Rules and conditions of entry

Please ensure you read the rules carefully before entering the competition Entry implies acceptance of all the rules and failure to comply may result in disqualification


Each entry must be prose (short story, travel writing, memoir etc.), 2000 words maximum, no minimum, the title is not included in the word count.

All entries are judged anonymously: do not include your name on the document.

All entries should be on the theme of “Forty”. You can address this theme in any way you like.

You may submit up to four entries on payment of the appropriate fee.

Entrants may withdraw entries from the competition by notification in writing; entry fees will not be refunded.

The deadline date for entries is 11.59 pm (UK time) on 1st March 2018.

Nottingham Writers’ Studio will run two short story workshops in early 2018 to enable you to brush up your writing skills. Attendees will get one free entry into the competition.


The competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

Entries must never have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast nor winning or placed (as in 2nd, 3rd, runner-up etc) in any other competition.

If your entry has been longlisted or shortlisted in other competitions, and provided it has not won a prize or been published, then it is eligible.

Simultaneous submission is not allowed, i.e. entries should not have been submitted to any other competition or for publication anywhere else.

Entrants must not be employed by or regularly undertake voluntary work for for City Arts or Nottingham Writers’ Studio.


The fees are as follows: £4 for 1 entry, £7 for 2 entries, £10 for 3 entries, £12 for 4 entries.

For students (FE or HE), schoolchildren, unwaged, or senior citizens (65+), the fees are: first entry free, £4 for 2 entries, £7 for 3 entries, £10 for 4 entries.

Anyone who attends one or both of the NWS short story workshops will receive one free entry, after which fees are as above (i.e. first entry free, £4 for 2 entries, £7 for 3 entries, £10 for 4 entries, or for unwaged, first 2 entries free, £4 for 3 entries, £7 for 4 entries).

For online entries, please pay via PayPal and make a note of the transaction ID on your entry form.

For postal entries, please enclose a cheque made payable to City Arts.

Entry Format

Entries must be in English, typed and double-spaced.

We prefer email entries, but if you would rather submit a postal entry, it must be single sided, with pages numbered and securely fastened with a staple. Each entry must be on a new sheet. Please ensure that you use the correct postage – we will not pay additional postage if insufficient postage is used and the entry will be returned by the Post Office.

Each entrant must also submit a completed entry form.

Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title.

The filename of each online entry must be the title of the entry and it must be either a .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .pdf file.

Entries are not returned, so make sure you keep a copy.

Amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted, nor substitutions made. If entrants wish to correct errors they must submit a new entry, marked 'Final Version' at the top of the first page, and enter again with payment of the entry fee. No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into.

Receipt of entry

Postal entries - enclose a stamped addressed postcard marked 'ACKNOWLEDGEMENT' if you require acknowledgement of receipt of your entry.

Online entries are confirmed by the email receipt of your payment to PayPal plus an email from the competition administrator.

It is not otherwise possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email.


To receive the full results in April 2018 - enclose an A5 stamped addressed envelope marked 'RESULTS'.

Please note: we are only able to contact those entrants who have won or been highly commended. If you do not hear from us by mid-April 2018 it means your entry has not been selected.


Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but City Arts and Nottingham Writers’ Studio will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning entries, (including highly commended entries), in the anthology and any relevant promotional material.


The judges' decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.

Judges are unable to comment on individual entries.

Judging is fair and unbiased. Experienced readers assist the named judges in selecting the shortlists.


After payment of the judges’ fees, administration costs, and a small donation to the “City Arts at 40” fund, the entry fees will be divided as follows:

  • First prize: 40% of the fund, divided equally between the three category winners (expected to be between £75 and £220)
  • Second prize: 30% of the fund, divided equally between the three category winners (expected to be between £55 and £165)
  • Third prize: 15% of the fund, divided equally between the three category winners (expected to be between £30 and £80)
  • Nottingham resident: 15% of the fund, divided equally between the three category winners (expected to be between £30 and £80)

An entrant may only win one prize. In the case where an entrant is awarded more than one prize, the highest value prize will be awarded and the other entry/entries will be withdrawn.

A further 28 entries will be awarded ‘highly commended’ by the judges. There is no prize given for these.

All the prizewinning and highly commended entries will be published in an anthology, to be available from Amazon as print-on-demand or a free ebook.

City Arts and Nottingham Writers’ Studio reserve the right to amend these rules where it is deemed necessary to do so. Any changes to the rules will be posted on the City Arts website.