Writing Competitions

Writing Competitions

Cambridge Writers hold several writing competitions each year.

They are exclusively for members and there are no entry fees.

We offer cash prizes in all our contests.

NEW! Fantasy Fiction Competition

To honour our late member Steve Hammond, whose writing was greatly admired by many of us, we are running a new fantasy writing competition. It will be known as the Steve Hammond Memorial Competition.

To help you in writing your entries, here’s a definition of Fantasy Writing:

A genre of speculative fiction writing involving magical elements, sometimes inspired by mythology or folklore. It differs from science fiction and horror by the fact that scientific or macabre themes are generally absent, or are not the main focus of the writing.

Fantasy Competition rules:

1) The competition is open to members of Cambridge Writers, who may submit one entry.

2) Word limit 1,000 words.

3) Entries must have a title, which is not part of the word limit. They must not bear the author’s name.

4) Closing date 31st May.

5) Entries must be sent to the competition secretary Siobhan Carew as a Word or pdf file. You will receive a notification of your entry. Should you not receive this, please contact Siobhan.

6) Entries must be accompanied by a separate file with the title, the author’s name and the word count.

7) All entries will be circulated anonymously to all members who may vote on their first, second and third choices.

8) The closing date for voting is 30th June.

9) Prizes will be £50 first, £30 second, £20 third. 10) Results will be announced at the summer social, to be held on a Saturday in late July (date to be announced later).

11) The first prize entry will be read out at the summer social.

Short Story Competition

Our short story competition has a different theme each year, decided at the AGM in the spring. You can interpret the chosen theme in any way you choose, just make sure it’s linked in some way.

You can submit your entry at any time until the closing date the following January, so there’s plenty of time to work on your story. Entry is free, and is open only to members of Cambridge Writers.

The word limit is 2500, not including the title.

We use an external judge, and have had professionals in the fields of publishing, writing or education adjudicate previously. Dr. Sean Baker, lecturer in creative writing at Anglia Ruskin University is the judge for our 2023 competition.

There is a fantastic £100 available to the winner, £70 for second, and £50 for third place.

There’s also the added bonus that, subject to your agreement, you will see your entry published in one of our beautiful short story competition anthologies.

To get an idea of the types of entries that do well in our contests, have a read of some of the winning stories from previous years here.

Flash Fiction Competition

Our flash fiction contest opens in the spring of each year, and closes a month or so later. Entry is free, and is open only to members of Cambridge Writers.

The definition of ‘flash fiction’ often varies significantly. We keep the word count pretty tight at 250 (not including the title, thank goodness!). There is no set theme, so you can write your flash piece on any subject, and in any genre you like.

We hold a results night, usually in June where pieces are read by two selected readers in order that authors remain anonymous.

All members attending the results evening then vote on their favourite entries. The top three entries win £30, £20, and £10, as well as the glory.

All members can attend the results evening, you don’t have to have entered the competition, and we encourage all members to come – it’s a lot of fun. But if you have entered, you cannot vote for your own entry!

Remember you have to be a member to enter our writing competitions, so find out more about joining Cambridge Writers here.