Short Story Competition

The 2018 Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Competition was launched on 1st November 2017, with a closing date of midnight on Friday 23rd March 2018.  Open to adults and juniors.  Click here for the General Competition Rules, or here for the specific Junior Competition Rules. The competition is FREE for juniors, and costs £5 per entry for adults.  We are very grateful to The Rotary Club of Evesham who have once again kindly sponsored the junior prizes.

Short Story Competition 2018


Meanwhile, the 2017 Best Stories anthology is still available to purchase! Thanks to everyone who submitted entries to our 2017 Short Story Competition.


The winners of the 2017 Short Story Competition, announced by Prue Leith on Friday 30th June, were:

Junior (8 – 11) – Iona Mandal ‘Anne Frank – Reborn’

Junior (12 – 15) – Charvi Jain ‘Boundless’

Adult – Ali Bacon – ‘The Bird of Wax’


Details of the shortlisted, longlisted adult entries, and shortlisted juniors for 2017 appear below. The 2017 Anthology is now on sale in the Festival Bookshop at the Almonry in Evesham. You can also order a copy online!

Short Stories (2) for 2017 Front cover final

Anthology (2017)

2017 Adult Category Winner, shortlist and longlist:

Winner – announced by Prue Leith 30th June 2017, Ali Bacon for her story ‘The Bird of Wax’

Allchurch Bailey kindly provided the prize for the winning adult entry.


Ali Bacon                ‘The Bird of Wax’  (Winner)

Rachel Clements       ‘Emereaux Parish’

Maureen Cullen         ‘Etcetera’

Roz Levens                 ‘Always Careful, Never Greedy’

Laurence MacDonald ‘Stormbound’

Gill Sharp                     ‘Wedding Belle Blues’

Gill Thompson            ‘Finding Herself’


Mina Bancheva          ‘Mr Yamanoto and the Sleeper Train’

John Glander             ‘Lock Down’

David Holmes             ‘Rockin’ Ron Hits the Headlines’

Hilary Hopker            ‘Black Hatting’

Denise Ogilvie            ‘Fetes des Ramparts’

Tony Oswick               ‘The Psychedelic Moth’

Victoria Owens          ‘The Perils of the Job’

Sophie van Llewyn    ‘Sauerkraut’

Judge’s Statement (adult category)

Vanessa Gebbie  (

Iwas sent the long-list of fifteen short stories to consider, all hugely different, and was asked to pick one winner.  There were historical stories, ghost stories, science fiction and light-hearted crime in addition to several comic stories, in settings as far apart as the UK, the USA and Japan.  How to decide between such different work, and choose just one?  I was wary of just picking the story ‘I enjoyed most’, but subjectivity is something a judge tries to set aside as much as they are able.  Besides, I have eclectic tastes.   I love historical pieces.  I love a giggle.  I love being made to think.  I love ghost stories…  So, I created a list of what I was looking for in my ideal winner, and therefore had something more objective against which to measure the stories.   First, the writing itself, the element which becomes clear in the very first sentences.  I was looking for confident writing – I was on the look out for anything that indicated a lack of knowledge and a lack of care, for example, I wanted a good voice.  I was looking for well drawn characters, people who came off the page, and were not just cyphers.

I wanted vibrant, well-evoked settings.  I was looking for an intriguing story, something in the characters and their predicament, however small, that drew me in and led me happily on the journey, and ended satisfyingly.  I don’t need all the threads tied up too neatly, as life is not like that, but something of the drama of the story needs to be resolved, however small.  As if that wasn’t enough, I wanted to be made to think.  A good story leaves the reader re-evaluating something, I believe – so I wanted to discover something about the world, ideally…. all in all, a tall order.  I had a wonderful time reading these pieces several times.  The order emerged, wobbled, and strengthened as I made sure.  And the winning piece delivered really well on all the criteria, and of course, I loved it.  Even though I was only asked to choose the winner, and others for the anthology, I asked the organisers if another story could be given a special mention – and bless them, they said yes.  I had such a lovely time judging your competition – thank you for all the stories.’

2017 Junior Category Winners and shortlist:

The winners, announced on Friday 30th June by Prue Leith are:  8-11 category, Iona Mandal for her story ‘Anne Frank – Reborn’, and in the 12 – 15 category, Charvi Jain, for his story ‘Boundless’


Aged 8 – 11

Rebecca Bellamy      ‘Mew, The Intelligent Cat’

Lauren Bibby            ‘Mrs Pratter and the Black Shadows’

Matthew Bibby          ‘Heroes’ Beginning’

Zachary Chu               ‘Michael and I’

Martha Davey            ‘The Value of a Lifetime’

Dylan Fowler              ‘The Mystery Boy’

Finlay Fowler              ‘The Adventures of Max’

Iona Mandal                ‘Anne Frank – Reborn’  (Winner)

Emma Smith               ‘Alone on a Deserted Island’

Theo Marskell Stewart ‘The Express’


Aged 12 – 15

Solomon Ambler-Danyluk   ‘Abducted’

Jasmine Benham       ‘Seaside Disappointment’

Christopher Cox         ‘An Endless Intrigue’

Morgan Dagley           ‘Caspar’s Grandfather’

Charvi Jain                  ‘Boundless’  (Winner)

Erin McHugh              ‘The Disastrous Day’

Chloe Page                   ‘Les Sauvages’

Samson Terrett           ‘Alone’

Judge’s Statement (junior category)

Ann Evans  (

Congratulations to all of these young writers.  There were quite a lot of entries which was good to see, and every single story was very enjoyable to read.  A lot of them made me smile, and there were such clever plots with unexpected twists and turns.  There were humorous stories and others that were packed with excitement and adventure.  In fact every single story kept me enthralled and entertained.  I think the standard of writing was excellent.

The Rotary Club of Evesham kindly offered the prizes for the junior category of the Competition!

Competition rules & regulations

If you are interested in the short story competition, then click here for all of the General Competition Rules, or here for the specific Junior Competition Rules. The competition is FREE for juniors, and costs £5 per entry for adults.