The long-running H.E. Bates Short Story Competition usually opens in June with a 30th November deadline, and for 2015 had me as Head Judge!
Herbert Ernest Bates, CBE (1905–74), better known as H. E. Bates, was an English writer and author. His best-known works include Love for Lydia, The Darling Buds of May, (starring David Jason and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Pam Ferris amongst others) and My Uncle Silas. Bates was born on May 16, 1905 in Rushden, Northamptonshire, and educated at Kettering Grammar School. After leaving school, he worked as a reporter and a warehouse clerk.
Run by the Northampton Writers Group, the details of the H.E. Bates competition are on http://www.hebatescompetition.org.uk (with the rules / entry details at http://www.hebatescompetition.org.uk/index3.asp) and below:
- NB. The 2016 details haven’t been announced yet (and won’t until the summer) but these are from 2015…
- Write a short story on any theme or genre of your choice.
- Entries must be no longer than 2,000 words in length. Longer stories will be disqualified. There is no minimum but the story must have a start, middle and end.
- Email / postal entries accepted.
- The competition is open to all writers of any age, from anywhere in the world.
- 1st Prize £500; 2nd Prize £100; 3rd Prize £50.
- Special prize for the best story written by a Northamptonshire writer £50 (not awarded if the story has won 1st, 2nd or 3rd Prize).
- The entry fee is £6 for the first story submitted, two stories for £10 (£5 for each subsequent story). Entrants are invited to submit as many stories as they wish.
- The initial judging panel will comprise members of the Northampton Writers’ Group.
- I (Morgen Bailey) was the Head Judge for 2015. Previous judges have included Jane Wenham-Jones (2014), Della Galton (2013), Stephen Booth (2012), Katie Fforde (2011), Sue Moorcroft (2010), and Judith Allnatt.
- The competition usually opens in June with a closing date for entries of midnight (UK time) 30th November.
- Prizes for the 2016 competition will likely be awarded at a prize-giving ceremony January / February 2017 at The Quaker Meeting House, Northampton. (The 2015 competition was 4th Feb 2016, 7.30pm, at that venue.)
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Nick, NWG’s Competition Secretary, receives your stories, removes your names then distributes them to the group’s members who then mark the stories (out of 10). The Head Judge will be sent the top ten stories to pick the winning three. If the three aren’t Northamptonshire-based, he / she will pick another story from the selection of top Northants entries for the winner of that category.
The Northampton Writers’ Group, a critique group mostly, meets every first and third Thursday night in central Northampton, England – do email Nick if you’re local and are interested in joining. More details on Writing Groups.