BFS Short Story Competition

Welcome to the BFS short story competition. With a first prize of £100 and publication in the following edition of BFS Horizons, it’s no wonder we receive so many wonderful entries from members and non-members alike. We love reading the stories you send us, seeing the creativity and imaginative worlds that you create, and choosing only one story to be a winner is always hard! But in the words of Connor MacLeod, ‘There can be only one!’

We are open for submissions from 1st April until 30th June every year. Entries this year are judged by our lead Judge, Steven Poore and Editor of BFS Horizons, Pete Sutton.

The BFS strives to be an inclusive organisation and our competition is open to anyone and everyone, whether member or not, whether published or not. Any dwarf, goblin, troll, wraith or even serpent-man may write, and send, a story and it will make no difference to us or the judges.

Prizes

£100

Publication in BFS Horizons

A year’s membership of the BFS

£50

Publication in BFS Horizons

A year’s membership of the BFS

£20

Publication in BFS Horizons

A year’s membership of the BFS

Submissions

Please only use one of the forms below. Maximum three files may be submitted. The first form is for BFS members who are submitting a single free entry. In all other cases, please use the second option “Paid entries”. Please read the rules first.

1 free entry only, BFS members only


    Paid entries

      Payment


      Rules …

      Please read these rules carefully, it’s always a shame when we have to disqualify someone because of a technicality. These rules are here to enable our judges to remain fair and impartial and easily read and understand your story.

      Short stories must be written in English with a minimum word count of 500 words, and a maximum word count of 5000, and they must be your own original work.

      1. We only accept stories in English. UK English preferred, but American and Australian English are accepted.
      2. The story must have some fantastical, speculative or horror element to it to qualify. Any fantasy or horror sub-genre is welcome and encouraged.
      3. All current members of the BFS are entitled to one free entry to the competition. This is a benefit of membership.
      4. Current BFS committee post-holders are not allowed to enter the competition.
      5. The competition is open to both members and non-members of the society, but non-members must pay a £5 entry fee.
      6. This a short story competition. We do not accept plays, scripts, poetry, comics or illustrations.
      7.  Stories must be your original work. You must hold sole copyright for your story, the world, and the characters. Do not include anything in your story for which you do not hold the copyright including quotations, song lyrics or poetry. If the work is ‘in the Public Domain’ it is permissible. If that is the case, please include a footnote to prove its copyright status.
      8. Stories must be previously unpublished in any form. This means they must not have been published in books, magazines, newspapers, on websites, phone apps, or have been broadcast on TV,  radio, podcasts, etc.
      9. No multiple submissions. This means your story must not be under consideration by another competition, or publication.
      10. However, multiple entries are welcome, but only one free entry per BFS member.
      11. Entrants must be 18 years old or over.
      12. Judges decisions are final.
      13. Should your story be successful we will request a six-month moratorium subsequent to the publication in BFS, after which time you are free to publish elsewhere.
      14. Should your story be unsuccessful, you are free to send it elsewhere immediately after the announcement of the results on the BFS website.
      15. No AI generated stories will be accepted. Any writer found to have submitted AI generated work will be barred from entry to all future competitions.

      Submission Guidelines …

      Please read these guidelines carefully, it’s always a shame when we have to disqualify someone because of a technicality. These guidelines are here to enable our judges to remain fair and impartial and easily read and understand your story.

      Format

      • Text – Double-spaced
      • Margins (left & right) 2cm
      • Font – 12 pt
      • Typeface – Plain (Such as: Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Garamon, Courier New.)
      • Indents – First line of paragraphs indented.
      • Section Breaks – Indicated by a single hash mark (#) or asterisk (*)
      • Header (for each page) – Title – no author name as the entries are judged anonymously. However, if you have included this information by error, it will be stripped out before judging. 
      • Footer (for each page) – Page Numbering
      • File Type – Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx)
      • Word Count – at the end.

      Submission Process

      • Complete the submission form above
      • Attach your story as instructed on the form.
      • In the additional information section give the title of the story, and the word count.
      • If you are a current BFS Member, please give your membership number.
      • If you are not a BFS member, or if you are a BFS member entering a second or third story, there is a £5 fee per entry. One document = one entry.
      • We welcome submissions from outside the UK; our payment system will convert your currency.