Send us up to 500 words in response to our monthly prompts – prose, script or poetry; fiction or non-fiction; a complete story or an extract of a longer work.
Submissions will be read anonymously by a different Reader each month, and their favourites published on this site. Want to be a Reader for next month? Get in touch via email@example.com.
We will aim to have the winning pieces published as soon as possible at the start of the following month, but please bear with us – it can take our Reader time if there have been a lot of entries! All entrants will be notified when the winning pieces have been published.
Read work selected as ‘Reader’s Choice’ in previous months here.
This month’s prompt is an ending or beginning for your piece: ‘Shall we order now?’
Your characters have just sat down in a restaurant when something happens, or perhaps they’re meeting at a bar or cafe. Maybe they’re on a blind date, or reconnecting with estranged family members or old friends. What is said? What unexpected events happen before the waiter comes? What secrets are revealed before the first course?
Deadline for submissions: 31st March 2019
- Respond to the theme/challenge/prompt. If you’ve got the perfect piece of work but it doesn’t fit this month’s challenge, get in touch to suggest a theme for next month!
- There is no lower word limit. The upper word limit (not including title) is 500 words.
- There are no strict formatting requirements, but nothing too weird please.
- Do not include your name in the document title or within the document. Entries will be read anonymously. Full credit will be given to the author if the work is published.
- No really bad swear words or explicit content, please.
- Submissions are welcomed from around the world, but must be in English.
- We don’t mind if it’s been published elsewhere in the past, but please make sure your work is copyright cleared for it to be published online if chosen. (For example, if you need to include the line ‘first published in…’ to comply with a former publisher’s terms, let us know.)
- If your work is this month’s ‘Reader’s Choice’ it will be published on our website. We reserve the right to make minor edits. We would like to leave your work on our site indefinitely, but if you would like it removed after a minimum of 12 months online please get in touch.
- There will be no monetary payments to authors for work accepted as this is a non-profit competition run by volunteers; there is a possibility your work may be included in a print anthology in future – we will get in touch if we want to include your work.
- We will keep your data in accordance with GDPR, and use your email address only to contact you to announce the competition winners and let you know of new competition opportunities (maximum one email a month after the announcement of winners). You can unsubscribe at any time, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to submit:
Submit your entry via the google form here (you will need to sign in) by the end of the month of the challenge, eg, for the March prompt please send in your entries by midnight on 31st March. The email address is still monitored for enquiries, but we are no longer accepting entries this way.
There is no charge for your first submission in each month. If you wish to submit more than one piece a £4 fee will apply for each additional work (drop us an email and we’ll send a Paypal invoice).
If you enter multiple pieces without getting in touch, only the first will be accepted. It is possible to log in and make changes to your submission before the deadline, please don’t submit a second version, as only the first entry will be accepted in this case.
Want feedback on your work?
If you would like detailed feedback on your work (including ‘track changes’ to highlight specific things) one of our team can provide this for a £5 fee. Just send your work to email@example.com and we will send a paypal invoice. Once the invoice has been paid we will send you feedback on your work.
We cannot guarantee that feedback will be given before the competition closes (please allow two weeks after payment is received), and we cannot guarantee that your story will be chosen as ‘Reader’s Choice’ as a result of our feedback.