Hi 20:20 - enter our short story competition

PUBLISHED: 00:00 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:24 28 May 2020

Always wanted to get your stories published? Then get entering! (c) Eva  Almqvist/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Always wanted to get your stories published? Then get entering! (c) Eva Almqvist/Getty Images/iStockphoto


A short story competition to find and publish 20 great new writers in Herts, Bucks and London has been launched

Have you always wanted to be a published author but don’t know how to go about it or just can’t seem to get started? Hertfordshire Life has teamed up with Happy London Press, Chorleywood Bookshop, Little Chalfont Community Library and Wycombe Sound 106.6 fm to launch a new short story competition covering Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and London.

The aim of the Hi 20:20 competition is to find 20 new writers and to publish their unique stories of 1,000-1,500 words in a sumptuous illustrated hardback book. With the increasing competition of authors, it is becoming harder for new writers to get noticed by publishers and agents. The competition offers the chance for 20 talented writers to shine and give them the recognition their talents deserve.

With the current lockdown it could be the ideal time to focus on crafting a story or two.

Writers need to be aged between 11 and 100, and can be of any gender, nationality or background, and must be residents of one of the three areas. Five independent judges will choose their favourite stories for the book and present a copy to each winner at a prize award event in July (current restrictions permitting).

The winners will also: appear as a guest on Wycombe Sound 106.6fm to talk about their story and their experiences as a writer, have their story read and professionally recorded for audio and podcasts, be published on the Hertfordshire Life website, and be stocked in bookshops. The book will be published by Happy London Press - an independent publisher.

The judges will choose the winners from the following short story categories: adventure/travel, thriller/dark, romance, science/fantasy, and young writers (any subject) for 11 to 18 year olds.

Happy London Press owner Clare Newton said, ‘I love the way the project is drawing the community together in so many ways. From meeting writers’ groups to talking to libraries (before they had to close) and getting their support. With the current lockdown my next mission is to link high street bookshops and people who want to enter the competition and get them all talking together. I would love to set up a Zoom afternoon gathering to share stories, readings, help with writing and that sort of thing. I wonder if your Hertfordshire Life readers can help me?’

If you’d like to get involved with the video link group, contact Clare at 07721 044033 or happyldnpress@gmail.com

Top writing tips and how to enter

A digital magazine packed full of helpful and colourful tips is available online at happylondonpress.com/magazine and a series of podcasts featuring Hertford Writers’ Circle members’ tips on how to write a short story are at Anchor.fm/happyldnpress. To enter Hi 20:20, and for full competition rules, visit happylondonpress.com/hi-2020-short-story-competition. Stories must be between 1,000 and 1,500 words. The closing date for entries has been extended to July 20. There is a £6 fee to enter (£8 for two stories).

Latest from the Hertfordshire Life