The BFS Short Story Competition 2016

BFS_Logo_red_SMALLThe BFS short story competition 2016 will be open to entries from 1 April 2016. Anyone can enter, regardless of how many times they have been previously published. The competition is open to entries from 1 April 2016 to 30 June 2016. The sole judge for the 2016 competition is award winning editor and BFS Committee Member Allen Ashley.



  • 1st prize: £100, a year’s membership of the BFS, and publication in BFS Horizons.
  • 2nd prize:£50, a year’s membership of the BFS, and publication in BFS Horizons.
  • 3rd prize: £20, and publication in BFS Horizons.



  • Open to entries from 1 April 2016 to 30 June 2016
  • No entries will be accepted outside these dates.
  • Allen Ashley is the sole judge of this year’s competition and will read every entry all the way through.
  • Allen Ashley will send an email acknowledgement to all entrants within a few days of receipt of their story.
  • The winners will be announced on the BFS website by the end of October 2016.
  • If a decision has been made early, the winners may also be announced publicly at the British Fantasy Awards ceremony, due to be held as part of Fantasy Con in Scarborough during September 2016.
  • Winning stories will be published in an issue of the magazine BFS Horizons as close as possible subsequent to the announcement of the results.



  • Stories must be written in English.
  • Any kind of fantastical story is welcome. For example: fantasy, science fiction, horror, supernatural, fabulation, magic realism, slipstream, etc, or indeed any combination of those genres.
  • All current members of the British Fantasy Society are entitled to one free entry to the competition. This is a benefit of membership.
  • Current BFS committee post-holders are not allowed to enter the competition.
  • The competition is open to both members and non-members of the society, but non-members must pay a £5 entry fee.
  • This is a Short Story Competition. We are not looking for play scripts, poetry or illustrated work.
  • Stories must not exceed 5,000 words.
  • Stories must be your own original work. We are not looking for translations, Shared World, use of copyrighted characters or similar. Also, we are not looking for children’s stories or “Young Adult” fiction.
  • Stories must be previously unpublished in any form. This means they must not have been published in books, magazines, newspapers, on websites, phone apps, or have been broadcast on TV, radio, podcasts, etc.
  • Stories must not be under consideration elsewhere.
  • Multiple entries are welcome, but only one free entry per BFS member
  • Unlike some other competitions, this one is not being judged anonymously. Therefore, please put your name and contact details on your manuscript.
  • The decision of the judge Allen Ashley will be final.
  • No correspondence will be entered into regarding the judge’s decision.
  • Should your story be successful we will request a six-month moratorium subsequent to publication in BFS Horizons.
  • Should your story be unsuccessful, you are free to send it elsewhere immediately after the announcement of the results on the BFS website.


Formatting the Stories

Documents should be formatted as follows:

  • Double-spaced text
  • Left and right hand margins of at least 2cm
  • 12pt font
  • First line of paragraphs indented
  • Pages numbered.
  • Section breaks should be indicated by a single hash mark (#) or asterisk (*)
  • Please put title and author name in the header for each page.
  • Please include a word count.
  • Stories should be saved in a readable form as an attachment in “Microsoft Word” or “Rich Text Format”.

Failure to submit manuscripts in this manner may lead to disqualification. Stories that exceed 5000 words will not be read but you may still be charged.


Entering the Competition

Entries should be submitted by email.

  • Head your email “BFS Short Story Competition”
  • Attach your story as an rtf file or a Word file.
  • In the body of the email give your name, title of the story, the word count and details of BFS membership or else PayPal transaction number.
  • If you are a current BFS Member, please give your membership number.
  • If you are not a BFS member, or if you are a BFS member entering a second story, there is a £5 fee per entry. Please pay this via PayPal.
  • If you are paying via PayPal, please quote your PayPal transaction number in your covering email.
  • We welcome submissions from outside the UK; PayPal will convert your currency.
  • Format the document according to the guidelines given above.
  • Send to: .Email entries only

Story Title

Email entries only. To Allen Ashley on
If there are any details not covered in these guidelines or if you have any other queries relating to the competition, please email Allen Ashley on