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Chalk Circle

Short Story Competition


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This year's competition
is now closed
Meet the Winners
Read the Judge's Report

Judge - Vanessa Gebbie


We are very lucky to have talented Sussex author Vanessa Gebbie as our judge for the shortlisted entries. Her biographical details can be found at

Shakespeare wrote King Lear in locked down London during the bubonic plague. Isaac Newton wrote Principia Mathematica while self-isolating in his second home. Mary Shelley, housebound and barely out of her teens, wrote Frankenstein in the eerily unsettling atmosphere of 1816, ‘the year without a summer’.


Most of us won’t change the world with the homespun stories we create during these uncertain times but that doesn’t mean our writing isn’t worth sharing. Whether you are creating a dystopian nightmare, revelling in absurdist humour, or writing stories to celebrate what you love, or have discovered, and fear to lose, we invite you to submit your story to our inaugural short story competition.

The prizes will be £200 for first, £100 for second, and £50 for third places. The best stories will either be published on our website or included in our forthcoming shorts anthology.

You have until 31 August to create and send us your story, with a 2000-word limit, for a fee of £6 per story.




How to enter

Please make sure you have read the competition rules before submitting

your entry/ies and follow the entry process carefully.

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