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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 false alarm: did you wake with a start in the night? Did a bell ring that shouldn’t have? Did the test have an unexpected result? – interpret it as you wish.
Deadline for submissions: 31st October 2018
- 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. If you’re a couple of words over 500 we probably won’t mind.
- Submit your entry via the google form here 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 are no strict formatting requirements, but nothing too weird please.
- 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). (Please note, Didcot Writers is a not-for-profit organisation. Any proceeds will be put towards supporting the activities of the group.)
- If you would like detailed feedback on your work (including ‘track changes’ to highlight specific things) one of our team can provide this. A £5 fee will be charged. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com.