With six weeks to go until our entry deadline we’d like to take the opportunity (thank you, the mighty Shortstops) to say that the 2018 Bristol Short Story Prize is open for entries, and we really, really do mean open.
We’ve published a huge range of stories in our first 10 anthologies – stories set throughout history from ancient Greece to the present day, and beyond to imagined futures. There have been stories narrated by octogenarians, by children not yet a decade old, and others with narrators and protagonists at all stages of life in between. Stories written in the first, second and third persons, with the broadest sweep of styles and genres from the familiar to the obscure: historical, romance, literary, science fiction, harsh realism, surreal flights of fancy, tense thrillers, comic capers, ‘experimental’ tales, sparsely written hammer blows of what some might call flash fiction and lots more. Stories set in countries all over the globe, written by writers worldwide.
There have been high, mid and low brow stories; stories written as blog posts, album reviews, in verse, as diaries, as a series of emails, as well as a sumptuous crop of the more traditional; stories of 4,000 words and those with just a few hundred, one of which won first prize in 2010.
Our 2017 winner, Dima Alzayat (centre) with awards ceremony guest speaker Edson Burton (left) and judging panel member, literary agent Juliet Pickering, who now represents Dima.
We invite you to show us what’s possible in a short story, what a short story can be, what a story can do and what ‘short story’ means to you. Drop our jaws, make us weep, make us rethink, tickle us, entertain us, confound us, provoke us, comfort us, stimulate us, challenge us, storify us to another time or place but above all we want to encourage and inspire you to feel free to write what you want in whatever form you want.
We won’t be compiling lists of shoulds and shouldn’ts on how or what to write. Another contribution to the vast muddle won’t help anyone, there’s more than enough out there. You’re the writer, it’s up to you what you do. It’s your story. We’ll read every submission with the same objectivity, respect and relish.
In short, then, there are no dos and don’ts, shoulds and shouldn’ts, rights and wrongs. No borders, no barriers, no walls.
With that in mind, here are some details of this year’s competition:
The 2018 Bristol Short Story Prize is open to all published and unpublished writers worldwide over 16 years of age. Stories can be on any theme or subject and entry can be made online via the website or by post. Entries must be previously unpublished with a maximum length of 4,000 words (There is no minimum). The entry fee is £8 per story.
The closing date for entries is midnight (BST) May 1st 2018.
20 stories will be shortlisted and the 20 shortlisted writers will be invited to the 2018 awards ceremony in Bristol in October this year when the winners will be announced and this year’s anthology launched. Prizes will be sent to any writer unable to attend the awards ceremony.
1st £1000, 2nd £700, 3rd £400. 17 further prizes of £100 will be presented to the writers whose stories appear on the shortlist. All 20 shortlisted writers will have their stories published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 11.
And here is our amazing judging panel: Kate Johnson (literary agent at Mackenzie Wolf), Lucy Cowie (editor and former literary agent), Roshi Fernando (writer), and Polly Ho-Yen (writer)
Full details and rules are available at www.bristolprize.co.uk