Monday, 16 March 2009


I enter the occasional short story competition – it’s fun when you do well, bolsters the CV – though I balance this out with submissions to literary journals who pay a token amount for publication. Obviously it’s important to follow the submission guidelines to give yourself a chance, so I was a little flummoxed (do people still say that?) on reading this one:

Stories should not contain content of an overtly religious, political, sexual or violent nature. Stories may contain expletives where they are relevant to the story itself.

This about rules out my entire oeuvre. And as for the expletives, I’d like to think every word included would be relevant to the story. Oh well. If your work is of a more benign nature you can enter HERE .


Douglas Bruton said...

Sounds like you have identified a challenge for yourself here - to write outwith your normal field... bet you could.

Good to see the novel number count has jerked forward some.


TOM J VOWLER said...

I just find it odd, Douglas, when such restrictions on theme are set out. I hate being told to write for a mainstream audience: I mean who the hell are such folk? As some sagacious person said, there's only good and bad writing.

CathM said...

Thanks for the link but I think I’ll take a rain check... lol...!

Tania Hershman said...

I saw this one too and was instantly put off. What else can we write about? Fluffy chicks?? Did Jack R avoid all such subjects in his lifetime? Ah well... another competition entry fee saved. It's an expensive business!

PS Tom, I was rather wrong about FISH, it was 1500 not 15,000 entries :) Got carried away....

TOM J VOWLER said...

Yes, a competition entirely on the theme of fluffy chicks; how very seasonal.

I thought 15,000 sounded a lot. Heck, 1,500 is about the most entries for a comp at present, so V did remarkably well.

I entered a dark little tale into the Fish flash comp - no fluffy chicks in sight.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

I have read elsewhere that an entrant was recently contacted by the organiser, wanting to publish their entry on the website 'to encourage others'. (No-. they hadnt won anything, and might not...the comp doesnt call until later this year).

And then they were given a strong sales pitch regarding the publishing wing of the site....maybe this is one to watch???

Vanessa Gebbie said...


I think Bridport gets between 5,000 and 6,000 short stories each year.