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3 Festivals for 2024


News & Features

Flash Fiction is back!

By - 20 January 2023 - 14:49pm

Can you write 50 words on 'Light'?

If you aren’t signed up for our newsletter, you might have missed our announcement at the beginning of January. We’re delighted our Flash Fiction Writing Competition is back!

Each year we choose a different theme – one that can be broadly interpreted – and ask you to write an original story of up to 50 words. This year’s theme is ‘Light’ and we hope it offers many ways for you to interpret it.

For example, you could focus on the light that is all around us and the way it changes throughout the day, the feeling of being light or the weight of an object, or the action of creating light – lighting a fire or candle. It’s up to you how you interpret the theme.

Please submit entries using the form on our website, which you can view by clicking here. On the same page, you’ll also be able to view creative writing tips and tricks and the terms and conditions of the competition. It also explains more about the prizes we are offering!

It’s free to enter - and you can enter as many times as you’d like. Just remember to stick to 50 words! There are three age categories: 11 and under, 12-17, and 18 and over. For the under 11 category, we’re asking for something slightly different this year as we’re asking for a poem rather than a story.

We also have categories for HMP Foston Hall and HMP Sudbury. All entries will be judged by a panel of local writers and creative writing specialists. There will be one winner in each category and a prize for each winner (more on that below!).

Here’s a summary of key facts:

  • The competition is open now until February 15th at 9pm

  • This year’s theme is ‘light’, and you can interpret this however you want

  • The challenge is to write up to 50 words on the theme (as measured by our online entry form)

  • There are prizes!! There will be one winner from each age category (under 11s, 12-17, over 18s) and the prizes each winner will receive are: a £50 book token, the winning story printed on a bookmark that will promote our next Festivals, and the story will be published on the Derby Book Festival website. An illustration student at the University of Derby will design an illustration for each story as part of a separate competition for the students. The set of bookmarks containing the illustrated stories will be available from 19 May, the start of our 2023 Festival

  • It’s free to enter the Flash Fiction Writing Competition and you can enter as many times as you’d like.

Questions? Please email us at:

Happy writing and good luck to all entrants!

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