Thursday, 4 February 2010


Oooh look, Zoë Heller is the fiction judge at Bridport this year. I never enter this - the field just seems too VAST but I love the idea of Zoë reading my story. Zoë Heller is a great writer. I'd have to get past an army of pre-readers first, of course, and I don't actually have anything worth entering (a technicality - I may get the story I've been writing for the last 11 months finished by June...But, then, is it any good, I ask myself? Sigh.)


The Bridport Prize is the richest open writing competition in the English language - with £5000 first prize for a short story (of up to 5000 words); and £5000 first prize for a poem (of up to 42 lines).

This year we are delighted to launch a new category of Flash Fiction - there's £1,000 to be won for the best short, short story of under 250 words.

The Bridport is also known as a tremendous literary stepping stone - the first step n the careers of writers such as: Kate Atkinson, Tobias Hill, Carol Ann Duffy and Helen Dunmore.

Anyone can enter - so long as the work is previously unpublished. It costs £7 per story, £6 per poem or £5 per flash fiction and the closing date is 30th June 2010

Each year the prize is judged by well known writers - this year we are delighted to have Zoë Heller judging short stories and Michael Laskey judging poetry

The 2009 anthology of winning entries is available for just £12 or £15 overseas (including postage and packing). The 2008 and 2007 anthologies are available in limited numbers for £7 and £5 (£10 and £8 overseas)

Enter online at:

Or download an entry form:

Or email for a pdf entry form:

Or send an SAE for an entry form to be posted to you

The Bridport Prize
PO Box 6910


Elisabeth said...

I have a good friend, an Australian woman, a wonderful writer, Janey Runci.

She won the Bridport prize a few years ago and ever since then, I've thought this prize is winnable, maybe not by me, but it is within our reach.


Well, Elisabeth, I should keep that in mind. I don't know what it is with HUGE comps - I sort of feel overwhelmed by the amount of entries they probably get and think, 'Ah, I won't bother, what's the point?' Probably a silly attitude!

Anna May said...

Nuala - it's defintely within YOUR reach - I've just read 'Nude' and was blown away !
And...I revere Zoe Heller. She has a natural talent for characterisation that makes me feel I am stood in the middle of her stories. Could not choose between Notes on a Scandal and The Believers LOVE LOVE them both.
Anna May x


Oh, I'm glad you liked Nude, Anna May, that's cool.
I just wish I had soemthing worth entering. I write so little fic these days. I need a windfall to stick Juju in a creched for a few hours a week.
Notes on a Scandal is SO funny. I told my book group I recognused myself a bit in Barbara. They went silent. Hee hee!
I haven't read TB but I will.
I sent your Paris R t'other day - should be with you soon.
N x


Oh hello! Typo mania. Sorry about that...Juno keeps tapping at the keyboard, my arm, my face. Arrggghhhh!!! Now she's kicking the laptop. heeeeeeeeelllllllllllpp!

OSLO said...

I agree with Anna May. It's definitely within your reach Nuala! Sympathize with childcare issue. I'm a big fan of Zoe Hellar's writing too although I thought there was a sort of cynicism in 'The Believers' that spoiled it for me. Still, wouldn't mind being able to write like her.

Anonymous said...

You should definitely enter it! I loved the stories in Nude and so did people I've been passing it on to.
Well, so I'm not a great Literary Judge-Person but it's worth a try!! Let us know how you go!

Anonymous said...

LOVE ZOE! Thinking about her reading my story makes me giggle like a schoolgirl, so maybe I'll enter.

I don't enter a lot of comps - too soul crushing - but this one, like Davy Byrnes, has such a hefty amount of prize money you kind of think "May as well ..."

Rachel Fenton said...

I've been writing and polishing two stories to enter into this for months and then I think, what's the point, too....I mean, AS IF!!!

So, I'm not sure...I seem to be queen of the rejects lately, too....beginning to thnk my stories too odd or just plain awful :(


Rachel, odd = good in my book. Try it. Nothing to lose but the entry fee, eh?!

Sarah Hilary said...

Interesting what you say about liking to think of Zoe Heller reading your story, Nuala. I've just blogged about what informs the decision process for entering contests, the choice of judge being one factor. I'd be interested in your thoughts!


I've just posted at your blog, Sarah.

Sarah's post (and blog!) are worth a look, peeps!

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Nuala. Joe Melia from the Bristol Prize has commented too, which is nice. Getting the debate underway! I hope lots of writers (and judges!) will share thoughts and experiences.