Bedford Prize

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"This is precisely the time artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal." - Toni Morrison.
The 2020 Short Story and Poetry Competitions are now open for entries. The closing date is 31st October 2020, but if your story or poem is ready now, send it in and start on your next one. There is no limit on the number of entries you can send in.
Stories may be up to 3000 words on any theme. The entry fee for a single story is £6, but enter three at the same time and it will cost £12. Any number of stories may be entered by a single entrant.

Poems must be no more than 40 lines long and the entry fee is £6 for one or £12 if three are entered at the same time. An entrant can enter any number of poems.
Full time students pay a reduced entry fee of £4 for one story or poem and £8 for three.

For both competitions the prizes are first place, £500, second place £150 and third place £100. In addition all shortliated stories and poems plus other prizewinners are published in an anthology which is produced in paperback and electronic book format.
The Bedford Competition wants to play a part in helping to cope by providing a diversion from the Covid-19 crisis and will be introducing a special award in 2020 which we are calling the Rainbow Short Story Prize. This will be for the best short stories from persons aged 70 or over. All entrants in the short story competition who fall into that age group will automatically be eligible for the Rainbow Short Story Prize. People of this age are, not only the most affected by this deadly pandemic, but are having to forego their usual social activities and interaction with their children and grandchildren. Competing for this award will be an opportunity to combat isolation blues and write that winning story to share with others.

We will be awarding prizes of first place £500, second place £150 and third place £100. This will be in addition to the prizes being awarded in the main short story competition. Because the consequences of coronavirus are so far-reaching, the money that we will be donating to charity will go towards alleviating the suffering it is causing and will continue to cause. By entering, you will be playing your part too.
At the other end of the age spectrum there are prizes for young short story writers and poets aged 17-25 Years.

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