Click for rules

Click on each heading further down this page for the rules and conditions of entry. Each category page also has the relevant details.

Checklist

  • Read the rules and agree to the competition’s terms and conditions
  • Be sure you’ve got the correct version of your entry
  • Check your name isn’t on the entry
  • Double check all your information is correct

Good luck

Thank you for entering the Bridport Prize.

  • Carefully read the rules, entry requirements and eligibility before submission
  • Check you’re submitting the latest 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 website & submissions contact [email protected]

  • Forget to include a 300 word synopsis as the first page/s of your novel. Judges need to see where your story is headed
  • Worry if you omit the word or line 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

Please ensure you read the rules carefully on the relevant category page before entering the competition.

The NOVEL AWARD has slight variations on these rules so please be sure to read before submitting.

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.

Poetry: 42 lines max. No minimum. Title not included in the line count. Dedications not included in the line count. Lines between text / stanzas are not counted.

Short story: 5000 words max. No minimum. Title not included in the word count.

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

Novel: 8,000 words max. 5,000 words minimum from opening chapters. PLUS 300 word synopsis.

The competition welcomes entries from writers across the globe writing in English, aged 16 years old and over at the time of the closing date.

The Novel Award is now open to writers aged 16 and over living in Britain (including the Channel Islands and Isle Of Man) and Ireland (Northern Ireland and Republic Of Ireland) and British writers living overseas.

For the purposes of the competition, we define “British writers” as:

  • British citizens living, working or studying abroad either permanently or temporarily.
  • British citizens overseas who hold dual citizenship.
  • Residents of the 14 British Overseas Territories: Anguilla; Bermuda; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; Caymen Islands; Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and  Oeno Islands; St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Sovereign Base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia on Cyprus; Turks and Caicos Islands; British Virgin Islands.

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 not 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. The Novel Award has a slight variant on this rule. Entrants to this category must not have previously published a novel, (although self-published and ebooks are accepted). Novel entrants who have had other types of books traditionally published e.g. poetry, memoir, nonfiction, are eligible to submit.

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 or be published 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.

The novel award has specific rules for this category detailed on the novel page.

Your entry must include a synopsis.

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.

Disqualification

We disqualify entries if they are named, over the word limit or have no synopsis. If you forget to add the title or word count your entry will NOT be disqualified.

Length

8,000 words max, 5,000 minimum taken from the opening chapters. PLUS 300 word synopsis, which should form the first page/s of your entry.

Fees

£20 per novel. There is no limit to the number of novel submissions.

Submissions & synopsis

The first page/s of your entry must be a 300 word synopsis featuring a brief first paragraph summary then the synopsis. How To Write A Synopsis

Long listed entrants will be asked to submit 15,000 words for the next stage of the judging process. 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. Entrants unable to comply will be disqualified.

Entries must be submitted online or by post. No email submissions. Entries must be typed in Arial 12 pt black font, double-spaced with numbered pages and the novel’s title on every page. Save as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) with the novel title as the file name. Please do not include your name in the file name. Max 2MB file. Include the word count for the synopsis and submission on the top right first page.

Entries must be in English.

  • Do not add cover or title pages
  • Do not send illustrated work
  • No handwritten submissions

Postal entries

Postal entry forms can be downloaded from our website 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. No correspondence about amendments will be entered into. 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.

Terms & Conditions

The novel must be unpublished and not accepted for future publication. Self published authors are welcome to submit self-published or new work as long as they do not have an agent and have not had a traditional publishing contract. The judging agent may contact long listed and shortlisted authors before the winner is announced

The Bridport Prize expects to be recognised in any published novels 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]

Judging

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.

Copyright

Worldwide copyright remains with the author but the Bridport Prize has the unrestricted right to publish extracts from the twenty long listed novels in our anthology and any relevant promotional material.

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.

Postal entries: please enclose a stamped, self addressed postcard marked ACKNOWLEDGEMENT if you require receipt of entry.

Overseas entrants: please send an international reply coupon – not stamps – from your Post Office.

Online entries: Confirmed by the email from the Bridport Prize / Submittable Please check your spam folder as emails can land there.

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. 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.

Poetry: 1st prize £5,000, 2nd prize £1,000, 3rd prize £500, Highly Commended 10 x £100.

Short story: 1st prize £5,000, 2nd prize £1,000, 3rd prize £500, Highly Commended 10 x £100

Flash fiction: 1st prize £1,000, 2nd prize £500, 3rd prize £250, Highly Commended 3 x £100

Novel: 1st prize – £1,500 plus up to a year’s mentoring from The Literary Consultancy through their Chapter & Verse mentoring scheme (worth £2,640) PLUS plus a short, written report on the winning entry from the named judge.

If, after the mentoring process, the finished novel is suitable, A.M. Heath Literary Agents will have first option to represent the winner and to offer it to a recommended publisher.

Runner-up – £750 plus full manuscript appraisal from The Literary Consultancy

The first three chapters of the winning and runner-up novel will be published in the Bridport Prize anthology. Three shortlisted prizes of £100 plus a 50-page manuscript appraisal from The Literary Consultancy (redeemable against a full read if desired). All five winners are invited to a The Literary Consultancy Industry Day.

Young Writer Award: £500. For talented writers aged 16 to 25 taking early steps in their careers.

Dorset Award: £100. Awarded to the highest place writer from Dorset. Sponsored by The Bookshop, Bridport.

The winning and highly commended poems, short stories, flash fiction and extracts from the twenty long-listed novels will be published in two anthologies in October 2020.

The Bridport Prize reserves the right to amend these rules where it is deemed necessary to do so. Any changes to the rules will be posted on our website.

Winners and highly commended writers in the poetry, short story and flash fiction categories will be notified by email in September.

The winner and runner-up in the Novel category will be notified on 6 October.

The prize-giving ceremony will be held on Saturday 17 October at Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset, UK.

Results will be posted on the website on 19 October 2020.

To receive the judges’ reports (on winning entries only) and full results please enclose an A4 stamped addressed envelope marked RESUL TS.

Overseas entrants: please send an international reply coupon from your Post Office – not stamps – or check our website for the list of winners after 19 October.