the short story rules
OPEN FOR ENTRIES: 10 November 2017
CLOSING DATE: 31 March 2018
WORD LIMIT: 1,500 words
ELIGIBILITY: The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition is open to all writers worldwide, published and unpublished, who are over 18 years by 1 September 2018.
Simultaneous submission is permitted. Should your story win a prize or be published elsewhere, please let us know so that we may remove your entry from the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Awards. Stories entered for the competition should not have been previously published in any format, online or print, self-published or paid.
The Isobel Lodge Award for New Scottish Writing is open to all unpublished writers over 18 years by 1 September 2018 who were born in Scotland, had their primary residence in Scotland or were studying in Scotland on 1 January 2018. ‘Unpublished’ means that the writer has never had a book-length work of fiction or short fictional story purchased for publication by a commercial publisher or magazine. Writers may still qualify for the Isobel Lodge New Scottish Writer Award if they have self-published a work of fiction or had non-fiction work published commercially or in a trade/academic magazine or journal.
The Scottish Arts Club Member's Award is open to all current members of the Scottish Arts Club.
TOPIC: Short stories entered for the competition may be on any topic. Stories do not have to be set in Scotland or on Scottish themes.
FEES: Every story submitted carries an entry fee of £10 payable as a donation to the Scottish Arts Club Charitable Trust via credit/debit card, PayPal or cheque. All entrants should carefully follow the guidelines on payment given on the "Enter the competition" page. Any questions about payment should be referred to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FORMAT: All stories should be in English, double spaced, 12pt, in Microsoft Word or in a PDF format. If you experience difficulties in saving as a PDF or in Word please read these guidance notes.
- The title of the story and page number should appear on every page. This should be inserted using the header format option.
- The total number of words excluding the title should be listed at the end of the story. Stories that are one word over 1500 words will be disqualified.
- The competition is judged anonymously. The author must not be identifiable from anything in the story or included in the story pages. If your name appears anywhere in the story pages the story will be disqualified.
SUBMISSION: All stories must be submitted via the online entry form. Stories that are sent in hard copy will be disqualified. Writers may submit as many stories as they like.
RETURNS/CHANGES: No corrections can be made after submission, nor fees refunded after entry. If you wish to make changes to your story you may re-submit another version paying another £10 entry fee. No reimbursement will be made for stories that are disqualified for being inconsistent with the short story rules of entry.
COPYRIGHT: All stories submitted must be original, fictional, and entirely the author’s own work, and not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party and not be defamatory of any living person or corporate body. Entries must be in the entrant’s own name/names. Stories entered should be suitable for an adult audience but not unsuitable for a general audience when published on the Scottish Arts Club website. All stories by finalists that are published on our website will be credited. The author will retain copyright to their story.
SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSION: Simultaneous submission is permitted. Should your story win a prize or be published elsewhere, please let us know so that we may remove your entry from the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition.
PUBLICATION: Stories by finalists may be included in the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Collection. Stories by the finalists will also be published on the this website.
JUDGING: During the early phases of the competition, an experienced team of readers will read and assess all stories through successive rounds. Stories are gradually eliminated from the competition until the final round when the last 7 stories are assessed by Alexander McCall Smith. (Stories reaching the final round will have been reviewed more than 40 times.)
The Scottish Arts Club Charitable Trust guarantees that judging will be anonymous, impartial and fair. The Judge’s decision is final. The Scottish Arts Club Charitable Trust cannot enter into discussion with any entrant on the judging process.
PUBLICITY: By entering this competition all writers agree that if they are among the finalists, their identity and town/country of residence may be released to the media and their stories may be published on the Scottish Arts Club website and in the anthology.
PRIZES: The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition includes awards for:
- The overall winner - £1000
- Two runners-up - £100 each
- The Isobel Lodge Award for New Scottish Writing - £500
- The Scottish Arts Club will offer all of the above one year free membership of the Scottish Arts Club (please note this offer does not apply to current and former members of the Scottish Arts Club.)
- The Scottish Arts Club Members Award - Trophy
- All finalists - signed copies of an Alexander McCall Smith novel
- All finalists – invitation to the Short Story Awards Dinner
- All finalists - an invitation to the launch of the first short story antholology
All finalists in the short story competition will be informed personally by email or by telephone by 20 August 2018.
The winner of the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Award of £1000 will not be eligible for the Isobel Lodge Award of £500.
The awards will be presented on Saturday 29 September 2018 during the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Awards Dinner. All the finalists will be invited to attend the dinner. The dinner will be free for all finalists. Any guests of finalists will need to pay for their dinner and book in advance. Finalists will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.