Writing Competitions


Bare Fiction Prize 2018 – ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED!

International awards for Poetry, Flash Fiction, and Short Story.

Amazing to be in the fifth year of the Bare Fiction Prize. New and old writers alike all have a chance to win big cash prizes and publication within each of the three categories offered. Each entry is judged anonymously by our judges, with the poetry and flash fiction category judges reading every single entry in their category and our short story judge reading a longlist selected by Bare Fiction magazine editor, Robert Harper.

Competition entries will now be verified and confirmations sent out prior to the entries being sent for judging. All shortlisted entrants will be notified on or before January 10th 2019. A list of shortlisted entrants will be made public shortly after. Winning pieces will appear in the 2019 Spring Issue. Highly commended pieces will appear online in April/May.



Flash Fiction: 500 words – ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED

Short Story: 3000 words – ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED

Poetry: 40 lines – ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED

DEADLINE: 31ST OCTOBER 2018 (Download a calendar reminder below)

Winners will be notified in January 2019 and a list published on the website shortly afterwards. Click here for full competition rules.

Poetry Judge: Deborah Alma

Deborah Alma is a mixed race Indian/ English woman, born in London and now living in the Welsh Marches. She is a UK poet with a MA in Creative Writing, Honorary Research fellow at Keele University & taught Writing Poetry at Worcester University. She has worked using poetry with people with dementia, in hospice care & with vulnerable groups. She is also Emergency Poet prescribing poetry from her vintage ambulance.

 She is editor of Emergency Poet-an anti-stress poetry anthology, The Everyday Poet- Poems to live by (both Michael O’Mara) and the award-winning #Me Too – rallying against sexual assault & harassment- a women’s poetry anthology (Fair Acre Press).  Her True Tales of the Countryside is published by The Emma Press and a first collection Dirty Laundry  is published by Nine Arches Press.

“I’m ready and open to be surprised and delighted, but if I’m honest, I want to be taken up by the poem, to forget that I’m being a ‘judge’ and to inhabit the world of the poem.”


Flash Fiction Judge: C.G. MENON

C.G. Menon was born in Australia and now splits her time between London and Cambridge. She’s won and been shortlisted for a number of short story awards, including the Bare Fiction, Bridport, Fish The Short Story, and Asian Writer prizes. Her work has been published in a number of anthologies and broadcast on radio, and she’s also been a member of several international short story competition judging panels. She has a PhD in pure mathematics and is currently studying for a creative writing MA at City University, writing a novel set in 1980s Malaysia. Her short story collection, Subjunctive Moods, is out now from Dahlia Publishing.

“What I’m looking for in a good piece of flash fiction is an awareness of the tiny, compelling details of events. I want to know what a character notices in their life, and to draw conclusions from what they *don’t* see. A good character should step off the page with no more than a single line of description.”

Short Story Judge: Luke Kennard

Luke Kennard is a poet and writer of fiction who was born in Kingston Upon Thames in 1981 and grew up in Luton. He won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2005 and his first collection of prose poems The Solex Brothers was published later that year by Stride. His second collection The Harbour Beyond the Moviewas published by Salt in 2007 and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection, making him the youngest writer ever to be shortlisted. He has a PhD in English from the University of Exeter and lectures at the University of Birmingham. In 2014 he was named one of the Next Generation Poets by the Poetry Book Society in their once per-decade list. His fifth collection of poems, Cain, was published by Penned in the Margins in 2016 and selected as a book of the year by The Guardian and The Sunday Times and shortlisted for the 2017 International Dylan Thomas Prize. His first novel, The Transition, was published by 4th Estate in January 2017 and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott First Novel Award.

“I’ve been trying to articulate why the short story delights me as a form as much as it does. It’s partly jealousy: for all the stories I’ve written I’m still in awe of the ones I read. I think it’s that you get to try on another life for half an hour or so, in all its lurches of shame and small triumphs. The monstrously complacent English teacher at a Chinese school in Anna Metcalfe’s work; the devastated and crushingly delusional divorcee in William Trevor’s; the talking stick of butter in George Saunders. I don’t read expecting anything specifically, but to find myself dazzled by the quiet intensity of a medium that keeps me coming back.”



Previous judges have included: Wayne Holloway-Smith, Naomi Booth, Adam O’Riordan, Helen Mort, David Gaffney, Courttia Newland, Tania Hershman, Angela Readman, Adam Horovitz, Rachel Trezise, Jo Bell, Paul McVeigh, Richard Skinner.

Prizes (in each category)

  • 1st Prize: £500 
  • 2nd Prize: £200 
  • 3rd Prize: £100 
  • 2 x Highly Commended Award: £25

1st, 2nd & 3rd prize winners will be published in the Spring 2019 issue of Bare Fiction Magazine and on our website.

196 FREE ENTRIES for UK & Ireland writers on a low income

Thanks to generous donor support BARE FICTION was able to offer many more than our original allocation of 50 free entries to the Bare Fiction Prize 2018 for UK & Ireland low income writers. Applications for these free entries are now closed and have been allocated.

Special thanks to authors Kathryn Kettle and Kit de Waal for their very generous donations, to A.M. Dassu, Rishi Dastidar, Rachel Clements, Trasie Sands, Adam Lock, Judi Walsh, Sheanin Hughes, Lukasz Drobnik, and to many more anonymous donors.