Posted in competitions, critique, literary festival, writing

500-word comp Round 3 – Sept 2017 – winners announced

We are delighted to announce the top three stories from September’s entries are (in title order):

  • Autumn Fair
  • Back to School
  • Seek and Ye Shall Find

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

For those of you have requested (and paid for) critique on your stories, this will be with you in the next few days.


Morgen’s feedback on this month’s entries:

“Another mixed bag. Some where disqualified, or at least lost points, because they were either not written to the theme (of September), had picked the wrong month, or they were so loosely based on the month that the stories could have taken place at any time… A couple of the stories felt as if they had already been written and were tweaked to accommodate the theme. It’s all about the impact of the story having read it through. One missed out because it had a clichéd ending. Those to avoid (and the story was one of these):

  • The character was one of twins; one bad, one good.
  • The main character turns out to be an animal.
  • Chris isn’t Christopher but is Christine.
  • The ‘child’ dreading the first day at school turns out to be the teacher.

And worst of all (it wasn’t this one)…

  • It was all a dream… Bobby Ewing!

Women’s magazines especially avoid those.”


The October round (where the theme is ‘October’) 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 twice so 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 option 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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