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.
A memoir, for the purpose of this competition, is a non-fiction narrative about a particular time, events or experiences in the author’s own life. Memoirs about other people and fictional memoirs are not eligible.
You will not be disqualified for using your own name in your memoir. However, all entries are judged anonymously so please don’t include other identifiers on your submission such as address, phone number, email, website, twitter handle in the header / footer or in the manuscript or the work will be disqualified.
You are welcome to change the names of people and places to protect identities if you prefer. If you are using people’s real names / identities, there are various things you need to consider. Please see the following article from our award partners which explains issues around naming and identity.
• Memoirs can be written in any style or form.
• Entries must be written in English.
• We do not accept work written for children.
• Entries must be submitted online or by post. No email submissions.
• 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. Please note a further fee would be payable. Entries can be withdrawn by logging into your Submittable account. To see how to withdraw click here. Entry fees will not be refunded.
• We disqualify entries if they are over the word limit, have no overview or when any identifying marks are found on the manuscript.
• Save your file as the title of the memoir only.
• If you forget to add the title or word count your entry will NOT be disqualified.
• The Bridport Prize expects to be recognised in any published memoir associated with us.
• You can enter any number of memoirs.
We disqualify entries if they are named, over the word limit or have no overview. If you forget to add the title or word count your entry will NOT be disqualified.
8,000 words max, (5,000 minimum) taken from the opening chapter/s and a 300 word overview which should form the first page/s of your entry.
Further submissions will be required if you are selected for the long list or shortlist. See details of these submission dates here
Long listed entrants will be asked to submit 15,000 words for the next stage of the judging process. This includes the original submission and overview. Entrants unable to comply will be disqualified.
Shortlisted entrants will be asked to submit 30,000 words for the final stage of the judging process. This includes the original submissions and overview. Entrants unable to comply will be disqualified.
The first page/s of your entry must be an overview of 300 words maximum. Please feel free to make your overview as personal and individual as possible.
The Overview should include:
- A general paragraph about the Memoir itself.
- A paragraph which highlights the larger themes of the work (if there are any) for example social / cultural issues, history, identity, recalling a lost past, why you have decided to write about this subject – for example a family connection / secret, because you have a particular passion / expertise in the area in which you are writing, you feel your story may be a help to others.
- A short paragraph about the structure – ie) chronological / thematic / something more impressionistic.
£24 per memoir.
Entries must be submitted online or by post. No email submissions.
• Entries must be typed in Arial 12 pt font, double-spaced with numbered pages and the memoir’s title on every page.
• Save as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or PDF file with the title as the file name. Please do not include your name in the file name as this will lead to disqualification.
• Max 2MB file. Include the word count for the overview and submission on the top right first page.
• Do not add cover or title pages
• Do not include photographs or illustrations. (You may include a descriptive line eg) photo of me aged 6 with my sister, to show where in the text the visuals will feature if this is important to your story. Descriptors form part of the word count).
• No handwritten submissions
• Postal entry forms can be downloaded from the website here.
• Please send one copy of your manuscript and a completed form.
• Amendments or substitutions cannot be made after submission. If you wish to correct errors, you must submit a new entry marked FINAL VERSION on the first page, enter again and pay the fee.
• Entries cannot be returned. Please keep a copy.
• If you want to know your entry has arrived safely, please include a stamped, self-addressed postcard with ACKNOWLEDGEMENT in the top left-hand corner.
• It is not possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email.
The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into. Judges are unable to comment on individual entries. The Bridport Prize reserves the right to change the judge without notice.
Worldwide copyright remains with the author, but the Bridport Prize has the unrestricted right to publish extracts from winning and runner-up memoirs on the website and use quotations from the twelve long listed memoirs for publicity purposes.
The Bridport Prize reserves the right to amend these rules where it deems necessary. Any changes to the rules will be posted on our website.
Results & Awards
The winner and runner up will be announced on the website and social media on 4 March 2024. Extracts from the winning memoirs will be available to read on the website from 14 March.
We reserve the right to make editorial changes to the memoir extract to avoid breaching any law and so it is suitable for publication on the Bridport Prize website. We further reserve the right not to publish the memoir extract.
The Bridport Prize expects to be recognised in any published memoirs associated with us.
Any entrant found to be in contravention of the terms and conditions will be disqualified.
If you have a query about eligibility, please contact [email protected]