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To celebrate the launch of Axe River Books we are excited to announce our first short story competition; a completely open entry competition for previously published or unpublished writers of any genre, fiction or non-fiction.   So its time to get writing, but before you do please make sure you read and understand the following:


  • The deadline for entries is midnight 13th June 2022 GMT. 

  • Carefully read the rules, entry requirements and eligibility before submission.

  • Check you're submitting the correct version of your piece.

  • Check spam as our emails might land there.

  • Get in touch with any questions well before the deadline. For all enquiries, please use the contact form here.


To place in our competition or be published in our anthology, you must meet our eligibility requirements. 


1. The Axe River Short Story Prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English aged 18 and over at the closing date.

2. Entries must be entirely your work. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

3. Your story must not have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast, have won or been placed (2nd, 3rd, runner up etc.) in any other competition.

4. If your entry has been longlisted or shortlisted in other competitions, it is eligible if it has not either won a prize or been published.

5. We will accept simultaneous submissions, but you must inform us immediately should your entry be published or win a prize elsewhere. We can not publish or give an award to any stories that break rule three above. 

6. We will not cover any costs of production or entry (including postage).

7. Entries submitted posthumously are not eligible.



Please ensure you read the rules carefully before preparing your entry for the competition. Entry implies acceptance of all the rules, and failure to comply may result in disqualification. 


1.  All entries are judged anonymously. 

Please do not include your name, address, phone number, email, website, social media handles etc., on the document or in the file name, as this will result in disqualification.


2. Disqualification

We disqualify entries if they are named or over the word limit. If you forget to add details such as the title or word count your entry will not be disqualified.


3. Entries can be on any subject in any genre, style or form. However, we do not recommend submitting stories written alongside illustrations, like comic or graphic shorts or children’s books. 


4. You can enter any number of different short stories, but please check you are submitting the correct version of your work before uploading. 


NB. If you find you have submitted the wrong version or have made a mistake in the work, you may withdraw it and resubmit a corrected version with the word FINAL included in the file name. Please note a further fee would be payable.  Mistakes cannot be rectified later, and repeated entries of the same story with the same file name will not be considered.


5. Deadline

The deadline for entries is midnight (Greenwich Mean Time) on the 13th of June 2022. Postal entries postmarked on the 13th of June 2022, but received later, will be accepted.


6. Length

Short stories up to 3,000 words max. The title is not included in the word count.


7. Format


  • Please don't add a cover or title pages.

  • Any words in the document will be included in the word count, except the title. Please have the word count to the top right of the first page.

  • Use any legible font, 12pt, black.

  • Double line spaced (i.e., a blank line space between each line).

  • Number the pages.

  • Save the file as a Microsoft Word document – .doc or .docx. We also accept file types .rtf, .pdf, .txt. Maximum allowed file size is 2Mb.

  • The file name should be the story's title, typed the same as the document, such as Sense_and_Sensibility.

  • Please do not include the author's name in the file title, or it will be disqualified as per rule number one above.

  • Staple or securely fasten the pages together with a strong paperclip for postal entries.


8. Judging

The judges' decision is final. Judges are unable to comment on individual entries. Judging is fair and unbiased. Ave River Books reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice.


9. Copyright

Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but Axe River Books has unrestricted rights to publish the winning and highly commended short stories in the annual winners' anthologies and any relevant promotional material.


10. Results & Awards

Winners and highly commended writers will be notified by email on the 1st of July 2022. The full results will be available on the website from 7.30 pm that evening.  All prizes are subject too change without prior notice to entrants.

11. Submitting Entries

Entries can be submitted via the competition web form provided on this site or by mail to Axe River Books, 12 Cheddar Rd, Axbridge, Somerset BS26 2AF


11. Receipts

You will receive email confirmation that your entry has been received to the address which you have provided.  If you require a posted receipt please supply a stamped, self-addressed envelope for confirmation.

12. Privacy

By submitting an entry you are giving us permission to retain contact details which may be used in future for the marketing and newsletter purposes for Axe River Books.  We will never share your details without your permission and you can contact us by email at any time to be removed from our mailing lists.

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