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Chalk Circle

Short Story Competition



Many congratulations to the winners and runners-up in our 2020 Short Story Competition. You can read the report of our judge, Vanessa Gebbie, here. The three prize-winning stories are available to read now for a limited time only, and the top prize-winning story will also be published in our STRATA 2 Anthology in Spring 2021. You can see details of all 12 shortlisted stories here​.


Always Something to do on a Saturday by Tom Watling

Tom Watling is twenty-three and from south-east London. "I started writing when I was was sixteen but I fell in love with it two years ago, after I stopped using a thesaurus. I care greatly about social justice - many of my stories are inspired by people I have met in homeless shelters and prisons. I am fiercely competitive and love almost every genre of music, and my friends and family mean the world to me. 'Always something to do on a Saturday’ is a memorialisation of my friend Sam Younger. He was a colourful character who lived life to the fullest. I, and all of his friends, will forever treasure the fun we had with him.”

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Teacups are for Girls by Catherine Whitmore

Catherine Whitmore lives in South-East England, where she spent much of her childhood, having relocated from her native Newcastle. She enjoys writing about the domestic, the curious, and the uncomfortable, often in an idiomatic Northern context. Having studied as an undergraduate at Lancaster University, where she read English Literature and Creative Writing, she now teaches English to teenagers at a secondary school, because she is hard as nails. She writes from home, in her spare time. You can read more of her work, and keep up to date with her latest stories, at



Chick by Emily Jane Bell

Emily Jane Bell is a writer of prose and poetry and is a research student at the University of Brighton. She is currently working on her PhD, a ficto-critical thesis exploring creative processes in literature and visual art, centred on the works of Emily Brontë.

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Both at Once by Ali Said

Pocket Money Pickings by Saffire Joriades-Israel


Emily Jane Bell Chick

Peter Court Diesel

Mara Dougall The Matter 

Saffire Joriades-Israel Pocket Money Pickings

Carolyn McPherson Zungueira

Amy McWilliams The Uninvited Guests

Michael Morell Death of Nebula

Ali Said Both at Once

Josie Turner Well Water

Tom Watling Always Something to do on a Saturday 

Barbara Weeks Bread & Peaches

Catherine Whitmore Teacups are for Girls.

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