In association with Sloe Wine
First prize: Ed's Big Ugly Mug* (special edition, inscribed Short Story Prize 2006)
Runner-up prize: Mug for Munchkins** (special edition, inscribed Short Story Prize 2006)
There is no theme, and no word limit other than our editorial team's variable attention span. If you can hold their attention you deserve a prize. They have read a lot of great short stories and want to read as many more as possible. If your entry is not a short story they will know, so don't send a novel. If it's a chapter from a novel, don't tell us - it should stand alone. If it stands alone, we don't care whether it's part of a bigger work, but we don't want to know beforehand.
Entries must be sent by email to stories at-sign willesdenherald dot com. No pictures please, only very limited mailbox space is available. Maximum two entries per author. Even if the two best stories are by one author, only one will be selected, and only one prize per author.
All entries will be acknowledged by return email. If you do not receive your acknowledgement, either we have not received your entry due to our spam traps, or you have not received our acknowledgement due to your spam traps. This is equivalent to the Cone of Silence (cf. Get Smart). Please re-submit if you get no acknowledgement, and avoid anything that sounds like spam in your subject line.
Please state author name for by-line. Pen names are acceptable. Anonymity will be maintained (if required), with the help of St. Jude and the good judgement of the bartenders of Willesden. However, if you wish to receive your prize you will have to provide a delivery address. You don't need to send a delivery address unless you win. If you prefer you can collect your prize from Gigi's in Willesden by arrangement. We cannot conceive of anybody not wanting the prize, however if this enormous improbability were to befall, we would be pleased to donate the cost price to an online charity of your choice. N.B: The cost price.
Closing date for entries: December 24th, 2005. The winner and runner-up will be notified by email on New Year's Day and the results will be announced as soon as possible afterwards.
Winners are kindly asked to grant non-exclusive rights to Sloe Wine to publish their winning stories, online only, until the end of 2006, when they will be deleted. Alternatively, almost unique among literary competitions, we can leave your winning story unpublished if preferred. Copyright remains with the author at all times, of course. If you agree to publish, links will be posted here in the Willesden Herald to the winning entries. The results will be published online on several websites, and the title winner / runner-up Willesden short story prize 2006 will be yours.
Entries must be your own original work and previously unpublished.
This is a genuine competition. No purchase necessary, as they say. We reserve the right to withold either prize or both if entries of a sufficient standard are not received.
* Rare. Only two in existence. The first is in the possession of Red Woodward (here seen drinking Irish Tea).
** The only one in existence is believed to be in the possession of The Rt. Hon. Sarah Teather, MP