Posted in competitions, critique, literary festival, writing

500-word comp Round 4 – Oct 2017 – winners announced

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

  • A Dish Served Cold
  • Changing the Clocks
  • Christmas is Coming

These three stories will now go through to the final judging which takes place when the competition 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:

“An especially difficult selection process this time as I had four favourites but had to pick three. There were others that came very close to the top four and in any other collection of stories could have been placed. The one that only just missed out was ‘Recipe for Change’. Although I judge 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. This has happened every month without exception. I suggest reading your entry aloud before submitting it. Write it, leave it for a few days then go through it again – reading it aloud so any mistakes will leap out at you. Even better: read the sentences in reverse order, i.e. the final one followed by its predecessor and so on. It won’t make any sense but that’s the idea.”


The November round (where the theme is ‘November’) has already opened so don’t delay in writing those 500-word maximum (excluding title) 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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