Mslexia 2012: Women’s Short Story Competition

Deadline: 19 March 2012
Open to:  Unpublished female writers
Prizes: 1st Prize is £2,000 plus a week’s writing retreat at Chawton House Library and a day with a Virago editor
Costs: There is an entry fee of £10


This competition is for the unpublished female writers out there to write anything and everything!

Are you ready for this?

Aim: The purpose of the competition is to empower women in society through the power of words and writing.

Theme: Any theme is possible; just keep to the 2200 word limit.


  • 1st Prize: £2,000 plus a week’s writing retreat at Chawton House Library and a day with a Virago editor
  • 2nd Prize: £500
  • 3rd Prize: £250
  • Three other finalists win £100 each.

All winning stories will be published in issue 54 of Mslexia.


  • Stories should be in English (or English dialect) and should not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • Stories that have won or are under consideration in other short story competitions are not eligible.
  • Stories should not be a translation of another author’s work.
  • You do not have to subscribe to Mslexia to be eligible, but you do have to be a woman. They will accept stories from women of any nationality from any country.
  • Employees of Mslexia are not eligible.

Rules of Entry

  • Stories can be up to 2,200 words in length and can be on any subject.
  • Please submit your work typed, double-spaced on A4 paper, single sided, with pages numbered.
  • Your entry will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name on the pages of your story. Use a separate cover page with your name, address, telephone number and email address, plus the title of the story you are submitting and a word count. If submitting more than one entry, there is no need for a separate envelope for each entry. Download a cover sheet in .doc format from here.
  • No alterations may be made to a story once submitted.
  • Your story will not be returned, so please keep a copy. If you want confirmation that they have received your postal entry, please enclose an SAE, labelled ‘Acknowledgement’. Sorry, but they do not send copies of the result to entrants.
  • The winners will be contacted by post in May 2012 and the winning stories published in the Jun/Jul/Aug 2012 issue ofMslexia. (No competitor will win more than one prize).
  • Copyright of any story remains with the author, but Mslexia has the unrestricted right to publish the winning stories in its magazine, on its website, and in any related material for PR purposes.


  • Send your story by post or enter online here.
  • If entering by post, mark your envelope ‘Women’s Short Story Competition’ and send it postmarked no later than 19 March 2012 to Mslexia Publications Ltd, PO Box 656, Freepost NEA5566, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1BR. FREEPOST is not available for entries from overseas.
  • If entering online, be sure to follow the instructions on the website carefully. Stories should be sent as a single attachment.
    The entry fee of £10 allows you to enter one story. You may enter as many stories as you like, provided each entry is accompanied by the £10 entry fee.
  • Entry fees must be in pounds sterling. If you want to use a different currency, please pay online via PayPal, which will convert your fee automatically into pounds sterling.
  • You can pay by cheque (payable to Mslexia Publications Ltd) or by debit or credit card (phone +44 (0)191 233 3860 with your details). You can also pay online via the website, but in this case you must include with your entry a note of the date on which you paid, and the email address you used, so that we can trace your payment.

Before submitting your entry make sure you read the Competition Rules. For more information please call +44 (0) 191 233 3860 or email

The Official Website

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