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?
‘Switch’ – interpreted any way you wish.
How do I enter?
You can enter the H G Wells Short Story Competition online here.
What does it cost to enter, and what are the prizes?
There are two different competitions in 2022: 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 £500 (yes, lower than the Junior prize).
Do I have to live in the UK to take part?
No. We welcome, and receive, entries from across the world. The competition is open to any writer, anywhere, from any country – our 2019 winner was from California!
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.
Can I submit a story in any language other than English?
Sorry, no – we can only consider stories written in English. We haven’t got the resources to translate stories and automatic translation will not do your entry any favours.
How do I send my story (address, format, information)?
You can only enter online, including uploading a copy of your story. For details of how to enter, see How to Enter.
Can I email you my story?
No. You can enter only online via our website. We will not accept entries by any other route.
I can’t pay my entry fee by PayPal or debit or credit card.
Sorry – we can only accept payment by those routes.
Will I get a certificate for entering?
Sorry, no. However, all shortlisted authors will get a copy of the anthology of that years shortlisted entries and a certificate.
Can I enter under a pen name?
Yes, but we need to know your real name ourselves (we will not publish it) and be able to verify your real name and address if you are shortlisted. To enter under a pen name / pseudonym please use your pen name on your entry form and put your real name in brackets after it. We will not publish your real name.
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.