Language Evolves

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We want to encourage writers to be inspired by the field of language evolution. This might include engaging with our questions, imagining situations in the past or the future, speculating on how language might have evolved in a different species, or thinking about the consequences of our methods and practice.

The shortlist will be judged by Arthur C. Clarke Prize winner and biological anthropologist Dr. Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow).

The first-prize winner will receive a cash prize of £400 and the story will be published in the New Welsh Review (on an exclusive basis, subject to the usual editorial process). The 2nd and 3rd place stories will also be considered for publication in the New Welsh Review.

Note that there is a parallel Welsh language competition.

Competition Rules

  • Maximum length: 2500 words (excluding title, author name and any references to academic work that inspired the story).
  • Closing date: 1st December 2020.
  • Entry fee: Free.
  • Format: A4 paper, font point 12 double spaced. Include the title and your author name at the beginning, along with any citations for books or papers that inspired the story. These aspects will not be included in the word count.
  • Authors will maintain copyright for their story.
  • Submission: You will need to download and sign this consent form and then email it along with your story to Seán Roberts (


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