The art of just enough

It may be the sprint of creative writing but that doesn’t mean you can rush the creative process. Take us somewhere fast then let your story marinate in the reader’s mind. Make every one of your 250 words count. There is no minimum number of words, just like there is no limit to your imagination. They say lightning doesn’t strike twice but we want to feel the electricity in your story right from the beginning through to the very end.

First prize: £1,000

One of the most generous flash fiction prizes, the winning story also features in our anthology, a chance to see your words on the printed page. That’s not all. It opens up further opportunities where your work needs to have been published. You will also be invited to take part in our awards celebration, receive feedback from the judges and our professional partners. Finally, we will champion you not only as one of our winners but part of the Bridport Prize family.


Second prize: £500

Your flash fiction features in the Bridport Prize anthology – your words on the printed page. It means you are published and can pursue other opportunities. Our awards celebration is also recognition of your success and we hope all of this inspires you to pursue your writing dreams.


Third prize: £250

Your flash fiction is included in the Bridport Prize anthology, which gives you access to other opportunities as you are now published. There’s the chance to join our awards celebration, hear from our partners and take in the fact your writing is recognised, valued and out there.


Highly Commended 5 x £100

Background Elements

The Prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English aged 16 and over at the time of the closing date (the novel award has different criteria. See the novel page for details).

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

Entries 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.

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

Simultaneous submissions are allowed but will become ineligible should they win a prize elsewhere, be published or scheduled for future publication prior to the date of prize giving. Entry fees will not be refunded.

You must inform us immediately should your entry be published or win a prize elsewhere.

Entries submitted posthumously are not eligible.

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. IMPORTANT: All entries are judged anonymously. Please do not include your name, address, phone number, email, website, twitter handle etc on the document or in the filename as this will result in disqualification.


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


Entries can be on any subject in any style or form. We do not recommend stories written for children. You can enter any number of flash fiction stories but please check you are submitting the correct version of your work before uploading as mistakes cannot be rectified later. If you find you have submitted the wrong version or have made a mistake in the work, you can withdraw it and resubmit a corrected version with the word FINAL included in the file name. Please note a further fee would be payable. Online entries can be withdrawn by logging into your Submittable account. To see how to withdraw, please click here. To withdraw a postal entry, please email [email protected]  Entry fees will not be refunded.


The deadline date for entries is 12 midnight (UK time) on 31st May 2022. Postal entries postmarked 31st May but received later will be accepted.


Flash fiction: 250 words max. No minimum. Title not included in the word count.


  • Written in English, translation into English of your own work is accepted
  • Maximum of 250 words, no minimum
  • Add the word count to the top right of the first page. The title is not included in the word count
  • Use any font, 12pt, black
  • Double line spaced (ie: a blank line space between each line)
  • If the piece runs to two pages, number both pages centre bottom
  • 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 title of the story only, typed exactly the same as on the document, for example: A Christmas Carol
  • Do not include your name in the file title or it will be disqualified
  • Do not put Bridport entry / Bridport flash fiction entry etc in the file title
  • For untitled pieces, save the document with the first line of the story instead


£11 per flash fiction. There is no limit to the number of submissions.


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. The Bridport Prize reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice.


Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author but the Bridport Prize has unrestricted rights to publish the winning and highly commended poems, short stories, flash fiction stories and extracts from the opening chapters of the long-listed novels in the annual winners’ anthologies and any relevant promotional material.

Results & Awards

Winners and highly commended writers will be notified by email in early September. All online submitters will be notified by mid September.

A short film which will include the announcement of this year’s winners will be broadcast on our You Tube channel on Thursday 28th October at 7pm. A link on the website homepage will click through directly to our You Tube channel. This will go live just before 7pm.The full results will be available on the website from 7.30pm that evening.


Postal entries: enclose a stamped, self addressed postcard marked ACKNOWLEDGEMENT if you require receipt of entry. Online entries: confirmed by the email receipt of your payment to PayPal plus an email from Submittable / the Bridport Prize. Please check your spam folder as emails can land there. It is NOT possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email.


  • 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 31 May deadline. For all enquiries please email [email protected]


  • Worry if you omit the word count. You won’t be disqualified
  • Be alarmed if your entry confirmation email isn’t immediate. Log in and check your order history. All submitted entries are listed in date order
  • Get concerned if your postal entry fee hasn’t been taken. We open entries in batches and a delay is not unusual

Q: Can I make changes after submission?
A: No. If you want to submit a more recent version you have to enter again and pay the fee. You can withdraw your original entry by logging into your Submittable account. To see how to withdraw, please click here. To withdraw postal entries, please email [email protected]

Q: Do you accept email attachments?
A: No. You can only submit online or by post.

Q: An earlier version of my work was shortlisted in another competition but I’ve changed it. Can I submit it?
A: If the work was not published and you did not receive a cash prize then yes, it is eligible.

Q: My work was long listed in another competition and published in an online anthology. Can I submit it?
A: No. Previously published work is not eligible.

Q: My work was previously shortlisted in this competition. Can I re-submit it?
A: Yes.

Q: Are simultaneous submissions to other competitions allowed?
A: Yes, though if you submit your entry at the same time, it’s on the understanding you will immediately withdraw from the Bridport Prize if it wins elsewhere. Equally, if you win with us you should withdraw from any other competitions.

Q: How many pieces can I enter?
A: You can enter any number of pieces in each category.

Q: What about copyright?
A: Worldwide copyright remains with the author but we have unrestricted rights to first publish winning and highly commended poems, short stories and flash fiction in the Winners’ Anthology and extracts from the long listed novels in the Novel Longlist Anthology. Plus we use extracts for promotional material.

Q: Must entries be unpublished?
A: Entries to categories – except the novel – are not eligible if published. Novels that have been self-published are eligible.

Q: Does flash fiction on my blog count as publication?
A: Yes.

Q: Are translations allowed?
A: An author’s translation of their work into English is eligible but someone else’s translation of the work is not.

Q: My piece was previously published in another language. Can I submit it in translation?
A: Yes, providing substantial amendments have been made to the original work including a title change and it was not published in the UK.

Q: How do you sort entries if they’re anonymous?
A: Postal entries are coded then matched to an entry form once the judges have made their decision. Online entries are automatically tagged with a number connected to personal details.

Q: Can I use a pen name?
A: Yes. But please submit your piece in your real name. When winners are selected we check what name you want to use.

Q: Can I send the same piece I entered in last year’s competition?
A: Yes.

Q: I accidentally included my details on the piece. Will it be disqualified?
A: Yes. You need to start over.

Q: Are entries returned after judging?
A: No. They are deleted or shredded.

Q: When are winners notified?
A: During September. The full results are posted on the website and social media . The shortlists and novel long list are available as downloads. All winning and shortlisted poetry, short story and flash fiction writers will be contacted during September.

Q: How do I get an entry form?
A: Download and print it from our website or email [email protected] to get one emailed or posted.

Q: What happens if I send my postal entry close to the deadline?
A: Entries postmarked on 31 May deadline date but arriving later will be accepted. Late entries are not.

Q: What if I forget to add a word count?
A: Don’t worry. We check if the work is shortlisted.

Ready to submit your entry?

I am in awe of anyone who can write decent flash fiction. It’s a really tough business to create an entire story, build a world, bring a character to life in so few words.

Monica Ali, Judge 2018
Line Break