Top prize of £1,000 on offer in Thanet short story competition

Thanet Writers Photo Ben Bowles

Calling all writers, storytellers, creatives, and those skilled at spinning a yarn – non-profit publisher and community organisation Thanet Writers have launched the Thanet Writers Short Story Competition 2020 which offers a grand prize of £1,000 for the winning entry.

To enter, you need to write a short story set somewhere in Thanet, and make sure it is weird, strange, or unusual in some way. Stories need to be between 500 and 5,000 words long and cannot have been previously published. The closing date is just before midnight on Sunday, May 31.

The competition is free to enter and all you need is a link or connection to Thanet to be able to take part.

From all the entries, there will first be a longlist. Everyone who makes the longlist will be paid £10, and the stories will all be published online by Thanet Writers. Out of this, a shortlist will be drawn up, and all the shortlisted stories will also be published in a book which will be launched later this year.

Thanet Writers previously published Shoal, a collection of short stories by Thanet-linked writers which sold out at its launch event at the Margate Bookie in 2018. The editor of that book, Alice Olivia Scarlett, is on the judging panel for the competition.

 Alice Olivia Scarlett

She said: “I am so excited to be helping judge the Thanet Writers Short Story Competition 2020. I’m hoping to see stories with humour and daring that aren’t afraid to get weird. I want stories that go deep into Thanet’s strange side for the perfect piece of location gothic.”

The other judges are the editors of Thanet Writers and a guest judge: Catherine Law, the author of five romantic novels set during the first half of the 20th century. Catherine started her career as a secretary at the BBC before moving into the world of glossy magazines, where she worked as a sub editor for over 30 years.

Catherine Law 

Catherine Law’s fourth book, Map of Stars, was set in and around Thanet during the Second World War. It was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists Association Historical Novel Award in 2017. She has recently completed her sixth novel and lives in Margate.

Catherine says: “I can’t wait to take my seat on the judging panel of the Thanet Writers Short Story Competition 2020 and read what writers connected to Thanet have to offer. I’m expecting diverse tales of drama, comedy, and everything else in between, inspired by our unique and extraordinary Isle.”

Entry is online at where the full terms and conditions of entry are stated.

The longlist will be announced on July 18 and the shortlist will be announced on Saturday, September 19. The winner will be announced at the Thanet Writers Conference later in 2020.

Click here to enter the competition