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Dragonfly Tea Short Story Competition Rules, Terms & Conditions

Main Competition

Who may enter?

The aim of the Dragonfly Short Story Competition is to encourage and celebrate the amateur storyteller in all of us. It is open to all non-professional writers who are UK residents.

For the purposes of this competition, a non-professional writer means a person
who does not write for a living and who has never received a fee for their work. Prize money received as a result of entering work into a competition is not considered a fee. Entries from self-published authors, whether of fiction or 
non-fiction, will be accepted.

Main Competition

  • Entrants must be 16 years-old or over, as of 1st August 2017.
  • Word limit for all entries is 3,000 words, not including the title. There is no minimum length.
  • Stories must be based on the theme of ‘Journeys’. Entrants can choose the title of their story.

Children’s Competition

  • There are three children’s categories: 4-7 years-old, 8-11 years-old, 12-15 years old.
  • Word limit for all entries is 500 words, not including the title. There is no minimum length.
  • The entries must be written on the theme of ‘Maps’. Entrants can choose the title of their story. 

General Competition Administration

  • Entry is free.
  • Closing date for receipt of all entries is 31st July 2017 at 11:59pm BST.
  • All entries must be in English.
  • Entries are limited to three per individual.
  • Entries can be made online or by post.
  • Online entries should be submitted via the online entry page of the website. All online entries will be acknowledged by an automated email. Online entries should be in a Word document or plain text file and should be no larger than 2MB.
  • Postal entries will only be accepted as printed typescripts and must have a separate contact details cover page. Postal entries must be typed; single sided, with pages numbered and securely fastened with a staple.
  • Please send postal entries to: Dragonfly Tea Short Story Competition, PO Box 125 Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 9LY
  • Postal entries will not be returned. Please keep a copy. No corrections or alterations can be made after receipt of an entry.
  • There are no specific formatting requirements – font type, font size, line spacing etc. Writers may format their work in the way they feel is most appropriate.
  • However all entries, electronic or postal, must have a word count noted at the top of the first page.
  • Entries will be read and judged anonymously; the entrant’s name and contact details should only appear on the entry form and not anywhere on their stories/manuscripts. The stories/manuscripts must be free of all personal information about the author.
  • Judging criteria will include the use of language, including accuracy of spelling and grammar (relative to the age of the entrant).
  • Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been previously published, in print or online, or broadcast or won a prize in another writing competition. Any entry found to have been plagiarised will be disqualified.
  • If your entry has been long-listed or short-listed in other competitions but has not won a prize or been published, then it remains eligible for the Dragonfly Short Story Competition.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted – but please let us know as soon as possible if a story is to be published elsewhere or has won a prize in another writing competition as this will preclude you from winning prizes in the Dragonfly short story competition.
  • All entries will be read by a carefully selected group of experienced readers. They will then present a short list of 6 stories per competition to the judging panel, who will then select the winner and runner-ups.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence will be entered into. Judges or readers will not comment on individual stories or give feedback on individual stories.
  • If you require acknowledgement of receipt of your postal entry then please enclose a stamped addressed postcard marked ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. Online entries will be acknowledged by email.
  • Authors will retain worldwide copyright on their work (including film and dramatic rights) but Dragonfly Tea will have the unrestricted right to publish the short-listed stories in a pamphlet to be made available at the Henley Literary Festival, and any further relevant promotional material.
  • No competitor may win more than one prize.

Prizes for 2017

Main competition:

  • 1st - £1500
  • 2nd - £750
  • 3rd - £500

Children’s Competition:

  • 4-7 years-old category: £50 gift vouchers for child, £100 book vouchers for child’s school.
  • 8-11 years-old category: £50 gift vouchers for child, £100 book vouchers for child’s school.
  • 12-15 years-old category: £50 gift vouchers for child, £100 book vouchers for child’s school.

Prizes will be awarded at the 2017 Henley Literary Festival on Sunday 8th October 2017 and will be sent to any of the finalists who are unable to attend the awards ceremony. Prizes are not dependent on winners attending the 2017 Henley Literary Festival, but naturally all efforts will be made to get the winning authors to the prize-giving.

Entrants will not be contacted individually about the competition results unless they are selected for the shortlists.

The shortlists will be announced on the Dragonfly Tea website in mid September.

Any entrant wishing to withdraw a story from the competition before the closing date of 31st July 2017 can do so, but must notify us in writing, and will have to pay an admin fee of £10. In the event of wanting to withdraw your entry, please send your request to: Dragonfly Short Story Competition, PO Box 125 Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 9LY.

Entry implies an acceptance of all the rules of the Dragonfly Tea Short Story Competition. Entries that fail to comply with the entry rules and requirements may be disqualified.

Competition Entry Page