Posted in competitions

BeaconLit 500-word comp Round 9 – Mar 2018 – winners announced

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

  • Making Mother’s Day
  • Spring Surveillance
  • The Keeper of Time

…with ‘Ides’ narrowly missing out on the top three.

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:

A wonderful array of topics this month including birthstones, Mother’s Day and St Patrick’s Day, the March equinox, the hour change, the Ides of March, and March hares. There were a couple where March felt as if it had just been slotted in to fit the theme, and that the story could have either taken place at any time that season or even during the year. It’s a shame because they were well written but, being a themed competition, this takes priority. For many reading stories – myself included – it’s also about how they (I) feel at the end of the story. We should be entertained (regardless of genre), on occasion educated, and invariably hope for the elusive “Wow”. What you want to avoid – and test this on a friend – is a “Huh?” at the end, and that happened for me a couple of times. The three I chose, as well as being well written, are poignant or entertaining with clever twists on the themes.


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 April round (where the theme is ‘April’) 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.

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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