Birmingham Book Festival Short Story Competition 2012

The annual Birmingham Book Festival is currently under way and it includes a short story competition.

The theme is ‘Clocks’ and the story must be between 1000 and 2000 words. The winner will receive £100 plus a writing workshop of their choice (from a program yet to be announced for next spring) and the second prize winner will receive £50. Two runners-up will receive tickets to an event of their choice in the Birmingham Book Festival 2012 ‘Spring Thing’. Each prize winner will also get to read their story at a special celebratory event. 

Entry fee is £5 and closing date is 31 January 2012. Full details are here

Remember – stories with a theme, like this one, attract fewer entrants than ‘open’ competitions – so have a brainstorm and try to come up with something unusual on the theme of ‘clocks’.

Also – until midnight tomorrow (14th October 2011) I am donating £1 to the RNIB for each new subscriber to this blog. Simply enter your email address in the box on the right – it’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. More information is here.


  1. #1 by susanjanejones on October 13, 2011 - 7:08 pm

    Hi Sally,
    this sounds interesting, I love the sound of an old ticking clock. My mum and dad have a grandfather clock, it drove my dad crazy and he had to have it moved into the hall. He said it was life ticking by, I find it oddly soothing. I have put you on the list of friendly bloggers for an award, on my blogsite if you want it. No obligations though.

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on October 13, 2011 - 7:24 pm

      Hi Susan – I’m with your dad, I hate ticking clocks – especially at night when I’m trying to sleep.
      Thanks very much for the friendly blogger award!

  2. #3 by Clair Chaytors on October 13, 2011 - 7:33 pm

    I love this competition. I think there is so much scope on the title of ‘Clocks’.

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on October 13, 2011 - 7:45 pm

      Clair – yes, it opens up the whole theme of time and how we perceive it.

  3. #5 by Alice on October 13, 2011 - 8:09 pm

    This is a great competition. Thank you for sharing the info. I expect they’ll get quite a few entries on time travel so I’m going to try and think up something clock related that’s a bit different to that!

  4. #7 by Patsy Collins (@PatsyCollins) on October 15, 2011 - 10:37 am

    I actually prefer competitions with a theme. If I can write about anything, my mind is overwhelmed by the possibilities. A theme helps me stick to one idea.

    • #8 by Sally Jenkins on October 15, 2011 - 6:55 pm

      Patsy – it is good to have a theme to write to but an open comp. allows you to send stories from your ‘back catalogue’ – which is probably why they get more entries.

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