Lincoln Book Festival 2019 Flash Fiction Competition

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Lincoln Book Festival 2019 Flash Fiction Competition

Please note this competition is now closed for entries. For details of 2019 winners, please visit

Lincoln Book Festival 2019, in association with the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste University, is inviting budding writers to submit their own ultra-short stories to its annual Flash Fiction Competition.

The competition aims to uncover new storytelling talent by showcasing concise, compelling creative writing within a defined topic or genre with a simple but challenging brief: the story must be precisely 50 words in length - no more, no less! 

This year's Lincoln Book Festival runs from 23rd September with with a week-long series of literary events celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Queen Victoria and the era she defined.

There are separate competition categories for primary (Reception to Year 6), secondary (Year 7 - Year 11) and adult age groups (Year 12 upwards, including school leavers). The prize in each age category is a £30 book voucher. The competition is open for entries now with a deadline of Friday 5th July 2019 and winners due to be announced at the Lincoln Book Festival launch party.

Competition judges will be looking for short stories inspired by Queen Victoria, Victorian literature, history, or culture, or ‘Victoriana’ - with writers free to interpret the brief as broadly as they wish. Each story is considered on how it reflects the theme through its creativity, style, structure, plot, characters, dialogue or sense of location.

Writers might choose to take inspiration from great literature of the age like a Dickens drama or a Brontë romance. Genres inspired by or emerging from ‘Victoriana’, such as Jules Verne-style adventures and early sci-fi forays, might also offer authors sparks of creativity. Alternatively, writers might choose to anchor their story firmly in real historical events, for example, with fictionalised accounts of key moments or issues that shaped Victoria’s reign.

Use the links below to download the Lincoln Book Festival 2019 Flash Fiction Competiton Entry Form as either a Microsoft Word document or editable PDF file. If you have any difficulty accessing the forms, please contact

Microsoft Word

LBF19 Flash Fiction Entry Form Updated Word


LBF19 Flash Fiction Entry Form Updated PDF


Please refer to the Terms and Conditions for more details on how to submit your entry. The deadline for all submissions has been extended to Friday 19th July 2019.


 1.         The promotor of the Lincoln Book Festival Flash Fiction Competition 2019 (The Competition) is the University of Lincoln (The Promoter) on behalf of Lincoln Book Festival Trust (The Trust).

2.         All information provided by entrants to the Competition will be maintained and processed in accordance with UK data protection legislation. No data will be shared with third parties without consent.

3.         To be eligible, submitted short stories must be original works by the named author. They must not have been submitted to other competitions or previously published in print or online.

4.         Only one named author is permitted for each entry. Single entries from multiple authors (i.e. co-authored works) will not be accepted.

5.         Only one entry is permitted per author and each must be submitted by email using the Lincoln Book Festival Flash Fiction Competition 2019 Entry Form. Please submit your completed entry form in a Word or PDF file to: with the email subject line "Lincoln Book Festival Flash Fiction Competition 2019". Postal submissions cannot be accepted.

6.         Entrants must include on the entry form their full name, age (at time of submission), school year (eg. Year 7), contact postal address and a contact email address or telephone number. Entrants aged 17 or under should obtain permission from an appropriate adult, such as a parent or teacher (stating the relationship), and provide the adult’s contact details. Entries cannot be accepted unless the Entry Form is completed in full and the wordcount is correct.

7.         Multiple entries from different authors may be collated within a single attachment (e.g. from school groups) provided a separate form is contained for each entry. Entry forms may be printed and completed by hand then scanned for electronic submission. Incomplete or illegible entry forms cannot be accepted. For collated school group entries, teachers may use pupils’ initials or other identifiers in place of the authors’ name (for data minimisation purposes) provided any winning entrants could later be identified by the school if required.

8.         Word counts will be calculated using standard software programs and manually checked if necessary. Story titles are not included in word counts. Footnotes and other annotations will be included in word counts. Hyphenated and compound words will be classed as a single word but should be common dictionary uses.

9.         Entries will be assigned to the relevant age category based on the author’s age/ school year on the entry form on the date of submission. Categories are Primary (Reception to Year 6); Secondary (Year 7 to Year 11); and Adult (Year 12 and above, including school leavers).

10.       The shortlisting and judging panels will assess entries for creativity, style, structure, plot, characters, dialogue and locations that are reflective of the competition theme (the Victorians). Entrants are free to define and interpret the theme how they see fit.

11.       There is no entry fee to the competition. Entrants must be resident in the UK.

12.       Authors may use a pen name but should include their real name on the entry form for administrative purposes (except under the conditions described in Clause 7 above for collated school entries). If a pen name is given it will be used in any publication or publicity.

13.       Authors should avoid submitting content that could be considered obscene or offensive. Inappropriate material will be deemed ineligible.

14.       Entrants cannot amend their work once it is submitted. They may request to withdraw their submission entirely and resubmit.

15.       The Promoter (and appointed judging panels) reserve the right to adjudicate on the eligibility of all submissions and its decisions on eligibility are final. No correspondence will be entered into about such decisions.

16.       Entries received will not be returned to authors so please retain a copy. No feedback will be provided on entries other than judging panel's official comments on winning entries.

17.       Eligible entries will be assessed initially by a shortlisting panel appointed by Lincoln Book Festival Trust who will select a shortlist of no more than five entries in each age category.

18.       Shortlisting will take place in July 2019. The names of entrants will be redacted during the shortlisting process. Shortlisted authors will be notified no later than 13th September 2019.

19.       Shortlisted entries will be assessed by a judging panel appointed by The Trust. One overall winner will be chosen by the judges in each age category. Winners from among the shortlisted entrants will be announced publicly at the Lincoln Book Festival 2019 launch event on 23rd September 2019.

20.       Each overall category winner will receive a prize of £30 worth of book vouchers. Prizes are non-refundable and non-transferable.

21.       All shortlisted entrants will be invited to attend the prize-giving event during Lincoln Book Festival 2019 along with one guest. Invitations will be sent by email to the contact address as given on their entry form. Attendance at the prize-giving is not compulsory and entrants are responsible for their own travel expenses if they choose to attend. Winners may opt to have their prize sent to them by post instead. These postage costs will be covered by the Trust.

22.       The Promoter reserves the right to withdraw this competition at any time or to withdraw or replace prizes. No alternative goods or services will be offered.

23.       In submitting their original works, entrants grant indefinite, non-exclusive, royalty free permission for The Trust to use the work, its title and author's name (or pen name) for promotional or fundraising purposes only in relation to the Lincoln Book Festival or the Lincoln Book Festival Flash Fiction Competition. This includes publication in print or online formats (including in anthologies) and licensing to third party media for editorial use. Any such usage shall include acknowledgement of the author as copyright holder.

24.       The Promoter and The Trust accept no liability for acts of plagiarism or copyright infringement by entrants. By entering the Competition, entrants agree to fully indemnify the Promoter and the Trust against any claims by any third party arising from any breach of these Terms.

25.       The Competition closing date for submissions is midnight on Friday 19th July 2019 (extended from original 5th July). No entries will be accepted after this time.

26.       If authors of winning entries cannot be contacted within a reasonable timeframe the Promoter reserves the right to offer prizes to the next best entry.

27.       By entering the Competition, entrants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. The Promoter and The Trust accept no responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant by entering the Competition.