We are delighted to announce . . .

At Strictly Writing we love everything about writing, apart from all the bits we hate - writer’s block, writer’s bum, rejections, etc, etc - but really, we love it all.

Now we want to celebrate writing with a competition, to provide a place to showcase some stories and to offer a prize to the overall winner.

We’re excited to tell you we’ve created The Strictly Writing Award, sponsored by Strictly Writing with a cash prize of £300 for the winning story. Unlike many competitions, this one is free to enter.

We will showcase one story per month for ten months on Strictly Writing, and each of those stories will be entered on the shortlist for The Strictly Writing Award.

When all the ten shortlisted stories are on display on Strictly Writing, the winner will be chosen, with your help. In keeping with the spirit of our namesake, Strictly Come Dancing, the winning story will be decided by a combination of 50% votes from the SW readership and 50% by the SW team. We’ll post instructions on how to vote, nearer the time.

The story to be showcased each month on Strictly Writing will be selected by the SW team. We commit to read at least 30 stories each month from those sent to us. Any we don't manage to read will be placed in a queue, to be read and considered for later months. In the last month we will read another 100, so stories sent in towards the end of the competition can be included too.

How to send your story

Simply email your story to strictlywriting@btinternet.com

Anyone can enter, wherever you are in the world, so long as you are over 18 years of age, and the story is in English, with one entry per person.

The story should be included in the body of your email, as we can’t handle attachments. Please include the name of the story and your name in the subject line of the email.

The stories must be no longer than 2000 words, but can be on any subject.

The stories should be unpublished, including publication on any internet sites. You will retain full copyright of your story, but by sending it to The Strictly Writing Award, you give us permission to post it on Strictly Writing.

The shortlisted stories will be showcased here on the last Friday of each month, starting on Friday 30 April. To see the stories please come back here.

What we are looking for

We’re looking for stories that have a strong effect on us, stories that make us laugh or make us cry. We’re not pretending to be experts or professional judges, but we know what we like and we’d like to celebrate that.

So, dust off your quill, unblock your inkwell and send us your story. We're ready to start reading it now.


Old Kitty said...


Ooooh I'm always up for writing competitions me!

Thank you lovely team at Strictly (Come) Writing!!!!!!

Will now give the pen the old dust and brush!

p.s. I'm being dense as always but does that mean I have ten months to send one story? I'm trying to work out the deadline.

Thanks again!!!

Take care

Roderic Vincent said...

Good morning and Good Friday.

Thank you for your enthusiastic response to our new venture. Yes, we will be accepting stories for the next ten months. Because we are limited in our time we've committed to read at least 30 stories per month and another 100 in the last month. That means that to be absolutely sure of being considered you need to be in the first 400 we receive. We'll try to read more if we can, and we'll put updates on the blog.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

apologies for going haywire with comments. Some kind of blogger timewarp. Not the best way to get noticed!

Roderic Vincent said...

Sorry, Ali, I managed to delete all copies. Please post it again, but ideally only once :)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant news - love the idea of strictly-style voting. Hope we also get judges' comments a la Craig and Len. Off to look for something worthy of at least a SEVEN..
(Thanks for getting rid of the commentfest)

Essie Fox said...

What a wonderful idea! Good on you, Strictly team.

Gillian McDade said...

Get writing folks!

Lady Síle Eversley said...

As I am to writing as John Sergeant is to hang-gliding, I'm up to giving folks at Strictly Writing a laugh if nothing else :-) Must see whether I can sustain an idea for more than 10 seconds ....

Katie Mayes said...

oooh how exciting!

Just to check - is it one entry per person?

Katie x

Paul Lamb said...

By showcasing a story on Strictly Writing do you remove the "not-previously-published" quality that many magazines require? If you showcase my story, and I do not win, how successful can I be shopping it around in other venues if it's already been "published" here? Or am I mistaken?

Leila said...

What an excellent idea, and a great offer, too - £300 prize and no entry fee is really impressive.
Paul, I think the question of whether winning the Strictly Writing competition counts as published or not would be up to the various magazines to decide. I should ask them. Probably they will have different opinions about what counts as 'published'.

fidelity said...

I'm really looking forward to this short story fiesta. It's my favourite form. The reader gets a wonderful vibe from a good short that can last for weeks. Only takes ten minutes to half an hour to read and yet it puts me in a reflective mood, like meditation. It used to be very popular but the blockbuster novel I think has taken precedence in recent years; maybe it's time for a change in the trend. A little shamefully these days publishers don't seem to be interested in them - at least I've heard writers complaining of this. Let's hope SW writers can do it justice! (I might even try one myself, well, actually I have been - for longer than I care to remember - so whoever wins will certainly deserve the handout)

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Paul, we'll answer your question as soon as we can (if we can!) - and Fidelity - glad you like the idea and hope you will be entering!

Roderic Vincent said...

Katie, yes it's one entry per person.

And Paul, as Leila says, each magazine or competition has its own submission criteria, so you would have to check how any outlets you are considering selling your story to would view showcasing of the story here.

Ceka said...

I wanna play too! Just give me a while to come up with some tale or other ... thanks folks, great idea.

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