Derby Book Festival - Flash Fiction Competition 2019 - Open now!

Can you write about ‘Our World’ in up to 50 words?

That is the challenge we are setting for our 2019 Fifty Word Flash Fiction Writing Competition which is launched today, Wednesday 10 April. We are looking for stories of up to fifty words, as calculated on the website entry form (excluding the title). You can interpret the theme of ‘Our World’ in any way you wish, but your work must be original, and it must tell a complete story.

There are three age categories – 11 years and under, 12 – 17 years, 18 years and over. There will be one winner in each category. A panel of experts will judge the entries and each winning story will be illustrated by a local illustrator, Evelyn Hunter, and printed on Festival bookmarks, which will be used to promote the Festival.

There will be a prize for each category of a £50 Waterstones book token.

The closing date for the competition is 10pm on Wednesday 8 May 2019.

All entries must be submitted online using our website form, which can be found on the Derby Book Festival website:

We'd love you to help us spread the word and encourage lots of people to enter.

Last year’s competition (on the theme of ‘If Only’) attracted around 500 entries and we look forward to receiving even more this year.

If you need some tips on Flash Fiction, take a look at some previous winning stories, which we hope will inspire you to enter!

A year younger

If only I was a year younger, I wouldn't be here, bound to this mud clogged trench waiting to die. I wouldn't be cursed to lie looking at the shells arcing above, will one hit me today? Or will my heart be pierced by their cold steel bayonets, if only...

Bobby Derbyshire



“Come with me,” he said, “and I will show you worlds.” And he did: lapis palaces and red rock caves; deep sea trenches and coral gardens; wind carved deserts and disappearing ice. When he died he left me his books. Now I travel the pages alone and think of him.

Sherri Turner



Back to news