Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2019


Theme: Spooks

Word limit:  2,000


1st: £400

2nd: £250 

3rd: £100

Seven shortlisted: Publication in our annual anthology along with top three.

Entry fee: £8 per manuscript.  Entrants are welcome to submit multiple entries.  There is no limit to number of submissions, provided an entry fee has been paid for each.

 Deadline: 31st July 2019 for email entries, 16th July 2019 for postal entries.

Adjudicator: Piers Warren

Members Shield Challenge Adjudicator: Holly Ainley

International entries welcome.

The official launch gala will be held on 16th April 2019 at 19:30 pm at Chantry Hall, Norwich. If you are unable to attend the gala, fear not. Details of what our adjudicators are looking for as well as other useful tips will be added to this page shortly after the gala. Keep checking this page and our social media pages for updates!

If you have any questions in the mean time, do not hesitate to get in touch. We aim to respond to enquiries within 3-5 working days.





Please attach a separate cover sheet with the following details:

  • Your full name
  • Story title
  • Word count
  • Your email address
  • Any telephone number(s) we can contact you on
  • Your full address
  • PayPal reference (if applicable)

We need this information for admin purposes and so we can contact you if you win.  It will not be passed onto third parties.

If you are sending your entry by email, the cover sheet should be a separate attachment to your story.  Please do not put this in the body of the email.  The document title should also be formatted as follows: [Story Title] Cover Sheet.

If you’re still not sure, you can download a template here:


You can either fill it in, or make your own, as long as it contains the same details. Please be sure to include it with your entry.

Each story you submit should have its own cover sheet.

If you are sending by post, it must be a separate sheet of paper placed at the front of the manuscript it relates to.



Manuscripts must be formatted as follows:

  • Double spaced
  • 12pt Times New Roman or Arial font
  • 3cm page margin
  • Paper size A4
  • It must not contain your name or anything that might identify you anywhere.
  • Your header or footer must contain a page number, formatted as page x of y and also the title of your story.  This will prevent mix-ups during administration and adjudication. If you do not know how to do this please see the following links for instructions for Microsoft and Apple users.

If you are still not sure how to format your work, please find a template below. Simply fill in the required fields in the header and body. You can either write your story in it, or copy and paste the relevant parts.




Emailed entries are preferred as they make administration easier.

Emailed submissions must be sent as an attachment.  Please do not put your story in the body of the email.  Any entries sent this way will be disqualified.

All file attachments MUST be formatted as a .doc or .rtf file.  PDFs will not be accepted.

Please email them to norwichwriters@hotmail.co.uk

Please also include your name, manuscript title, and Paypal reference (if applicable) in the subject.

If you are sending multiple entries, please send each as a separate email.



Although emailed entries are preferred, if you are unable to do so, please post them to:

Iain Andrews, 12 Malten Close, Poringland, Norwich, NR14 7RW

Should your entry win, you will be required to email a digital copy to us.  Entries are not returned, ensure you keep a copy.

If you are sending multiple entries, they can be put them in the same envelope, but please ensure the correct cover sheet is in front of each manuscript.

Please ensure you pay sufficient postage.




Payments can be made via PayPal to norwichwriters@hotmail.co.uk.  Please use the name you are submitting your work under and your story title as a reference.

Cost is £8 per entry.  PayPal may confirm your payment to Alan Rosser, who is our Treasurer.

If you do not follow our guidelines, your entry may be disqualified.  A disqualified entry will not receive the entry fee back.

If you have any questions, be sure to check out our FAQ page. If your question is not answered there, or you are still unsure about something, please do not hesitate to contact us: norwichwriters@hotmail.co.uk

Please note it may take 3-5 working days for us to respond.



Terms and Conditions:


  • Entries must never have been published or self-published in any format, including but not limited to, publication on any website, blog or online forum, or broadcast.
  • Entries must not be awaiting publication or self-publication in any format, including but not limited to, publication on any website, blog or online forum, or broadcast.
  • Work must not have placed in any other competition, either as a winner (i.e 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place) nor have been shortlisted, longlisted or highly commended.
  • If you submit your entry to another competition while it is entered with us, you must notify us should it place and immediately withdraw your entry. You will not receive your entry fee back.
  • By submitting your entry, you are giving us permission for it to be included in our non-profit anthology should it win. You will retain the copyright to the story and be allowed to publish it elsewhere should you wish to after the results have been officially announced on 16th October 2018.
  • Entries submitted posthumously will not be eligible.
  • Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification and any prize money paid will be reclaimed.
  • Entries received after the deadline will not be entered, nor will any fees paid be returned.
  • Each story submitted counts as an entry and must be paid for. There is no limit to the number of entries that can be submitted provided they are paid for.
  • If an entrant is found to have breached any of the terms and conditions, their entry will be disqualified. Any fees paid will not be refunded.  If they have been given any prize money, it will be reclaimed.
  • All entries MUST be in English.
  • It is the sole responsibility of the entrant to report any cash prizes they win in the competition according to the tax laws that apply in their respective country and/or county/state/province.
  • Submission of work will be taken as a declaration that you (the entrant) understand all of the terms and conditions and agree to them all.