Posted in competitions, critique, literary festival

BeaconLit 500-word comp Round 8 – February 2018 – winners announced

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

  • No Running!
  • War of the Roses
  • When Rambo Met Mitzy

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:

There were five contenders for the top spots this month. That said, the remaining stories could have made it in a different batch but as with most judging, it was how I felt at the end of the story that swung it for me. Most entrants went for a Valentine’s theme, as to be expected, but extra kudos for those who didn’t. We had first person, third person, serious and comic. One, sadly, had nothing to do with February so was disqualified. It’s not always about the quality of the writing and in some cases it can feel that the author is trying too hard. Stories are composed of character, setting and plot, and for most readers it’s all about character. You could have an intricate plot, elaborate setting, but if the reader doesn’t care what happens to the character then the story falls.


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 March round (where the theme is ‘March’) 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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