Nottingham Writers’ Club National Short Story Competition 2016

Nottingham Writers’ Club have just launched their 2016 National Short Story Competition.

The theme is ‘Fire’ and to get you started the Club has brainstormed a few ideas. Do any of the following inspire you to get writing?

Bonfire, house fire, barbeque, candle flames, fireworks, firing a gun, canon fire, lightning, brush fire, wood burning stove, coal fire, garden fire, firing someone from work, rockets, St Elmo’s fire, execution by firing squad, burning crop fields, smoke signals, brazier, fire pit, roasting chestnuts on an open fire, volcanic eruption, gas explosion, dynamite, cowboy shoot out, food smoker, sauna, assassination …

I’m sure there’s loads more ‘Fire’ related things to be written about. Grab a pen and paper and have a think.

The important thing to remember about this competition is that its purpose is to encourage new and less experienced writers. So entrants must not have earned £300 or more from short story writing in 2015. If you fit that category then this is a competition worth entering because you won’t have to compete with the ‘professionals’.

There will be three main prizes – £200, £100 and £50 – plus five runners up prizes and all entrants will receive a few lines of feedback on their story. The entry fee is £5 and there is a limit of 2,000 words.

Novelist and short story writer, Patsy Collins will be judging the competition. Coincidentally, her latest book, Firestarter, involves a hunky fireman… Firestarter by Patsy Collins

The competition opens for submissions of entries on 1st February 2016, with the last day for receipt being 29th February 2016. (But don’t wait until February to start thinking about your story!)


If writing non-fiction is more up your street, you may find Alex Gazzola’s new e-book, 50 Mistakes Beginner Writers Make, useful. Alex, a writing tutor and journalist, takes you through 50 of the key errors new and aspiring writers may be making – and guides you towards putting them right. Worth a read if you want to write and sell magazine or newspaper articles. Mistakes Writers Make

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  1. #1 by susanjanejones on December 3, 2015 - 4:36 pm

    Thanks for the information, Sally. I wouldn’t have called myself new or less experienced, but I haven’t earned £300 this year from stories, so therefore I do qualify and might have a go. I’ve been trying a few competitions lately, no luck so far though, but someone has to win don’t they?

  2. #4 by Patsy on December 3, 2015 - 5:03 pm

    Thanks for the mention, Sally!

    I’m fairly sure it was Firestarter which prompted Nottingham Writers to ask me to be their judge for this competition.

    • #5 by Sally Jenkins on December 3, 2015 - 6:39 pm

      It’s quite an honour to be asked, Patsy. And you’ll get lots of interesting reading!

      • #6 by Patsy on December 6, 2015 - 10:15 am

        I’m hoping for some very entertaining stories – and I reckon there’s a good chance I’ll get them.

  3. #7 by Maria Smith (@mariaAsmith) on December 5, 2015 - 11:28 pm

    I shall let my writers group know about it. A great theme.
    Thank you for sharing Sally.

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