The Bridport Prize, one of the UK’s most prestigious and long-standing open writing competitions, is 45 this year.
Founded in 1973 by Peggy Chapman-Andrews as a way of raising income for Bridport Arts Centre in Dorset (which it continues to do to this day), the competition has grown steadily in stature and prestige extending well beyond the boundaries of the small Dorset town where it’s based.
Always outward-looking and innovative, it was the first creative writing competition in the UK to offer online entries in 2001. That year just 865 people entered online. A decade later this had grown to over 11,000. Today almost 90% of the entries are submitted via the competition’s website from over 80 countries worldwide.
In 2007 the Dorset Award was introduced for the highest placed Dorset writer in the competition, sponsored by The Bookshop, Bridport’s independent book store. New categories of flash fiction and the Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award were added in 2010 and 2014 respectively.
This year sees a stellar line-up of judges for the Bridport Prize’s four competition strands. Lemn Sissay for poetry, Peter Hobbs for short story, Kit de Waal for flash fiction and Nathan Filer for the Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel novel.
The generous prizes include:
Poetry and short story: 1st prize £5,000 / 2nd prize £1,000 / 3rd prize £500 plus ten highly commended awards of £100
Flash fiction: 1st prize £1,000 / 2nd prize £500 / 3rd prize £250 plus three highly commended awards of £100
Novel Award: 1st prize £1,000 plus up to year’s mentoring from The Literary Consultancy / runner-up £500 / 3 awards of £100 for shortlisted writers
The winning and highly commended poems, short stories and flash fiction are published in an annual anthology. The opening chapters of the winning and runner-up novels are published on the Bridport prize website.
Entry fees are:
£9 per poem
£10 per short story
£8 per flash fiction
£20 per novel
Submissions can be made online at https://www.bridportprize.org.uk/enter-online or by post. Postal forms are available to download at https://www.bridportprize.org.uk/content/submit-post
The closing date is 31 May 2017 at midnight BST.
Winners will be notified in September and the results will be published on the Bridport prize website on 21 October 2017.