Writing Competition

Note: this is all about the Writing Competition. If you’re interested in the Anthology Cover Competition, you need to click here instead.

Terms and Conditions (2024)

Writing Contest

You may submit up to three entries into each of the categories that you are eligible for. For example, you may submit three poems and three short stories.


All work must be submitted via our online hub Subbub, using the button below. You’ll need to register in order to do so, but this is entirely free. If you have any problems using Subbub, email us here. Please do not send entries to this email, as they will be discarded.

You must submit your work in a typed electronic file with pages numbered. You can submit in the following formats: microsoft word, PDF and open office document. Please note that the Apple pages format is not supported.

Your entry will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name on the text pages of your entry. Once submitted, no alterations may be made to your entry. Make sure you keep a copy of your work as your entry will not be returned to you.

Eligibility of work

Entries must not have been previously published in print or online, been broadcast or won a prize. Online publication includes publication on your own personal blog.

Your work can be submitted elsewhere, at the same time, but if your work then wins a prize or is published before final judging and announcement of winners, your entry will become ineligible.

All entries must be received by midnight on 18th March 2024. 


If you live in Somerset or North Somerset, there is no entry fee for the competition. 

If you live in the UK but outside of Somerset or North Somerset, you can pay a fee to enter. For Adults, the fee is £5 for one entry or £10 for 3 entries. For categories for people 18 and under, the fee is £2 for one entry or £5 for three entries. 

If you intend to submit more than one entry please pay the “£10 for 3 entries” option. It is not possible to convert payment for a single entry, or payment for two single entries, into a “£10 for 3 entries” option.

If you live outside the UK you may not enter the contest.


The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The shortlist of entries will be announced ahead of the festival. Shortlisted entries will be judged by our professional panel and winners will be announced at the Burnham Book Festival in May 2024.


The winners and shortlisted entries in each category will be published in the Burnham Book Festival Anthology. All proceeds from the book will go towards future Burnham Book Festival events. In the event of no future festival, all remaining funds will be given to local arts charities.

By taking part in this competition you give permission for your work to be reproduced in the anthology. You retain the rights to your work.

Editorial changes may be needed to ensure the consistency and professional presentation of the anthology. Where possible we will work with you to resolve any formatting/presentational issues.


  • 11 & Under Short Story – £50
  • 11 & Under Poetry – £50
  • 12 – 18 Short Story – £50
  • 12 – 18 Poetry – £50
  • 19+ (Adult) Short Story – £100
  • 19+ (Adult) Poetry – £100

Categories & word limits:

The categories are:

  • 11 & Under Short Story, word count 500
  • 11 & Under Poetry, one poem per entry
  • 12 – 18 Short Story, word count 1000
  • 12 – 18 Poetry, one poem per entry
  • 19+ (Adult) Short Story, word count 2000
  • 19+ (Adult) Poetry, one poem per entry

Entries which exceed the word count will not be judged. Age criterion is judged on the date the contest opened (5th December 2023). 

All submitted work must be your own. Any entry deemed not to be original work will be disqualified. If plagiarism is identified in any entry you submit, all your entries will be removed and any entry fees will not be refunded.