The Julia & Martin Wilson Short Story Prize

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.


Main prize (over 18s): £400
Ages 14-18yrs: £100
Age 13 and under: £50

The 2022 competition will open for entries on 1st February 2022. 

There is a fee of £10 per entry for over 18s, but the competition is free to enter for 18 and unders.

Please note:

  • Strict limit of 2,000 words or less – entrants asked to state the word count on their entry alongside the story title
  • No theme to adhere to
  • 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! Please state your age on the entry form.
  • Each entrant allowed to submit up to 2 entries (at £10 each for adults, free for u18s)
  • Published work and previous entries not permitted

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Wednesday 28th March 2022.

Winners will be announced in April and notified by phone and email. Winning stories will be shared for all to enjoy on the Broadway Arts Festival website.

How to enter:

Download & complete the form & email it to attaching your short story with the file name of “Storytitle/name”.

The entry form will be available for download in January 2022.

“In 2021 we received 146 entries to the short story competition. Many of them were of an extremely high standard and it was not easy to choose the winners and those in the other categories. We were particularly pleased that so many came in from young people and were very impressed by their originality, enthusiasm and, in many cases, command of language.” Julia & Martin Wilson

Introducing the 2021 Prize Winners:

Main Prize Winner – Jonathan James from Bristol for his moving story “Taking Leave

Some background about the story and words from the author:

“I’m a lucky man, because I love my job. It involves me enthusing about music to people of all ages and backgrounds, and I often find myself commenting on how music picks up where words leave off. This story is inspired in part by how we communicate when language fails, particularly when confronted with grief or when searching for divine purpose. 

It is also about those moments in nature that offer mediation and the opportunity to connect.  On one of my lockdown walks through a local Bristol park I spotted a certain bird (spoiler alert!) and that brief encounter encapsulated so much. It suggested a potential ending to the story, so all I had to do was to work backwards.”

Jonathan James Short Story Prize winner

Age 14-18 Category Prize Winner – Katelyn Amor (16) from the Stroud area for her story “Forget Me Not

Some background about the story and words from the author:

“When I heard I’d won the prize for my age group, I think ‘surprised’ is a huge understatement! I’m still completely overwhelmed to have my work recognised in this way, and to know people appreciated what I had written feels very fulfilling.

The inspiration comes from something close to my heart. When the centenary of WWI ending came in 2018, we started looking into our relatives who had fallen in the war — I didn’t realise we had so many who had fought! A lot of my feelings about them are channeled into this story, so I’m touched to see how the judges have received it.

As for the future, I’m very keen on a career where I can utilise my passion for writing, whether that be as an author or something else. But I’ll most definitely keep up creative writing on the side, since it’s my escape that I love.”

Age 13 and under Category Prize Winner – Arthur Denton (13) from Chipping Campden for his story “Incident at Willow House

Some background about the story and words from the author:

“Hello, my name is Arthur Denton. I am 13 years old and the author of ‘Incident at Willow House’. My story was influenced in part by many of the books I have read, notably Little Women and The Famous Five. I have always loved creative writing, be it a short setting description or a mini murder mystery, and when my parents told me about the short story competition I knew I had to enter. I am so glad the judges liked my entry and I hope I can enter again next year.”

Highly Commended Entries (Adult)

Athair by Lucy Weaver

Cheltenham Punk by Peter Hankins

Dust by Jackie Morris

Madonna and Child by Helen Lawrence

The Friend by Penny Mapp

Highly Commended Entries (Age 14 to 18)

‘Aloha ‘Oe by Daisy Stewart Henderson

Invisible Hands by Teresa Doran

Magpies aren’t Black and White by Molly Nash

Meet Me Halfway by Chloe Martin

My Name is Zoe by Sophie Nwachukwu

Pas Devant les Enfants by Elena Barham

Highly Commended Entries (13 & Under) 

A Bedtime Story by Isabella Lawrence Posso (aged 12)

Harry’s Robin by Lilly Green (aged 12)

London Adventure by Lara Creek (aged 9)

The Shadow Moth by Sophie Chanot (aged 11)

The Story of the Greatest Hampster Snowy by Isaac Caley (aged 9)

The Tiger’s Friend by Elizabeth Hayton (aged 8)