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Short Story Competition 2023

Last year, as part of the Abbey 1000 Celebrations, we asked for stories linked to the Abbey and its history.  This year in the year of the coronation of King Charles III we are looking for stories written with the prompt of  CORONATION. All entries must be 500 words or less. other than that, they are limited only by the author’s imagination!


Ages 9-12 - free to enter

Ages 13-17 - free to enter

Adults 18+ - £5 entry fee

 A work of fiction inspired by the word CORONATION in 500 words.


 The winning author in each category will receive a £30 Book Voucher to spend at Harris & Harris Books, Clare, an engraved trophy and will be published in the Bury Free Press.
There will also be two runners-up for each category who will each receive a £15.00 Book Voucher to spend at Harris & Harris Books, Clare. 

All entries will also be published on the Literature Festival’s website  and social media.

Deadline: All entries must have been received *digitally*and entrance fees paid (where applicable) by midnight on 21 July 2023. 


We are delighted to have a stellar line-up of judges for this years' short story competition.


Adult 18+ Category will be judged by Kate Harris

Kate is the owner and lead bookseller at Harris & Harris Books in Clare. Before the shop, Kate had management careers in both hotels and then bookshops, as well as working at the award winning independent Much Ado Books in Alfriston, Sussex prior to the move to Suffolk and had already set up Harris & Harris Books as an on line business from home before taking over her father’s motor books business shortly after. Harris & Harris Books nestles in a scrumptious row of independent shops in the High Street in Clare, Suffolk’s smallest town and it is packed to the gunwales with new and old books amongst the props and elsewhats – ideal for readers and book-lovers of all ages. The bookshop may be small but there’s something for everyone and there’s someone on hand to be your personal shopper and help you find your perfect book or gift. 

Peggy Hughes May2023.jpg

Ages 9-12 Category will be judged by Peggy Hughes

Peggy Hughes has been Executive Director at the National Centre for Writing since January 2022, and was Head of Programmes for four years before that. She comes from Northern Ireland, went to university in Scotland, and stayed to spend her formative years in literature organisations there, including the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. Peggy interviews writers at festivals and events around the UK and Ireland. When not reading, she is happiest outdoors - running, walking and looking.

Ages 13-17 Category will be judged by Amanda Hodgkinson

Dr Amanda Hodgkinson is an international award-winning novelist, and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Suffolk. She is Editor and Publisher of the UoS Talking Shop Press and produces the MA Anthologies series of Suffolk-based original stories. A regular judge of literary competitions, Amanda is passionate about the importance of storytelling in all our lives.

For more information, Rules of the Competition and how to submit please click through the categories below.

Child Writing Notes

Ages 9-12

-free entry

-500 words inspired by the word CORONATION

-submit digitally by 23.59 21.07.23


Ages 13-17

-free entry

-500 words inspired by the word CORONATION

-submit digitally by 23.59 21.07.23

Working on Laptop

Adults 18+

-£5 entry fee - payable on submission

-500 words inspired by the word CORONATION

-submit digitally by 23.59 21.07.23

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