2020 Short Story Competition Rules

  1. The start date for the Short Story Competition will be 1st May 2020
  2. All entries must be received by midnight on 31st October 2020.
  3. The competition is open to anyone aged 17 years and over.
  4. Entries can be from anywhere in the world.
  5. UK entries may be submitted online or by post. Overseas entries must be submitted online.
  6. Postal entries can only be accepted from within the UK.
  7. Postal entries must be accompanied by an entry form and the appropriate entry fee and addressed to The Administrator, The Bedford Competition, 28 Miller Road, Bedford, MK42 9NZ.
  8. One entry form, whether submitted online or posted, may cover up to three stories. Multiple entry forms may be submitted.
  9. Online entries will generate an automatic confirmation of receipt at the time of submission.
  10. A confirmation of receipt of a postal entry will be sent to the email address, if supplied, otherwise the entrant should enclose a stamped addressed envelope/postcard.
  11. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual may submit.
  12. The standard entry fee is £6 per story; three stories entered on the same form £12.
  13. For full time students, the entry fee is £4 per story; three stories entered on the same form £8.
  14. Cheques must be made payable to Bedford Writing Competition.
  15. Stories must be no more than 3000 words.
  16. Stories must be written in English.
  17. Stories must be typed, double-spaced, on single-sided sheets and in a readable, 12 point font.
  18. Stories must not have been published, self-published, published on a website, broadcast, been placed first, second or third, or been awarded a prize in any other competition.
  19. The pages of any stories sent by post must be numbered and the complete set held together with a paperclip.
  20. The title of a story, sent by post, must appear at the top of each page.
  21. Nothing must appear on any page which would identify the author.
  22. Stories will not be returned, so please retain a copy.
  23. Stories cannot be altered once entered.
  24. All entries will be considered anonymously by a panel of readers and the judges.
  25. The members of the organising committee, patrons and the panel of readers are not eligible to enter the competition.
  26. Any plagiarised work will be disqualified along with any other work submitted by the entrant.
  27. The winner of first prize will receive £500, second prize £150 and third prize £100.
  28. There will be an additional prize of £100 awarded to the best story written by a resident of Bedford. This will be known as the Bedford Short Story Prize.
  29. A resident of Bedford will live at an address in any of the postcode areas, MK40, MK42, MK42, MK43, MK44 and MK45.
  30. There will be a separately judged Rainbow Short Story Prize awarded to the winning, second placed and third placed stories received from entrants aged 70 or over on 1st May 2020.
  31. The value of the Rainbow Short Story Prize will be, first place, £500, second place, £150 and third place, £100.
  32. There will also be a Young Writers' Short Story Award of £100, awarded to the best story written by an entrant aged 25 years or less on the date the competition opens for entries, 1st May 2020.
  33. The shortlisted stories, the Bedford Prize winning story, The Young Writers' winning story and the Rainbow Short Story Prize stories will be published in an anthology as a downloadable e-book and a hardcopy paperback, after the results have been announced.
  34. If a story is shortlisted or has won the Bedford Prize, the Young Writers' Award or the Rainbow Short Story Prize then, once this has been made public, its publication will take precedence over the requirement of any other competitions the story may have been entered in.
  35. The shortlist will be posted on The Bedford Competition website in January 2021.
  36. All results will be announced at the Awards Presentation Evening to be held in February 2021 and posted on The Bedford Competition website the following day.
  37. The competition organisers reserve the right not to award prizes if, in the judge's opinion, such an action is justified.
  38. Judging is fair and unbiased. The judges' decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.
  39. The Bedford Competition reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice.

2020 Poetry Competition Rules

  1. The start date for the Poetry Competition will be 1st May 2020.
  2. All entries must be received by midnight on 31st October 2020.
  3. The competition is open to anyone aged 17 years and over.
  4. Entries can be from anywhere in the world.
  5. UK entries may be submitted online or by post. Overseas entries must be submitted online.
  6. Postal entries can only be accepted from within the UK.
  7. Postal entries must be accompanied by an entry form and the appropriate entry fee and addressed to The Administrator, The Bedford Competition, 28 Miller Road, Bedford, MK42 9NZ.
  8. One entry form, whether submitted online or posted, may cover up to three poems. Multiple entry forms may be submitted.
  9. Online entries will generate an automatic confirmation of receipt at the time of submission.
  10. A confirmation of receipt of a postal entry will be sent to the email address, if supplied, otherwise the entrant should enclose a stamped addressed envelope/postcard.
  11. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual may submit.
  12. The standard entry fee is £6 per poem; three poems entered on the same form £12.
  13. For full time students, the entry fee is £4 per poem; three poems entered on the same form £8.
  14. Cheques must be made payable to Bedford Writing Competition.
  15. Poems must be no more than 40 lines.
  16. Poems must be written in English.
  17. Poems must be typed, on single-sided sheets and in a readable, 12 point font.
  18. Poems must not have been published, self-published, published on a website, broadcast, been placed first, second or third, or been awarded a prize in any other competition.
  19. Multiple page poems, sent by post, must be numbered and the complete set held together with a paperclip.
  20. The title of a poem, sent by post and which goes over a page, must appear at the top of each page.
  21. Nothing must appear on any page which would identify the entrant.
  22. Poems will not be returned, so please retain a copy.
  23. Poems cannot be altered once entered.
  24. All entries will be considered anonymously by the relevant judge.
  25. The members of the organising committee and patrons are not eligible to enter the competition.
  26. Any plagiarised work will be disqualified along with any other work submitted by the entrant.
  27. The winner of first prize will receive £500, second prize £150 and third prize £100.
  28. There will be an additional prize of £100 awarded to the best poem written by a resident of Bedford. This will be known as the Bedford Poetry Prize.
  29. A resident of Bedford will live at an address in any of the postcode areas, MK40, MK42, MK42, MK43, MK44 and MK45.
  30. There will also be a Young Writers' Poetry Award of £100, awarded to the best poem written by an entrant aged 25 years or less on the date the competition opens for entries, 1st May 2020.
  31. The shortlisted poems, the Bedford Prize winning poem and the Young Writers' winning poem will be published in an anthology, as a downloadable e-book and a hardcopy paperback, after the results have been announced.
  32. If a poem is shortlisted or has won the Bedford Prize or has won the Young Writers' Award then, once this has been made public, its publication will take precedence over the requirement of any other competitions the poem may have been entered in.
  33. The shortlist will be posted on The Bedford Competition website in January 2021.
  34. All results will be announced at the Awards Presentation Evening to be held in February 2021 and posted on The Bedford Competition website the following day.
  35. The competition organisers reserve the right not to award prizes if, in the judge's opinion, such an action is justified.
  36. Judging is fair and unbiased. The judges' decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.
  37. The Bedford Competition reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice.