Posted in competitions, critique, literary festival

BeaconLit 500-word comp Round 7 – January 2018 – winners announced

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

  • Happy New Year
  • New Starters
  • New Year New Start

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

If you have requested, and paid for, critique, this will be with you in the next few days.

Morgen’s feedback on the stories received this month:

Another tough month. There were five stories that could have made the top three but I had to whittle it down so after rereading (twice), it was the impact of the stories that made the decision as well as the closeness to the theme. One was particularly clever where, apart from being dialogue only, there was a twist, although I had guessed it before it was revealed which was a shame. Some of those missing out had scant connections to January where they could have been set in any month (e.g. winter rather than month specific) and a couple felt as if they’d already been written and tweaked to fit the theme.

Don’t lose heart if you’ve not been placed. All the stories submitted are worthy of publication so if you’ve not been placed in this competition, do send your story / stories to another competition or somewhere where they will pay you for publication. Any success looks good on your writing CV (submission’s cover letter).


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.

The February round (where the theme is ‘February’) 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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