Short Story Competition

Thank you to everyone who entered our short story competition on the theme of A Voice for Change.
We are delighted to announce the long-listed stories. These are (writers are not mentioned as the stories are being judged anonymously):
Realms of Possibilities
Minding Madonna
The Sitter
Sins of the Flesh
Out Loud
The Gift of the Half-Moon
The three winning stories will be announced at the Women’s Voices Women’s Votes Festival on 6th October at 2.30pm, when judge Gill Lowe will talk about women’s writing.


Women’s Voices Women’s Votes – 100 years on is delighted to launch its short story
competition on the theme of A Voice for Change.

The competition is open to women, and those who identify as women, who are over 16 and live, work or study in Suffolk, and who have not been commercially published up to now. We know we have many interesting and talented women writing in Suffolk. This is a great opportunity to have your voice heard. And it’s free to enter!

The competition is being run jointly with the University of Suffolk, and the judges are
Amanda Hodgkinson (award-winning author of 22 Britannia Road and Spilt Milk) and Gill Lowe (who has published widely on women writers, particularly Virginia Woolf).

The results of the competition will be announced at the Women’s Voices Women’s Votes
Festival on 6 th October 2018 at the University of Suffolk. The Festival celebrates the
centenary of the first women getting the vote, and explores what needs to change for
women to achieve gender equality. The theme of the competition is very much in line with that of the Festival generally – Voices. Change. Power.

A generous prize-fund has been donated by Suffolk Book League for the winning and two highly commended stories. These and the long-listed stories will be available for Festival-goers to read on the day.

The Festival is proud to give women in Suffolk the opportunity to share their voice by writing a piece of fiction – but no time to waste, as the closing date is 14th September.


Your story:

  • The theme of your story must be A Voice for Change. You may interpret the theme in whatever way you choose.
  • Your story must be a work of fiction in prose, and can be in any genre – historical, political, speculative, contemporary, thriller, romance etc. However, we cannot accept stories for children for this competition.
  • Your story must be within the range of 1000 and 1200 words
  • Stories must be your original work and not have been published, or accepted for publication, or currently be entered into a competition elsewhere.
  • Only one entry per person is permitted.
  • Entries must be submitted as a word document attached to an email with the subject line Short Story, no later than 23.59 on 14th September 2018. The email should be sent to
  • In the body of the email, put the title of your story, the number of words, your name, address and phone number.
  • Please submit your work typed in Arial or Times New Roman font (size 12), double-spaced with pages numbered
  • Your entry will be judged anonymously,so only the title of the story should appear on each page, with no front sheet. Do not put your name anywhere within the word document that contains your entry.
  • The writers of the six shortlisted stories will be notified by email on or before 3rd October 2018.


  • The winning story will be awarded £100 and will be read out (by yourself, or someone of your choice) at the Awards Ceremony at the Women’s Voices Women’s Votes Festival on Saturday October 6th at the University of Suffolk, Waterfront, Ipswich
  • Two highly commended stories will each be awarded £50, and will be announced at the Festival.
  • Long listed, short listed and winning stories will be displayed at the Festival.
  • Short listed and winning stories will each receive a brief report from the Judges.
  • After the Festival, the winning and short listed stories will be made available to read on the Women’s Voices Women’s Votes website. The writers and titles of long listed stories will also be shown as will the judges’ report.
  • It is hoped that winning, short listed and long listed stories will be published in a small booklet after the Festival, but this has not been confirmed yet.


  • The short story competition is open to women, and those who identify as women, aged 16 and over at the time of entry, who are living, working or studying in Suffolk.
  • You must not have had a short story or novel accepted for commercial publication. If you are unsure if you qualify, do contact us. 
  • The story must be written in English, but stories are welcomed from people of all nationalities and cultures.
  • There is no entry fee.


  • The Judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence can be entered into.