Posted in competitions, critique, literary festival, writing

500-word comp Round 2 – August 2017 – winners announced

We are delighted to announce the top three stories from August’s entries are (in alphabetical story order):

  • Edgar’s Last Stand
  • Partition
  • Summer Escape

These three stories will now go through to the final judging which takes place when the final (eleventh) round closes on 31st May. The results of that month will be revealed mid-June and the final ten authors (not necessarily the same as the top ten stories as no author can win more than one prize) will be announced at the 2018 BeaconLit literary festival on Saturday 14th July.

If your story isn’t listed above, you are welcome to do whatever you like with them hereon in. If your story is listed, it’s possible that it could be placed in the top three (next July – see below) which will be published on this website (and on

Again, it was a tough task picking favourites from any batch of entries and again there were two vying for the month’s shortlist, both excellent for different reasons, but one just had the edge on another read through. (I read them all twice.) The one that missed out was ‘A Good Day Out’ so well done anyway to that author.

Some stories didn’t make the ‘grade’ because they had very little to do with August – where they felt as if the story had already been written and reference to the month added later. Two of the top three celebrated (or commiserated) an event in history so it felt as if the authors had really done their research.

Another story was well written but didn’t make the top three because it had a clichéd ‘it was all a dream’ ending. Other topics to avoid are:

  • We think the character is a male Chris but she’s actually Christine.
  • The character turns out to be an animal.
  • The end twist is that they are twins.

Although Morgen judges on the impact of the stories and the quality of the writing, it’s always disappointing when there are simple spelling mistakes or even simpler errors that should have been picked up when going through before submission. Fortunately that didn’t happen this time.

The September round (where the theme is ‘September’) has already opened so don’t delay in writing those 500-word maximum (excluding titles) masterpieces. And do make sure you read them thoroughly before submitting.

Should you get through to the longlist of 33 stories (three per month over eleven months), it doesn’t necessarily mean that your story will be chosen for the top ten. And no author will appear in the top ten twiceso a story that came eleventh (or twelfth, thirteenth) could be bumped up where there are author duplications. So, the more (stories / months) you enter, the more chance you have of success.

And now you can also receive feedback on your story / stories at £5 per story with the optional critique service (given by the judge, Morgen Bailey, who is a professional editor for publishers and independent authors). This is detailed on the main 500-word Competition page with an option to select critique within the entry form. Good luck!



Writer of 'dark and light' (crime / chick-lit) fiction since 2005, WordPress blogger since March 2011, freelance editor (£2-£7/K) since March 2012, and creative writing tutor since January 2014. Also judge for H.E. Bates, and BeaconFlash / BBC Radio 2 / Althorp Lit Fest 500-word comps.

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