frequently asked questions

entries / format   |   entering online   |   entering by post   |   judging   |   security

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entries / format

What is flash fiction?

Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some are as low as 250 words (such as ours), while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.

 Other names for flash fiction include sudden fiction, micro fiction, micro-story, short short, postcard fiction and short short story, though distinctions are sometimes drawn between some of these terms; for example, sometimes one-thousand words is considered the cut-off between "flash fiction" and the slightly longer short story  "sudden fiction". The terms "micro fiction" and "micro narrative" are sometimes defined as below 300 words.

 Flash-fiction often contains the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles or complications, and resolution. However, unlike a traditional short story, the limited word length often forces some of these elements to remain unwritten - that is, hinted at or implied in the written storyline. 

Do line spaces between stanzas in my poem count as part of the 42 line limit? What about titles, epigraphs and dedications?

Only lines of text are counted, not the lines between stanzas. Titles, epigraphs and dedications are not counted as lines.

What if my word count for the short stories / flash fiction is over the limit of 5,000 words / 250 words?

Your entry would be disqualified.  Please ensure you keep within the word limit.

What if I forget to add the word count to my story?

This would not result in disqualification.  The word count would be checked should the story reach the longlist stage.

I accidentally left my name or contact details on my entry, will it be disqualified?

Yes.  You would need to re-submit (refunds will not be made).

How will you know which entries are mine if I don’t write my name on them?

Postal entries are coded by administrative staff so that they can be judged anonymously and are then matched back to your entry form once the judges have made their decision.  Online entries automatically receive a number when uploaded which is connected to your personal details.

Can I make changes to my entries after they have been submitted?

No, changes cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted (see our rules). If you want to submit a more recent version of your entry please send it additionally. Both versions will be seen by the judges as we are unable to make substitutions.

Are simultaneous submissions allowed?

Yes, we do allow simultaneous submissions.  If you submit your entries to other competitions or publications at the same time, it is on the understanding that you will immediately withdraw it from the Bridport Prize if it wins elsewhere first.  Equally, if you win a prize with us you should withdraw from all other competitions (refunds will not be made).

Can I enter more than one poem, short story or flash fiction?

Entrants may enter any number of poems, flash fictions or short stories in each category.

Can I use a pen name?

We do allow pseudonyms although we ask that entries be made using your real name. When the winners are selected we will check how they wish to be known when published in the Bridport Prize anthology, in press releases and on our website.

Must entries be unpublished?

Yes. Entries that have already been published are not eligible.

Does having a poem or story on my own blog count as previous publication?

Yes. It would not be eligible.

Can I send the same poem or story that I entered in last year’s competition?


Can you check you received my entries?

If you want confirmation of a postal entry please include an SAE with your submissions and entry form, which is then posted back to you. Online entries will be confirmed by email shortly after you submit, by both the payment provider and the Bridport Prize.  Due to volume of entries we are unable to check arrival in any other way.

Will you return my entries after judging?

No, entries are not returned.  Make sure you keep a copy.

entering online

How do I send an entry via the website?

You will need to register on our website to set up an account.   After clicking on the ‘enter online’ button, follow the instructions.

How do I upload my entry?

Once you have added your entry to the shopping ‘basket’, proceed to checkout where there is the facility to upload your submissions.

What kind of file or format should I use for uploading my entry?

Allowed file types are .doc, .docx, .rtf, .wps, .pdf, .txt.  Maximum allowed file size is 2Mb

Can I cut and paste my entry?

No, your entry will need to be a file type (as above) and be uploaded when you go to the checkout.

I was registered on the old website, what happens now?

Please re-register and set up a new password.

I have requested a new password but have not recived this by email?

Please check your junk or spam folder as our emails may have gone here.

I have registered for a new account but have not recived my pssword by email?

Please check your junk or spam folder as our emails may have gone here.

entering by post

How do I send an entry by post if I have not got a printed entry form?

You can download and print an entry form from our website here

Alternatively email the competition administrator to receive one by post.

In your rules you state that entries should be securely fastened.  How should I do this?

We ask that stories be stapled together at the top left corner.  Should a flash fiction or poem run to two pages, please staple them together.

I sent my postal entry very close to the deadline. What if it doesn’t reach you in time?

Entries postmarked on the date of the deadline will be accepted.  Late entries are not accepted.

I am entering by post and plan to send a cheque.  Who should the cheque be payable to?

Cheques and postal orders should be payable to ‘The Bridport Prize’.  Entrants should write their name and address on the back of cheques.

I am entering from overseas.  How can I pay the entry fee?

We do not accept overseas cheques, bankers drafts or transfers.  Your options are

a)    enter via our website using a credit card

b)    enter by post – there is a section on the entry form for credit card details

c)    send cash (although this is not secure and not always allowed by some countries) either in sterling, US $ or € (notes only and to the nearest equivalent sterling amount for each fee).

Can I pay with cash?

You can, but we do not recommend it.


When will the competition winners be announced?

Competition winners are informed around mid September but the official announcement is made at the time of the prizegiving – for 2017 this will be on 21st October.  Check the website after 23rd October 2017 to see the results or send an SAE for the list of winners and judges’ reports. 

Please note: due to the high volume of entries we are only able to contact those entrants who have won or been shortlisted in the competition each year. If you do not hear from us by mid September it means your entry has not been selected on this occasion. 

Does the Bridport Prize sift the entries before they send them to the judges?

Yes, we receive too many entries for our named judges to be able to read them all.  Our judging is fair and unbiased. Experienced readers assist the named judges in selecting the shortlists  headed by Helen Chaloner for short stories, Candy Neubert for poems, Jon Wyatt for flash fiction and Harry Gallon for novels.

Will the judges comment on my work?

No, Judges are unable to comment on individual entries 


Do you pass on my personal details to anyone else?

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, your details will be held on a secure database and will not be released to any third party without your explicit and written consent.

We may contact you by email once or twice a year with details of the next year’s competition and any other relevant information that may be of interest to you.

What happens to my entries after they have been judged?

All entries sent by post and entries printed for those entering via the website are returned to Bridport Arts Centre after judging and are then shredded by a security company.

The only exception to this are the winning entries which are sent to the publisher of the anthology for typesetting and printing.

Does copyright remain with me?

Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but the Bridport Prize will have the unrestricted right to first publish the winning poems and stories, (including runners-up), in the annual anthology and any other relevant promotional material. 

Can I change my personal details e.g. e-mail address?

Yes, login to and click on ‘my account’.  Click on the ‘edit’ tab and here you will be able to amend your personal information

Can I stop emails being sent to me and how do I delete my registration?

Send an email to the Online Administrator and she will do it for you.

How can I be sure that my credit card payment is safe?

WorldPay and PayPal are secure methods of sending payments online.  Check their websites for details.

I have requested a new password but have not recived this by email?

Please check your junk or spam folder as our emails may have gone here.

I have registered for a new account but have not recived my pssword by email?

Please check your junk or spam folder as our emails may have gone here.

the store

How do I buy an anthology?

2012, 2014 & 2015 anthologies are available - you can order either a pdf copy or a paper copy via the store. We also have a limited number of older anthologies from 2006 - 2010 and PDF's for all anthologies from 2006 - 2015 available as downloads.

*The anthology of winning entries from the competition will be published in October each year in book form only. A pdf version will be made available in the spring of the following year.*

Or you can have a paper copy sent by post – send your request, together with your cheque for £13 or £17 if overseas (includes postage & packing), to Bridport Prize, PO Box 6910, Bridport DT6 9BQ. 

Who can I contact for further help?

For website or technical queries, please email our Online Prize Administrator Victoria Bennion:

For all other queries, please email the Prize Administrator, Kate Wilson:


back to the top

Everyone wants to win the Bridport Prize.   To realise that you’ve been made it through all the readers and judging rounds and come out on top is a real boost.  As writers, we spend so much time wondering if we’re any good and being rejected.  Getting somewhere in the Bridport Prize (anywhere) keeps us going and makes it all worthwhile.

Kit de Waal, Flash Fiction first prize winner, 2014 and 2015

What now?

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