the grown-ups, you need to write no more than 500 words.  

In the young writers’ competition, there are two age categories; Key Stage 2 (7-11 years) and Key Stage 3 (11-14 years) and entries will be judged on their imaginativeness and not grammar, punctuation or spelling – we want to hear your wonderful tales not set you a test. Joining Alex and Jane on the children’s judging panel will be bestselling, award-winning author Rob Biddulph and Simba CEO Steve Reid.  

Children’s Short Story Competition judge and bestselling author Rob Biddulph

Children’s Short Story Competition judge and bestselling author Rob Biddulph - Credit: Kitty Biddulph

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The winners of each of the children’s categories will have their story published in Surrey Life and will also receive a kids sleep bundle (mattress, mattress protector, pillows and duvet) provided by sponsor Simba. 

Adult entry details:  

Entry details and terms & conditions: The competition is open to previously unpublished individuals aged 18 and over. To enter, send an original, unpublished short story, written in English and of no more than 1,000 words to jane.thynne@archant.co.uk. Please mark Adult Writing Competition in the subject box. The competition closes at midnight on July 31, 2021. Stories received after the closing date will not be considered.  

Children’s Entry Details: 

Entry details and terms & conditions: The competition closes at midnight on August 31, 2021. The competition is open to children aged between seven and 14 who live or school in Surrey. Entries must be submitted by a parent or guardian. To enter, submit an original, unpublished short story, written in English and of no more than 500 words to jane.thynne@archant.co.uk. Please mark Children’s Writing Competition in the subject box.  

The winner/s 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 greatbritishlife.co.uk

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