Who can enter?
Anyone. HG Wells was a self-taught writer, so we warmly encourage anybody to give it a go.
What is this year’s theme?
‘PEACE’ – interpreted any way you wish.
What does it cost to enter, and what are the prizes?
There are two different competitions in 2018: one for those 21 and under, and one for those over 21.
The competition for those 21 and under is free to enter and has a prize of £1,000 for the winning entry. All shortlisted entries will also be published in a quality, professionally published paperback anthology. You can purchase anthologies from previous years’ competitions.
The competition for the over 21s costs £10 (£5 with student ID) to enter and has a prize of £250 (yes, lower than the Junior prize).
Do I have to live in the UK to take part?
No. We welcome, and get, entries from across the world. The competition is open to any writer, anywhere, from any country.
Please note however that although shortlisted authors will be invited to our November awards ceremony in Folkestone UK, the competition organisers will not and cannot pay travel fees or sponsor visas to attend the event.
Do I have to write a sci-fi story (like HG Wells)?
No. Your story can be set anywhere, feature any characters, and be written in any style.
Can I write fewer than 1,500 or more than 5,000 words?
We’re afraid not. Entries shorter than 1,500 words and longer than 5,000 words will be disqualified.
How should I format my story?
You can use the HG Wells Short Story Competition 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.
My story was has been published online/in a magazine. Can I submit it?
Congratulations! But please don’t submit that story. Entries must be entirely your own work, and no part must have been previously published or broadcast in any format. We do accept stories previously published on a personal blog.
How do I send my story (address, format, information)?
You can enter online, including uploading a copy of your story. For details of how to enter, see How to Enter.
I have an agent. Can my agent submit an entry on my behalf?
Yes, that’s fine, but please ensure that they tell us they are your agent, and provide us with contact details for both of you.
Why do you have different prizes and different entry fees?
We have different funding streams, and follow the wishes of those who gave us the money. We are working hard towards getting more funding so we can offer additional prizes.