The Julia & Martin Wilson Short Story Prize

The annual Short Story Competition will be opened for entries early February 2021

In 2020 Broadway Arts Festival launched a new short story prize in addition to their art competition prizes in order to encourage creativity during the lockdown. The prize was generously sponsored by festival benefactors Julia & Martin Wilson who also judged the very varied and eclectic entries from across the globe.

The competition is now an annual event that will be opening for entries in 2021 the first week of February.

2021 Prizes:

Main prize (over 18s): £400

Ages 14-18yrs: £100

Age 14 and below: £50

There is an entry fee of £10 for over 18s, but the competition is free to enter for under 18s.

  • strict limit of 2,000 words or less with entrants asked to state the word count on their entry form and alongside their story title
  • Adult entrants: please use spell-check and grammar-check tools and thoroughly proof-read before submitting
  • Parents of u18 entrants: we would like to discourage you from influencing or perfecting your child’s entry!
  • Under 18s: Enthusiasm and originality is encouraged!
  • Each entrant allowed to submit up to 2 entries at £10 each

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Wednesday 31st March 2021.

Winners will be announced on Friday 30th April 2021 and notified by phone and email.

Introducing the 2020 Prize Winners:

Main Prize Winner – Catherine Sleeman from Horsham for her moving story “Tomorrow

Some background about the story and author:

I am a young dancer, currently still in professional training, and enjoy writing in my spare time. I have been coming up with stories since I was about six and now am interested in exploring relationships between people and the different ways in which we experience human emotion.

My story ‘Tomorrow’ was taken very much from real life: on the 24th June 2016 my grandfather died having developed motor neurone disease about seven months previously. For many, that day is remembered in terms of the Brexit result but, for our family, it has a different significance – an added layer of loss. 2016 and 2017 were difficult years for my family and I have revisited them a lot for myself. Here, however, I imagined the events of the 23rd and 24th of June from my Mum’s perspective. I wanted to capture her tenderness and her strength as well as a real sense of loneliness as she struggled with the numerous duties of care and causes of grief in her life at that time.

As the story is such a personal one, winning this competition feels very special. I am very  grateful to have been selected, and delighted to hear that the judges were touched and moved by my words. It is a beautiful surprise in a time of national sadness.”

Under 16 Prize Winner – Sebastian Dibb (15) from Leamington Spa for his imaginative story “Broken Heating

Some background about the story and author:

15 Year old Sebastian Dibb is a student at Princethorpe College, Rugby. He was inspired to write his story having read Charles Dickens’ novella ‘A Christmas Carol.’ He is looking forward to buying some A Level reading material with his prize. He will be studying English Literature, History and Geography and will continue to write prose, poetry and play scripts in his spare time.

“The news that I had won the competition certainly brightened the lockdown. It came as a real surprise.”

Highly Commended Entries:

Thursday‘ by Jim Bayliss

The Kitten Heels and Sheepskin Slippers‘ by Dina Chevens

William’s World‘ by Yvonne Clarke

‘Miller’s Court’ by Katy Darby

‘Blind Love’ by Louise Mangos

‘Not Entirely True’ by Alison Woodhouse

Highly Commended Entries (Under 16)

Mum’s Meadow‘ by Maisy deBretton Gordon

I’ll Tell You Why I Don’t Like Mondays‘ by Charlotte Elliot

Hair‘ by Georgia Hood

Returning Home‘ by Josie Mills

Hostage‘ by Euan Richter

For queries please contact:

Lesley Wood at or call 01386 898387