Dragonfly Tea Short Story Competition Rules, Terms & Conditions

Main Competition

Entrants must be 16 years-old or over, as of 29th August 2016

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 Discovery. 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 Adventure. Entrants can choose the title of their story. 

All Competitions

Closing date for receipt of all entries is 29th August 2016 at 11:59pm BST.

All competitions are open to all non-professional fiction writers who are UK residents.

A non – professional writer means a person who has never received a fee for their work, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. Prize money received as a result of entering work into a competition is not considered a fee. 

Entries can be made online or by post.

All entries should be in English. Online entries should be submitted via the online entry page of the website (link in text, when page is created). 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.

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.

All those who enter will be judged for their use of language, including accuracy of spelling and grammar (relative to the age of the entrant), the strength of the story's narrative arc and their application of the story's theme – namely 'Discovery' for adults and 'Adventure' for children.

Entries are limited to three per individual.

Entry is free.

All entries, electronic or postal, must have a word count noted at the top of the first page.

Please send postal entries to: Dragonfly Tea Short Story Competition, PO Box 125 Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 9LY

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.

Postal entries will not be returned. Please keep a copy. No corrections or alterations can be made after receipt of an entry.

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, and provided it has not won a prize or been published, then it is eligible for the Dragonfly Short Story Competition.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome – 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.

Entries will be read and judged anonymously; entrants names 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.

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 judge’s 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 2016

Main competition:

  • 1st - £1500
  • 2nd - £750
  • 3rd - £250.

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 2016 Henley Literary Festival on Sunday 2nd October 2016 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 2016 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 29th August 2016 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 

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