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Poetry and Short Story Competition

Wednesday, April 1 @ 8:00 am - Saturday, August 1 @ 5:00 pm

Shoreham Wordfest is launching a competition for 10 line poems and 10 word (yes 10 word!) short stories to celebrate their 10th anniversary. 

Original unpublished entries on any theme are invited from all Sussex residents, with £150 top prize for the winning poem and £50 top prize for the very short story. There is a special prize for poems by 16-18 year olds.

The poetry will be judged by John McCullough, prize winning poet and creative writing tutor at Sussex University.  The short stories will be judged by Catherine Smith, award winning writer who also teaches at Sussex University.

Wordfest poetry lead, Barbara Meredith, says: “We have been planning these competitions for some time to celebrate the 10th year of Shoreham Wordfest. It seems even more appropriate now that so many people are isolated at home to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.  We invite everyone to try their hand at creating some special poetry on any theme, and the 10 word short story is a really good challenge.  The example we are using is: Buys two pints. Their regular table. Drinks his. Drinks hers.

The competition closes on 1 August and winners will be announced in September.  Wordfest is aiming for a celebratory event during their annual festival on 11 October, subject to public health restrictions being lifted by then.

Shoreham Wordfest is a charity run by writers and literary enthusiasts. We have been running an annual festival each autumn since 2011, bringing nationally recognised authors, poets and drama to Shoreham, attracting audiences from across the South East Region.  



Judged by John McCullough

John McCullough teaches creative writing courses at the University of Brighton, The Arvon Foundation and New Writing South. His first collection of poems The Frost Fairs won the Polari First Book Prize in 2012. His new collection, Reckless Paper Birds explores vulnerability and the human body. It was recently shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award



‘Buys two pints. Their regular table. Drinks hers. Drinks his.’

Judged by Catherine Smith

A writer of prose and drama as well as poetry, Catherine Smith teaches for the University of Sussex and the Arvon Foundation, Her three poetry collections to date have been shortlisted for several prizes and in 2004, she was named by the Guardian among "the twenty most exciting poets to have published a first collection in the last ten years”.

Poetry Prizes: £150, £100, £50; and £15 Book Vouchers for three Commended Poems.

Short Story Prizes: £50, £30, £20


Young Poet’s Prize (age16-18) £50 and £15 Book Vouchers for three Commended Poems.

And for all winners there will be an opportunity to read their entries at the Wordfest Poetry, Story and Music Evening on 11 October 2020


Wednesday, April 1 @ 8:00 am
Saturday, August 1 @ 5:00 pm


United Kingdom


Barbara Meredith
07522 957691