British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition 2009

First Prize £50 and your winning entry published by the BFS. Runner-up prize of £25 and publication by the BFS. Deadline: 31 August 2009.

If you are a budding writer, having had no more than three pieces of fiction published in paying venues, and are keen on horror, fantasy or science fiction, the BFS Short Story Competition is for you. The rules are straightforward and are outlined below.

The deadline for entries in this year’s BFS Short Story Competition is 31 August 2009. The stories will be read by a panel of judges with expertise in genre writing and editing, and the winner will receive a prize of £50, plus their story will be published in either Dark Horizons or New Horizons. The runner-up will receive £25 and publication in Dark Horizons or New Horizons. The competition is open to both members and non-members of the society, but non-members must pay a £5.00 administrative fee to qualify for entry. The full rules of entry are as follows:

  • Submissions must be in the genres of fantasy, science fiction or horror.
  • Stories must not exceed 5,000 words.
  • Only one story is permitted from each entrant.
  • Judging is anonymous, so stories must not have been previously published.
  • To be eligible, the writer must not previously have been paid for more than three stories at the time of submitting their entry.
  • Manuscripts must be typed and submitted in the standard manner: Double-spaced text, with left and right hand margins of at least 2cm. Please use 12pt font. The first line of paragraphs should be indented. Pages should be numbered, but with no other text in the footer or header. The title page should contain the title of the story, but not the author’s name or address. Failure to submit manuscripts in this manner will disqualify the entry.
  • Section breaks (ellipses) should be indicated by a single hash mark (#) or three asterisks.
  • Manuscripts submitted will be deemed to be disposable and will not be returned to the sender.
  • The decision of the judging panel will be final and if it is deemed that no suitable story is submitted no prize will be awarded.
  • Free entry for BFS members (please include your membership number on covering letter or in email).
  • £5 admin charge for non-members to enter.

How to Submit

We prefer to receive entries by email. 

By email, head your email “BFS Short Story Competition”. Attach your story as an rtf file. In the body of the email give your name, title of the story and the word count. Remember, do not put your name or address on the attached document itself, and, if you know how, scrub your name from the File Properties. Send to:

If you want to send your entry by post, send to BFS Short Story Competition, 56 Leyton Road, Birmingham, B21 9EE, UK, and include a covering letter with your name and address, title of the story and word count. Remember, do not put your name or address on the manuscript itself.

If you are not a BFS member, there is a £5 entry fee. How to pay:

  • Via the BFS shop (click here).
  • By cheque, payable to “The British Fantasy Society”. Send to: BFS, 23 Mayne Street, Hanford, Stoke On Trent, ST4 4RF, and don’t forget to mention what the cheque is for.
  • Using PayPal (to