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SWLF Writing Competition Guidelines

2024 SWLF Writing Competition

There are THREE categories for the competition:

1.         Fiction 

2.         Non-fiction

3.         Poetry


Only one entry per category is allowed per entrant. No person can win a prize in more than one category. ie you can enter all three categories but only win once, not 3 times. The cost per entry is £3.50 plus 30p bank charge so £3.80 in total.

Once payment has been made please send your entry to: quoting your booking id. Thank you.

Rules & Regulations

Please read the rules carefully as no monies will be refunded if an entry is rejected for non-compliance.


  • The competition opens on Monday 15th January 2024.

  • Deadline for submissions is midnight, Friday March 29th.

  • Winners will be notified by email by the end of May 2024 and lists of the prize winners and the short list will be published on the SWLF website


  • Prose (fiction and non-fiction) word limit 800 (excluding title).

  • Poems up to 40 lines (excluding title and blank lines between stanzas).

  • There is no minimum length in any category.

  • There is no theme or other restriction on genre, style or content. However, any entry with content deemed unpublishable by mainstream publishing will be rejected.

  • Age restriction - over 16 only.

  • The competition is open to all writers except those associated with the organisation and administration of the South Warwickshire Literary Festival.

  • Entries are invited from around the world, but all entries should be in English.

  • Work previously published online, self-published work or work that has been published in small press publications is eligible for entry.


  • First prize in each category: £50 plus the opportunity to read the winning entry at the South Warwickshire Literary Festival on 21st September 2024

  • No other monetary prizes will be awarded.

  • Up to TWO other commended pieces from each category may be selected and the authors invited to read their entries at the Festival on 21st Septemer 2024. (Attendance at the Festival is optional and will be at the expense of the author, not of the SWLF.)


  • All entries must be in a clear font, (we suggest Times New Roman or Arial), size 12 or larger

  • Prose (fiction or non-fiction) must be double-spaced.

  • Pages must be numbered.

  • Entries should be submitted electronically in word, pdf, or txt file format.

  • Entrant’s name, contact details and word-count of the entry (line count for poems) must appear on the first page of the document. No other information should appear on this page. I.e. if the text of your entry takes three pages, your details and word-count will appear on page 1, your entry content on pages 2, 3 and 4 of the document. This first page is for administrative purposes only and will be removed before the entry is passed to the judges.

  • Any piece with the author’s name or other personal identifying mark on the entry itself, i.e. past page 1, will be disqualified


  • Payment should be made via the links on SWLF website and your work then emailed to us.

  • If you enter more than one category, you should send the entries separately. (i.e. one email for each category you enter.)

  • The subject line of your submission email should be one of the following, as appropriate:

  • SWLF competition FICTION

  • SWLF competition NON-FICTION

  • SWLF competition POETRY​

  • In the body of the email you must include:

             1. your name and contact details

             2. the category you are entering  (poetry, fiction or cnf)

             3. the title of your entry, and

             4. your payment reference.​

  • Acceptable file formats: Word, PDF, or txt

  • The file attachment should be named with the title of your entry plus your name, e.g. ‘The Old Boots by Joe Bloggs’.

  • Entries to be sent to:

  • No corrections can be made to work after it has been submitted, nor can fees be refunded.


  • Copyright of each entry remains with the author, but by entering the competition you give the organisers the right to share the winning and commended pieces at SWLF 2024. There will be no competition anthology and SWLF does not undertake to publish any entry.​

  • Entries will be judged anonymously.

  • The judges' decisions are final and neither they nor the organisers will enter into any correspondence.

Save the date

Saturday 21st September 2024

Victoria House, Royal Leamington Spa

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