The Bournemouth Writing Prize

The Bournemouth Writing Prize is an annual international short story and poetry competition. Winners of this writing contest receive personal feedback from industry professionals and have the opportunity to have their work professionally recorded – and of course, there will be a cash prize per category. 

Your work will be judged by industry professionals from the publishing world – think editors, agents and award-winning writers.

The Categories

Short Story:

  • Word count: Maximum 3000 words. 
  • What we are looking for: You can choose whatever style and topic you want! We want passionate storytellers who create great compelling characters and tell fascinating stories. Surprise us!


  • Line count: Maximum 42 lines. 
  • What we are looking for: You can choose whatever form and theme works best for you! We‘re looking for fresh and unexpected poems – be that about recent world events, stories of hope, or based on personal experience. Please only submit one poem as part of a single entry. 

The Prizes 

Short Story: £500 cash prize, plus professional feedback on a sample of your work (short story or short extract from a novel; up to 3000 words) from one of our short story judges and a professionally produced recording of your work for your website.

Poetry: £500 cash prize, plus feedback and advice on your work (up to 42 lines) from award-winning poet Antony Dunn, and a professionally produced recording of your work for your website.

How to enter

Enter as many categories as you wish, as many times as you wish. One entry costs £10, two £17 and three £21. When you submit, please have your short story or poetry submission ready to attach as a separate Word document to your entry email, without your name on it. Include a short author biography (ca. 75 words and written in third person) and name and contact details in the email body. You must also include a screenshot of your Eventbrite receipt as proof of your payment in your submission email. 

You can find the Eventbrite page here.

Entry is free for staff and students of Bournemouth University who should email their entries as an attachment from their university account to stating which category they are entering in the email subject box. Please also submit an author biography (ca. 75 words and written in third person) in the email body, as well as name and contact details, and make sure you do not include your name in the document. 

Competition is now closed to entries.

Please make sure that you have read and understood our terms and conditions.

Our Judges

Ansa Khan Khattak

Ansa Khan Khattak is the Editorial Director at Spectre. She is the former Commissioning Editor at Hutchinson Heinemann, working on both literary fiction and narrative non-fiction. Her authors include Lucia Berlin, Manohla Dargis, Wendy Erskine, Genki Kawamura and Éric Vuillard.


Antony Dunn

Antony has published an impressive four collections of poems, the most recent, Take This One to Bed, in October 2016. As well as publishing his own work, Antony has edited and worked on a posthumous collection of poems by Welsh poet and publisher, David Hughes, called Ex Libris. He‘s the Artistic Director of Bridlington Poetry Festival, has won an Eric Gregory Award and the Newdigate Prize, and was Poet in Residence at the University of York in 2006 and at Ilkley Literature Festival in 2010.


Julia Silk

Julia has worked in publishing for over 20 years as an editor, bookseller and, since 2016, as an agent. At Greyhound Literary she represents authors across the spectrum of commercial and literary fiction and narrative non-fiction and counts several short story writers among her clients, including Owen Booth, Amanda Mason and Heidi James.