Hastings Bookfest Competitons

 Full details 

Hastings Book Festival Prize: In each competition 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be awarded a cash prize of £250, £100 and £50, respectively.


New Writing South sponsored Sussex Prize: The New Writing South sponsored Sussex Prize is a collaboration between Hastings Book Festival and New Writing South. It’s purpose is to recognise & amplify outstanding work by authors living in our own back yard. All regular entries from writers living in either East or West Sussex are eligible for the prize. You will need to indicate (opt-in) at the time of entry that you are eligible. 

There will be one prize for poetry and one for fiction. The winners of both the Fiction and Poetry Prize will both receive: 1-1 mentoring with a professional writer, a festival pass to The Coast is Queer 2024 and a free online course of their choice worth £75. (Options include Finishing the First Draft of Your Novel, Putting a Poetry Pamphlet Together, World-building and Writing Different Worlds and more.)


LGBT+ Prize sponsored by Starcroft Farm Cabins: a 3-day creative retreat at The Lucy Cabin at Starcroft Farm Cabins, East Sussex. One (1) overall winner will be selected from all eligible entries from across both Fiction and Poetry contests. This award is offered in partnership with Starcroft Farm Cabins, and is open to all regular entries from UK-based writers from the LGBT+ community.



Deadline for entries is 17 July, 2024 at 10pm (UK Time). 

Winners will be announced at an online award ceremony.


We are so pleased to welcome back our amazing short story judge VG Lee and welcome the wonderful poetry prize judge Jessica Mookherjee who has joined us before at the festival and will be judging for the first time.
Our judges read every entry and produce a longlist, a shortlist before selecting the winners.

To read our full competition rules and submission requirements, please go to our dedicated rules page

The winners will be announced during the 2024 Festival in September.


‘It was such a thrill to win the Hastings Poetry Competition! I am excited to enter again. While the odds are excellent that someone else will be chosen this year, it’s so fun to enter. You never know! Good luck!’
(Jeanette Burney, winner of 1st prize for poetry 2023)

‘Winning the competition last year was a complete surprise and incredibly exciting. It has inspired me to keep writing and I would urge anyone to get involved this year.’ 

(Ross Anderson, winner of 1st prize for Sussex prize short story, 2023)




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