Short Story Competition

The 2020 Short Story Competition is now open.  The Competition Rules are now available for the General Competition (£5 entrance fee).


  For the rules of the FREE junior competition please click here: Junior Competition.

Short Story Competition 2019

Prizes for the 2019 Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Competition were announced at the prize-giving event on Friday 28th June, following An Evening with Mike Gayle. Details of the short-listed and long-listed adult entries, and short-listed junior entries for 2019 appear below.

See below a small selection of the prize-winning short stories from the 2019 competition:

2019 Adult Category Winner, shortlist and longlist:

Winner, 2nd and 3rd – see below:



Paul Barnett         Wanting to be John Wayne

Alwyn Bathan      Heavy Traffick Trilogy (1st place)

Natalie Cox           The Meaning of Clouds

Christine Griffin  Curtains (3rd place)

Jupiter Jones        The Whale

Robert Laird         Jennifer

Richard Lakin      Welcome to Midwinter

Marcia Mackey    Trudy North. Righteous Soul (2nd place)

Jim Moeller          BADS

Jan Turk Petrie    Falling Awake


William Fear          The End of Summer

Vanessa Horn        Deliverance

Rob McInroy          The White Deer

Tony Oswick           Cody’s Escape

Elizabeth Pratt       Linny, The Fire Sign

Judge’s Statement (adult category)

Our two readers, Helen Yendall and Elizabeth Spencer, greatly enjoyed reading all 126 stories entered and selecting their longlist of 15 for judge Vanessa Gebbie to consider.  Vanessa’s task was to then reduce the longlist to a shortlist of 10, and from those 10 to identify the winner, and also 2nd and 3rd. Vanessa also greatly enjoyed the task.  The reasons she chose the winner, and 2nd and 3rd, will be revealed at the prize-giving event on 28th June.  We don’t want to give the game away at this stage!  Vanessa makes the following comments:


“It is always a lovely job to be asked to judge a short story competition.  All that creativity, that amazing sense of mystery – there seem to be as many stories as writers, and a different story for each time that writer looks for one.  I enjoyed the long list enormously, and congratulations to all those writers whose hard work got through to that stage.  What imaginations you have!  It was not an easy task to whittle them down to a shortlist, but needs must.  Further congratulations to those whose work got through.


One observation, offered in the spirit of being helpful…  It is really obvious when a writer has edited for word count, and stopped when a number is reached, not when the story is as sharp as it can be.  If that applies to you, next time keep going.  Who knows, another 200-300 words could perhaps have been cut, or more – raising it up to the next level.”

2019 Junior Category Winners and shortlist:

The winners, and 2nd and 3rd in each age category, were announced on Friday 28th June by guest speaker, Mike Gayle.


Aged 8 – 11

Avarni Aggarwal         The Journey

Bibi Kington-Brady   The Ferryman

Emma Bull                    I Found You

Charisse Han                Two wrongs don’t make a right (2nd place)

Amy Hird                       Red

Ho Lishuan                   Destiny’s Race

Ho Lishuan                  Forever (3rd place)

 Jacob Jennins            Run (1st place)

Sky-Anna Malham      Dotty Do Dah Day

Tamsyn Sayles             Chalky White Mist

Aged 12 – 15

Kareena Basra        Til Death Us Do Part

Viktoria Bogdanova Home

Hannah Chapman   The Pen, The Paper, The Voice

Hannah Chapman   Spag Bol  (1st place)

Alberta Hargreaves  Hey Fudge

Matt Kennington      The Yellow Star

Iona Mandal              A House Full of Butterflies (3rd place)

Nailah Rahman         The Traitor

Florence Roxburgh  The Beach (2nd place)

Khushi Verma               Turn Away Now

Judge’s Statement (junior category)

Ann Evans  (

“What a joy and a privilege to have the opportunity to read so many wonderful stories.  I’ve enjoyed reading every single one and been so impressed by the skills and talent of these young writers in both the 8-11 and 12-15 age groups.  It’s not only discovering what incredible imaginations these young people have, but also the depths of emotion in their writing.  I really admire their courage in tackling subjects such as grief, death and mental illness.


The range of topics has been so widely varied.  Some wrote about major issues concerning our planet and mankind; some wrote about loneliness and family issues; others created dystopian and fantasy worlds; others created chilling horror stories or tales of everlasting love, and a few tackled humour.


There has been some truly beautiful writing in both age groups which has made it so difficult to choose overall winners.  And I was so impressed by the presentation of every story, the neatness, the attention to spelling, grammar and punctuation – all remarkably good.

I enjoyed every single story in both categories and had to make a long-list before gradually re-reading stories over and over, gradually whittling them down to my shortlist.  Even my shortlist was too long!  It was so hard to select just ten stories in each category from all the entrants.  So massive congratulations to those who made the final tens – you were up against very strong competition.  And commiserations to all the other young writers who didn’t make the final ten.  Every one of you should be congratulated on producing a great story that I’ve loved reading.  I hope you keep on writing and entering competitions.  And, finally, huge congratulations to the top three winners in both categories.  There was a lot of strong competition and selecting the final three in each category has proved immensely difficult.”


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.