Friday 15 May 2015

Short Story Competition #Writing #Contests #Competitions

Calling all writers…

Welcome to the inaugural PWSA Short Fiction Prize. This is an exciting opportunity for emerging and established writers to be published in the PWSA Magazine and online and to explore what life is like for people supporting individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Haven’t heard of it? Then that’s why we are running the competition. As well as offering new voices the opportunity for publication, we want to widen understanding about Prader-Willi Syndrome by engaging new audiences. We hope you will provide us with some inspirational shorts that consider an element of the condition.

There will be two categories:

Category 1:

This is for fiction writers who wish to engage with the struggles faced by individuals with the condition. We are particularly keen to hear fresh new voices who are seeking their first step to publication. Or perhaps you are a family member and have first-hand experience of the syndrome and have often thought of putting pen to paper?

We want you to write a short story, in under 2,000 words, that explores an element of the condition. People with Prader-Willi Syndrome have to cope with any number of the following behaviours: hyperphagia (compulsive eating and food-seeking behaviour); emotional immaturity; learning disabilities; perseveration (asking the same question over and over again); skin-picking; lack of sexual maturation and low muscle tone.

These themes could help inspire your story:

• eternal hunger
• immaturity
• being different

Could you write a story about difficult relationships with food? About immaturity in a fast-paced and often cruel world? About being out of synch with people around you? Can you imagine what it would be like to constantly feel hungry, and never feel full? Don’t misunderstand the remit, though. There is much to celebrate for people with the condition. Can you find the humour? Or the triumphs? Are you a family member who can write a story inspired by your experiences? Let us share your story through fiction.

Prize: Cash prize of £50 plus publication in the PWSA news magazine and online.

Category 2:

Are you a person with Prader-Willi syndrome? We want to celebrate your writing and share your creativity. Can you write us a story filled with imagination? You can write a story about any subject, just create an interesting character, put them in a tricky situation, and let your imagination go wild. Ideally you could write a story in 500 words, but if it is longer, then great!
Need a little help to get started? Try these openers to get you on your way.

A silly mouse needs a name. Our hero is a very silly mouse, and his name is…

It was a dark, stormy night in the woods when the most incredible thing happened...

The long dark road looked scary to Ben, but he went down it anyway, and you wouldn’t believe what he saw...

The school day started as usual. The children sat down, the teacher came in. It was then that they noticed something odd. Their teacher was a …

If you need a little help writing this, then get someone to help you write your best work.

Prize: £30 book token and your story will appear in the PWSA News and OWL News magazine.

Your Judges:

Nicky Harlow

Nicky is the author of Amelia and the Virgin and the children’s novel The Glass Stairs as well as lecturing in Creative Writing for the Open University. She is currently studying for her PhD in Creative Writing.

Sarah Corbett

Sarah Corbett’s fourth book is, And She Was, a verse novel. She has published three previous collections of poetry and is a lecturer in Creative Writing for Lancaster University. She lives in Hebden Bridge.


How long should my story be?

We would like stories to be under 2,000 words, but if it sneaks over that amount then that’s fine. Use the word-count as a guideline. For writers who have Prader-Willi themselves, then we will celebrate a story of any length.

What should the topic of my story be?
Our aim is to engage a much wider audience with the little-known condition and in the challenges we face every day, so we want the stories to be clearly connected to Prader-Willi syndrome. This does NOT mean a key character has to have the syndrome, however. The theme is broad enough to encompass a number of challenges, but we want writers to find their own connections to the theme.

Can I submit more than one story?

Yes. Submit as many stories as you like. The entry fee will cover some administrative costs, but most will go towards raising money for the charity. Please note, however, the story must be unpublished in print or online.

How much is the entry fee?

The entry fee for each story is £10 or for those writers who have Prader-Willi themselves, the entry fee will be £5 for each story submitted.

How do I enter?

Please follow the link on the page to DONATE. Once you have submitted your payment, please send your story to with ‘Competition Entry’ ‘as the subject.
Alternatively, please send in a cheque and your short story for the required entry fee (£10 or £5 for those individuals with PWS) to:

Short Story Competition
Prader-Willi Syndrome Association
Suite 4.4 Litchurch Plaza
Litchurch Lane
Derby DE24 8AA

How should I format my story?
Please use Times New Roman in size 12 double spaced. We would like you to attach your story as a PDF or word.docx. As the short-listing will be done anonymously, please only include the story title and the word count on the document. Your name and the story title should appear on the email.

When will I know if I have won?
Closing date for entries will be MONDAY 1st JUNE 2015
We will be short-listing in June. Short-listed writers will find out via the web-page dedicated to the competition. Finalists will be published in the July magazine and online at

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