2016 winners and 2017 theme announced!


November 30, 2016 by Gary Fuller

There were over 90 people attending the 2016 H G Wells Short Story Competition Awards at the Grand, Folkestone on Sunday 27 November where are winners for 2016 were announced.

Anne Petrie won the senior prize of  £250 for her story “Space Wars“; and Holly Cartwright aged 17 won the Turnill Prize of £1000 for her story “The Fallow Sons of a Failed Astronaut”. Both are pictured here with Charlie Bain Smith, our chair of judges this year.  A special commendation prize of £250  in the junior section was also awarded to Alice Sargent for her story “Not Enough Space in this World”.

There were over 300 entries this year, a very high amount, on the theme of Space, a subject dear to the heart of the award’s founder, Reg Turnill, the former BBC space correspondent. Beginning in 2009, this is the eight year of the competition.

The Turnill prize was presented by Ros McCarthy our former Chair of Judges and Deputy Lord Ltnt, on behalf of Lady Howard who couldn’t attend. Other awards were presented by Judith Spevock from the Communications Department of the ALCS, the Authors’ Licensing and Collection Society, who gave a short address on the work of the ALCS. The awards ceremony was opened by Martin Salmon, Folkestone Town Mayor, and  short talk from Lucy Popescu, editor of a collection of essays on refuges and migrants began the proceedings which ended with a special commendation award to Alice Sargent aged 16 from Carmarthenshire for her story on Syrian refugees entitled “Not Enough Space in the World”… a neat tie up!


Video clips were played of shortlisted writers from USA, Spain and the UK reflecting the international nature of the competition of which we are very proud. Readings were also given by shortlisted writers at the end of the buffet lunch.


We are very pleased to thank our sponsors, primarily the ALCS and also Folkestone Town Council, Shepway District Council and Rosie Unsworth our former Chair. We were pleased to welcome the Folkestone Town Mayor, Martin Salmon, and his wife, Shepway District Council Leader, Jan Holben, who has generously supported us, Folkestone Town Councillor, Rodica Wheeler who has championed us since 2010 and the Sandgate Society Chair, Cllr. Marjorie Findlay Stone.

Next year’s theme is “Light” and dates are as follows:

Deadline of midnight on Sunday 16 July for all entries; Shortlist announcement on Thursday 21 September; and the awards ceremony on Sunday 26 November at The Grand, Folkestone.

Additional copies of the 2016 anthology can be purchased on Amazon for £7.99.

The H G Wells Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their entries and support this year, we look forward to seeing you in 2017.

Reading an extract of her story "Space Wars"

Anne Petrie reading an extract of her story “Space Wars”

Winner of the Senior Prize of £250

Anne Petrie, winner of the Senior Prize of £250

Winner of the Turnill Prize of £1000 for her story “The Fallow Sons of a Failed Astronaut”.

Holly Cartwright, winner of the Turnhill Prize of £1000 for her story “The Fallow Sons of a Failed Astronaut”.

Reading an extract of her “The Fallow Sons of a Failed Astronaut”.

Holly Cartwright reading an extract of her “The Fallow Sons of a Failed Astronaut”.

Anne Petrie and Holly Cartwright, the winners of 2016.

Anne Petrie and Holly Cartwright, the winners of 2016.


Theme: Motion

Entries for our 2023 Competition are now open.

Deadline for entries is Monday 10th July (11pm BST). Shortlist announcement Thursday 21st September. Winners to be announced Sunday 19th November.

For further information, please read the rules and FAQs below. If you cannot find the answer to your query there, you can email hgwellscompetition@gmail.com

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