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Prema is a family friendly Arts Centre, promoting performance, live music and art exhibitions as well as accessible workshops, classes and creative experiences for kids and adults.

Prema, near Dursley in the Stroud valleys, offers an affordable day out for all folk in the South West.

The Prema Short Story Competition

The Prema 500 word Short Story writing competition is now open for entries!

What’s it all about?
We have been delighted at the number of writers out there that have signed up for and really embraced Prema’s creative writing courses. Amazed by the sparkling talent and literary wizardry and with the inspiration of writer Sarah Erskine, Prema wants to create a platform for local writers to showcase and celebrate their talent and originality. Thus the Prema 500 word Short Story Comp was born.

What should I write about?
Our competition is open to anyone over the age of 15 with a story to tell. You can write in any fictional genre, on any subject. There is no theme, no limits, apart from the number of words and that the content won’t cause offence (see the small print). Whether you write sci-fi, thrillers or fairy tales, let the words pour out.

Can I enter?
All are welcome, whether fledgling writer or a wordy professional. As long as your content is original and has never been published or won any competition before you can submit your entry. All entries will be judged by the panel anonymously, so everyone has a fair chance.

Why should I enter?
Well let’s face it, competitions are fun! Then there’s also the chance to have your work seen, recognised and publicly celebrated. To share your stories with other people and to meet other writers and be part of the creative Prema community that is evolving.

What’s the prize?
A shortlist of ten spectacular stories will be whittled down from the magnificence of marvellous tales submitted (max of 4 from any individual) and from there the shortlist will be judged by luminaries including Caroline Norbury (CEO of Creative England) and award-winning writer Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry). The winner will receive an ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATION of a moment in their story, plus a copy of the Prema Short Story 2019 Anthology and bragging rights to all their family and friends. Two runners up will also receive a copy of the book (available to purchase at Prema). ALL those who enter receive a FREE ticket for the magical Reading Evening where all are welcome to come and enjoy the short stories and wonderful written word.

Deadline for entry is Friday 8 November 2019.

Here are the Juicy Details!

Word Limit- 500 words (excluding title)

Age limit- 15+

Deadline for Entry- Friday 8th November

Cost of Entry- £10 per submission (to be enclosed in submission envelope)

How to submit

  • Print off and fill in an Entry Form for each submission, attach to the front and enclose in the envelope.
  • Enclose your entry fee in cash in the envelope (no cheques please).
  • Indicate on the entry form if you would like to receive constructive feedback via email on your story by tutor Sarah Erskine.
  • Send a hard copy of your story in an envelope to Prema Arts Centre, South Street, Uley, GLOS, GL11 5SS or drop it off at Prema in person (office is open Tuesday – Friday 10.30am- 5pm).
  • Submissions must be received by Friday 8th November at 5pm.
  • Each submission will be given a code and made anonymous on receipt.
  • All submissions will be read by creative writing tutor Sarah Erskine and the longlist judging panel.
  • 10 stories will be shortlisted
  • Upon being shortlisted you will be notified by email on Tuesday 26th November and then be asked to email your story to for anonymous judging by our shortlist judges. The shortlist judges include Caroline Norbury MBE (CEO of Creative England) and award winning writer Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry). They will select the 3 winning short stories.
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners will be announced at the Reading Evening where the ten shortlisted stories will be performed.

  • Everyone who enters has the option to receive constructive feedback from Sarah Erskine on their story and is also offered a free ticket to the reading evening to mingle with other writers and enjoy the stories. (Shortlisted writers receive two free tickets).
  • The ten shortlisted stories will be performed at the reading evening and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be announced.
  • The winning story will receive an original illustration of a moment in your story by an amazing UK illustrator and the top three will receive a book of the shortlisted stories.
  • Anthologies of the shortlisted stories will also be for sale at Prema. The Reading evening is on Friday 29th November.Free ticket for all those who entered. Additional tickets for friends, family and short story lovers are available for book via the Prema Website (£5 full price or £3.50 concession). Come along and celebrate the written word!

Terms and Conditions
The story should be:
  • Fictional & original prose which has not been published or won a competition before.
  • Written within the last year.
  • Written in English and typed.
  • 500 words maximum.
  • If shortlisted your story will be included in the Prema Short Story Anthology available to purchase from Prema (only top three will receive a free copy)
  • Entries cannot be returned.
  • Each submission must have its own Entry Form attached.

You may submit a maximum of 4 stories; the entry fee of £10 is per story submitted (four stories = £40). Entry fee must be enclosed with submission. Please ensure your story is sensitive to equality and diversity and will not cause offence.

Good luck and happy writing!!

Prema Short Story Competition