- There are two competitions: The Margaret and Reg Turnill Competition for young writers of 21 years and under, for which the prize winner receives £1,000, and a competition for the over 21s which offers the Grand Prize of £500.
- This year’s theme is “Motion”.
- Entries must be in English.
- The length is 1,500 to 5,000 words.
- Double quotation marks should be used for speech and single quotation marks for other appropriate purposes.
- Entry to the competition are online only, with entrants submitting their story (as a PDF or text document) and any fee as appropriate via our entry form;
- There is a template available below to make ensure your story is formatted correctly. You do not have to use it, but if it helps, please do so. However, whether you use the template or not, the pages should be numbered but the entrant’s name should not appear on any page except on the entry form.
- Please ensure you DO NOT have your name or address ANYWHERE in your uploaded document: we judge all entries “blind” and including your name or address will invalidate your entry. To be safe, do not even use your own name as a character name.
- The closing date is Monday 10th July 2023 and entries will be accepted up to 11pm (BST) on that date.
- There are no entry fees for those aged 21 years and under on Monday 10th July 2023. Over 21s must pay an entry fee of £10 or £5 for those with student id. Details for payment are shown on the entry form. Each story must be submitted on a separate entry form and accompanied by a fee where appropriate.
- Proof of age and / or student id may be required for any entry entered in the Under 22 or at the reduced student price. This proof may be requested by email after the close of entries and prior to the publication of a short list.
- All submissions must be made online, with all required fields completed.
- All submissions should be the writer’s original work. You should not submit the work of others, either in part or in translation.
- Stories should be the sole work of the one submitted author. Co-authored stories are not accepted.
- Copyright remains with the author.
- The story may not be published, or accepted for publication, elsewhere including for other publications by the shortlist announcement date (Thursday 21st September).
- The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence can be entered into.
- Judges reserve the right not to award a prize.
- Entry implies permission for your story to be published in the annual HG Wells Short Story Competition Anthology, and used for Competition publicity purposes.
- By entering the competition and providing your details, you are consenting to us contacting you by email, post or phone about the 2022 competition and related events. We may do so to give more information, update you on shortlisted entries, let you know about available training courses, invite you to the November awards ceremony or even let you know if you have been shortlisted.
- We will ONLY contact you about the H G Wells Short Story Competition in future years if you specifically agree to us doing so by giving us your consent to do so when entering.
- We will not share the contact details of entrants with any other organisation without the consent of the entrant.
Provisional Shortlisting and Award Dates
- Thursday 21st September 2023 : Shortlists announced
- Sunday 19th November 2023 : Awards Ceremony
The shortlists will be announced online via this website.
Please note that although shortlisted authors will be invited to the awards ceremony, the competition organisers will not and cannot pay any travel fees or sponsor visas to attend the event.
Hints and Tips
As one of the aims of the competition is to promote literacy, the judges will include in their criteria the following:
- Accurate use of spelling, grammar and punctuation;
- Use of imagination;
- Originality of thought and interpretation of theme;
- Entertaining content that is thought provoking, intriguing, moving and, above all, enjoyable.
You can use the HG Wells Short Story Competition Word Document Template that is designed to ensure you follow the below rules, but whether you use it or not we ask:
1. Each page should be numbered;
2. Absolutely no identification of author on the page or in the document properties (stories not meeting this rule will be disqualified);
3. All text 12 point, Verdana (for judging – it’s easier to read);
4. 1.5 lines spacing;
5. Single space left after full stops, colons, etc.;
6. Titles: centre, bold;
7. First paragraph and after each break – no indentation;
8. Second and subsequent paragraphs – indented.
We would prefer documents to be submitted in Word or ODF (Open Document Format) files, but PDF is also acceptable.