29 February 2012

Mslexia 2012 Women's Short Story Competition

Post date: 29 February 2012
Deadline: 19 March 2012


The competition is for previously unpublished stories of up to 2,200 words on any theme.

JUDGE: Tessa Hadley

1st Prize: £2,000 plus a week's writing retreat at Chawton House Library* and a day with a Virago editor**

2nd Prize: £500

3rd Prize: £250

Three other finalists win £100 each.

All winning stories will be published in issue 54 of Mslexia.


Please make sure you have read the rules THOROUGHLY before submitting


Stories can be up to 2,200 words in length and can be on any subject.

Please submit your work typed, double-spaced on A4 paper, single sided, with pages numbered.
Your entry will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name on the pages of your story. Use a separate cover page with your name, address, telephone number and email address, plus the title of the story you are submitting and a word count. If submitting more than one entry, there is no need for a separate envelope for each entry. Download a cover sheet in .doc format from here.

No alterations may be made to a story once submitted.

Your story will not be returned, so please keep a copy. If you want confirmation that we have received your postal entry, please enclose an SAE, labelled ‘Acknowledgement’. Sorry, but we do not send copies of the result to entrants.

The winners will be contacted by post in May 2012 and the winning stories published in the Jun/Jul/Aug 2012 issue of Mslexia. (No competitor will win more than one prize).
Copyright of any story remains with the author, but Mslexia has the unrestricted right to publish the winning stories in its magazine, on its website, and in any related material for PR purposes.


Stories should be in English (or English dialect) and should not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere.

Stories that have won or are under consideration in other short story competitions are not eligible.

Stories should not be a translation of another author’s work.

You do not have to subscribe to Mslexia to be eligible, but you do have to be a woman. We will accept stories from women of any nationality from any country.

Employees of Mslexia are not eligible.


Send your story by post or enter online at www.mslexia.co.uk/shortstory.

If entering by post, mark your envelope ‘Women’s Short Story Competition’ and send it postmarked no later than 19 March 2012 to Mslexia Publications Ltd, PO Box 656, Freepost NEA5566, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1BR. We regret FREEPOST is not available for entries from overseas.

If entering online, be sure to follow the instructions on the website carefully. Stories should be sent as a single attachment.

The entry fee of £10 allows you to enter one story. You may enter as many stories as you like, provided each entry is accompanied by the £10 entry fee.

Entry fees must be in pounds sterling. If you want to use a different currency, please pay online via PayPal, which will convert your fee automatically into pounds sterling.

You can pay by cheque (payable to Mslexia Publications Ltd) or by debit or credit card (phone +44 (0)191 233 3860 with your details). You can also pay online via our website, but in this case you must include with your entry a note of the date on which you paid, and the email address you used, so that we can trace your payment.


The Chawton House Library (CHL) retreat and Virago mentoring session are optional additions to the first prize.

The CHL retreat is accommodation only; dates should be agreed between CHL and the competition winner.

The date of the Virago mentoring session should be agreed between Virago and the competition winner.

The winner is responsible for any other expenses involved with attending the CHL retreat and the day with a Virago editor, i.e. travel, food, etc. The prizes must be taken by 31 May 2013.


For inquiries: postbag@mslexia.co.uk

For submissions: submit online here

Website: http://www.mslexia.co.uk/
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