Lots of Competitions in 2020! 

Our 2021 Short Story Competition launches 1st November. Closing date 5pm Friday 12th March 2021.  Open to adults only.  EveshamFoW Short Story Competition 2021  Rules attached. Please ensure you read carefully before submitting your entry.

Also new for 2020, a HAIKU COMPETITION.  Launched 1st October.  Closing date 5pm Monday 30th November.  See EFoW Haiku Competition Rules.

New for 2020, a PHOTO CAPTION COMPETITIONlaunched 1st September.  We had entries from across the country.  Well done to our winners. 

1st place:  ‘Or, over here, I have the Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator Iron, with detachable water tank.  Very good price.’  (Cheryl Powell, Droitwich)

2nd place: ‘Special offer, sir, if you just lie down over here, I will demonstrate our express trouser press service, but you may feel a bit flat afterwards! (Lisette Davidson, Nairn)

3rd place: ‘Never keep your turmeric next to your washing powder.’ (Chris Hunt, Isle of Man)

Our inaugural LIMERICK COMPETITION is now closed to entries and judging is now complete.  Congratulations to the winner, 2nd and 3rd placed entrants and all who took part.  We had 41 entries in total.

1st:  Goodbye to lockdown – Richard Vaughan-Davies

2nd: Dreams – Ruth Goldstraw

3rd: Never Again – Rosemary Goodacre

Our CREATE A WORD COMPETITION launched on Sunday 7th June is now completed.  Click here to see the Create a Word Top 10 words.

Our inaugural POETRY COMPETITION  is now complete.  1st, 2nd and 3rd, as well as 8 other shortlisted poems follow:

Winner:  Camera Obscura (Christine Griffin)

2nd:  On seeing Park Lane for the first time (Christine Griffin)

3rd: A Time for Telling (Margaret Daniels)

4th: Not Quite Vintage (Sarah James)

5th: Long Distance Calling 1985 (Chris Cherry)

6th: Siri Says Turn Right in 200 Metres (Stevie Quick)

7th: Skull #5 – Adult Male (Christine Griffin) and International Relations (Lynda Turner)

9th: Who is Who? (Margaret Daniels)

10th: Earth Reopens (Lydia Johnson) and How to Write an Original Story (Tony Oswick)

Our 2020 SIX WORD STORY COMPETITION is now completed, with 372 entries received.
1st, 2nd and 3rd, as well as 7 other shortlisted stories follow:

Winner:  Experienced time traveller required: apply yesterday. (Susan James)

2nd: One dinghy.  No people. Forty passports. (Kathryn Aldridge-Morris)

3rd:  The doormat caught the unwanted key. (Michelle Betteridge)

Equal 4th: Camera film found. Derelict ballroom Brighton. (Michelle Betteridge); “Marry me instead?” asked the vicar.  (Alice Elliott)

6th: Lipstick on collar. Not her colour. (Natalie Kleinman)

7th: She studied needlework. For him – curtains! (Jan Robinson)

Equal 8th: Mountain road. Flat tyre. No spare. (John Holt); Minister missing washed up on beach. (Loraine Fowler); Lift doors open. Baby crawls out. (Sue Feltham)

The 2020 SHORT STORY COMPETITION is now completed.
Note that because of the coronavirus situation there will be no prize-giving event in 2020.
The adult and junior winner, 2nd and 3rd are announced below.

Click on the links to read these winning stories.

2020 Adult Category Winner, shortlist and longlist:

Winner, 2nd and 3rd – see below:



Glenda Young            The Fan Club Man (1st place)

Manish Chauhan       Village People (2nd place)

Tia Diack                      Honour is Thicker than Blood (3rd place)

Margaret Davies        The Secrets of our Hearts

Clarissa Dennison     Pots

Clare Hawkins             Walghvogel

Jenefer Heap               Stay

Richard Lakin              Fizzog

Linda Lewis                 The ‘L’ Word

Rosie Orr                      The Canal and the Trees and Everything


Maureen Blundell A Gull’s Eye View

Mhairi Gray            Sunrise at Greenwich Park

Susan James          A Taste For It

Val Ormrod            The Perfect Wife

Tony Oswick          Amazon Adventure

Judge’s Statement (adult category)


Our two readers, Helen Yendall and Yvonne Draper, had great fun and a great challenge reading all of the 115 entries received from all over the country.  Our judge, Chris Hill, enjoyed his task too.  Here is what he had to say:


“In these strange times, when we can’t physically be together, it has been a delight for me to meet all of these fantastic writers through reading their stories.  It’s at times of loneliness and isolation that we need the magic of writing more than ever, so thank you all.


Everyone can write, we learn at school, but that doesn’t mean everyone is a writer.  Creative writing is a learned skill which can only be acquired through practice and effort.  Everyone whose work I read has clearly honed their craft and earned the right to call themselves writers.  It was a tough job to pick the shortlist, and an even harder one to choose the winners.  I enjoyed reading your work enormously and congratulations to you all.


Each writer has their own way of working but here’s a tip which I think helps us all.  Writing is a process at the end of which waits the reader.  Try to put your work aside after you have finished it, leave it in a drawer somewhere then come back when it is half forgotten and become that reader.  Approach the story with no expectations or emotional attachment.  What do you see?  Do you finish it with the satisfaction of having read something really good?  If not, don’t worry, you still have time.”

2020 Junior Category Winners and shortlist:

The winners, and 2nd and 3rd in each age category, as well as shortlisted entrants are listed below, together with judges’ comments.


Aged 8 – 11

George Tabrett          Jeff in Hooverville (1st place)

Eleanor Ludlow        The Tail Hunt (2nd place)

Ellie Croom                Bookworm (3rd place)

George Brown             The Forest

Hollie Cluff                  Havoc Turns into Hero

Ana Cuesta                   The Talent Show

Isobel Hall                    The Wardrobe

Lucy Mitchell               Bella’s Diary Adventure

Elza Pometun              Icicle     

Maybelle Yang             The Storm

Aged 12 – 15

Ben Woodward        A Great Flicker of Hope  (1st place)

Emma Appah          Between Dark and Dawn  (2nd place)

Amy Kim                  Photograph Memory (3rd place)

Eleanor Harvey      Memory Lane (Highly Commended)

Anoushka Kale       Eyes (Highly Commended)

Keziah Enoch         Beyond the Grave

Eleanor Harvey     Mirror Image

Mimi Masic            The Story of the Tie

Evie Swindale        Devastation of War

Sinan Yurday          The Fog

Judge’s Statements (junior category)

8-11 Category: Judge Elizabeth Spencer.  “Teaching children to read, write and love books has been my absolute joy and passion for over 40 years, so it was an enormous privilege and a pleasure to be asked to judge the Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Writing Competition for the 8-11 year olds.  I was thrilled to find that all the entrants displayed evidence that they read widely and have gained inspiration from the books they have encountered.  There were some excellent story openers that enticed me to read on and find out more.  I was hooked as a reader!  Congratulations to all of you on the fabulous choice of words used in your stories, there were some great descriptive passages that helped create pace and tension.  Writing stories of your very own gives you an enormous confidence boost, as well as hleping you to consolidate your literary learning by putting your phonic, grammar and reading skills into practice.  As writers you are clearly demonstrating that you know how to capture the attention of your readers, your stories display action, adventure, fictional worlds and twisting plot lines!  … One final tip, always do a draft in the first instance and then a neat polished proofread final version.  Many congratulations to you all.  Keep writing!”


12-15 Category.  Judge Ann Evans:  “I was delighted to read so many excellent stories.  I was impressed by the standard of English grammar, spelling, punctuation and presentation for the majority of the entries.  I was also impressed by the wide variety of genres and themes.  The topics were very varied: horror, ghost, murder, love, mystery, fantasy, tragedy and twist in the tail.  Very few tackled humour but there were a few clever twists on children’s tales.  No two stories were alike and there were some unique ideas and experimental ways of writing.  Even amongst the stories that didn’t make it onto my shortlist were some great ideas and styles, and excellent writing.  So I hope noone feels too disappointed not to have made the final ten.  There was a lot of strong competition.  I’m sure many of these young people have a bright future in writing in years to come.  In whittling down to a shortlist of ten, I was looking for those that made a memorable impression on my mind.  Stories where I got to see and understand what the writer was seeing – that thought transference between author and reader.  I was also looking for good writing, which flowed and was a pleasure to read – even if the story itself was harrowing.  It was very difficult to gradually whittle the stories down, but after a lot of thought and re-reading, I decided on my top 10 stories.”

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


Competition rules & regulations (2020)

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.