Short story competition

We are delighted to announce that best-selling novelist Rosanna Ley is to be the shortlist judge for our first ever short story competition.

Open for entries until the end of September, our short story competition has been launched as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations.

West Sussex Mind’s community fundraising programme lead Sarah Palmer - who is also a creative writing tutor at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College (MET, Worthing) - said, ‘I can’t wait to get reading the entries, especially given that the final judge is the wonderful Rosanna Ley. I really can’t think of a finer way to raise funds for the amazing work West Sussex Mind does, particularly at this time, than to encourage creative activities.’

  • Word limit: 2,500 maximum, no minimum
  • Entry fee: £7 for the first entry, and £5 for subsequent entries
  • Closing date: midnight, 30 September 2020
  • Prizes: £100; £50; £25 plus an additional £25 prize for the best submission from a West Sussex resident.

Rosanna Ley ( is the best-selling author of The Lemon Tree Hotel, Her Mother’s Secret, The Little Theatre by the Sea, Last Dance in Havana, The Saffron Trail, Return to Mandalay, Bay of Secrets and The Villa, all published by Quercus. Her latest novel, From Venice with Love, also published by Quercus, is published in hardback in March 2020, and in paperback in June 2020.

For more information please email

Please read our competition rules below before completing the form

Complete your short story competition entry form here

Entry form

Donate £7 single entry:

Donate £5 additional entries

Competition rules

1: The West Sussex Mind Short Story Prize is open for submissions until midnight on 30 September 2020 which is without exception the closing date. Any entries received after this date will be disqualified and no refund of the entry fee will be made.

2. The West Sussex Mind Short Story Prize is for a story of up to 2500 (two and a half thousand) words written in English. There is no minimum word count.

3. Stories may be on any theme.

4. Stories should not have been previously published in print, on the internet or broadcast.

5. Simultaneous submissions are allowed but please be prepared to withdraw your entry if it is a prize-winner elsewhere.

6. The entry fee is £7 per story, and £5 for any subsequent entries up to a maximum of six per entrant. Each story must be uploaded separately.

7. Payment of entry fees must be made via paypal. Please enter your paypal reference when completing the online submission form on this website. Prizes will be awarded via paypal. Any stories that are not associated with a payment will be disqualified.

8. Submission method/payment may change while the competition is open, and this will be reflected in a change of rules, which will be published on this site.

9. There is no geographical restriction on entrants. Entry is open to everyone over 18 years of age, including non-UK based writers.

10. Only .doc, d.ocx and .pdf files will be accepted. Any other formats will be disqualified. Please present your work in Times New Roman or Arial, 12 pt, double-spaced. The file title should be the same as your story title. Your name should not appear anywhere on the story.

11. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

12. Writers retain the copyright of their stories, but West Sussex Mind reserves the right to publish the stories winning cash prizes on its website during 2020/21.

13. Shortlisted and winning writers will be contacted by 31 December 2020.

14. Entries are not returnable and cannot be acknowledged without an SAE marked for that purpose.

15. Submission of work will be taken as acceptance of these rules and conditions.

Data Protection

By entering the competition you send us your contact details; your name and email are essential. are agreeing to our keeping your contact details. You will occasionally receive emails from us with updates about all our competitions and events. You may unsubscribe at any time, either by clicking on the bottom of an email you've received or, by going to our Privacy Policy page and filling in the form.

Contact details

We hold entrants' names so that we can list entrants separately from entries, because our judging is done anonymously. We need an email address (or another means of contact if an entrant doesn't have email) so we can contact entrants if we have a query about their entry or if their entry is shortlisted.

When the competition results have been announced, we contact the shortlisted authors, and anyone who has sent an SAE to receive results and, if we need to be in touch with individuals for competition administration purposes after that point, we will adapt and renew our agreement with them concerning their data.

We undertake to keep those details safely, and not to share them with anyone or to store them where others have access.

Viewing your details

In the meantime, if you wish to have sight of the details we are holding, please email us. We will delete the information held on you at any time if you instruct us to do so.

Using your details

We won't use personal details sent to us by competition entrants for any other purpose than competition administration, unless, as sometimes happens, an entrant specifically asks, along with their entry, for any other actions (for example, to join our supporters network).

In this section