Sunday, 9 August 2015

“To Hull & Back” A Humorous Writing Contest

There it is. The GREATEST prize available in the world of writing today. Undoubtedly, no one will be able to disagree.

OK. So now you have to enter, right? Before doing so, PLEASE read the rules and terms and conditions. If you don’t abide by the rules, you may be disqualified.

I’ve been involved with administrating other competitions. The number of stories that are disqualified because writers can’t be bothered to read the rules is staggering. One year, 40% of entries were disqualified for sending in stories that did not obey the rules. PLEASE READ THE RULES AND TERMS AND CONDITIONS THOROUGHLY BEFORE ENTERING.

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Key Dates

Entries will be accepted from the 1st September 2014.

The competition closes to entries 11.59pm GMT (Greenwich meantime, the time in London, UK) on 31st August 2015. The competition is run annually, so stories received after this deadline will be entered into next year’s competition, which opens immediately after the current contest closes.

The shortlist will be announced on this website by 21st September 2015.

Winners will be contacted by email or telephone by 30th September 2015 and announced on this website, celebrated and generally adored by 1st October 2015.

Prize money will be paid to winners via Paypal in October 2015.

The ‘To Hull and Back Anthology’ will be released on 31st October 2015. 'Hulloween' seemed like an appropriate launch date...

The winner’s book will be taken to Hull and back during spring 2016 (usually around April), weather permitting. Shortly afterwards the winner’s copy of the anthology will be delivered to them and the video of the book’s journey will be made available on Youtube and this website.

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The Rules

They’re quite simple, but please read them carefully.
The competition is open to authors residing anywhere in the world.
All stories must be written in English.
Stories entered into the competition can be previously published. This also means you can submit your work elsewhere at the same time as entering it into this competition. If your story is accepted elsewhere, it will still be eligible for this competition and will not be disqualified.
There is no need to use UK English spellings. If you’re American, for example, just use US spellings. I may edit stories into UK spellings if they’re selected for publication in the anthology for the sake of consistency.
Stories must be no longer than 4,000 (four-thousand) words in length. This includes the title. To make this crystal clear, if your entry contains 4,001 (four-thousand and one) words or more, it will be disqualified.
There is no minimum word count.
This is an open competition and there is no set theme, but stories must contain some element of humour - see ‘the types of story I’m looking for’ below for further clarity.
Use a clear font that's easy to read, like Times New Roman or Arial. No fancy fonts or font colours please!
Send your work in .doc, .docx or .rtf format – I use Microsoft Word to open all entries. If you can't supply your entry in one of the named formats, pleasecontact me - we can usually find a way around it.
Please name your document ‘your name-story name’ – so ‘Christopher Fielden-My Amazing Story’ for example.
There is a £5 (five pounds GBP) entry fee for 1 (one) entry, an £8 (eight pounds GBP) entry fee for 2 (two) entries and a £10 (ten pounds GBP) entry fee for 3 (three) entries. Please pay BEFORE sending your entry.
Entries are to be sent by email to:
Please format your email subject line as follows: ‘Competition Entry – Your Name’. So, using my name as an example: 'Competition Entry - Chris Fielden'.
Please include your name, address (including country), telephone number, the transaction ID of your Paypal payment entry fee and a brief biography (up to 200 (two-hundred) words max) in the body of the email. Also attach a picture of yourself so I can use it with your bio on this website should you be shortlisted or win the competition.
Each author can enter the competition up to 3 (three) times maximum. Each author can only win 1 (one) cash prize. More than 1 (one) story by an author could be shortlisted and published in the anthology.
Once an entry is received, no refunds of the entry fee will be given under any circumstances.
Entries are only accepted from writers or their agents. If you are an agent, please say so in your email.
Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of all the Terms and Conditions.

In the unlikely event of circumstances arising outside of my control, I reserve the right to cancel the competition at any time. In this instance, all entry fees will be refunded.
The Types of Short Stories I’m Looking For

This is an open competition, so any style or genre of story will be considered, including children’s, as long as it is humorous or funny in some way. You don’t have to try and be hilarious with every word (although it’s fine if you do), but there needs to be some element of humour within the story, even if it’s just one brief amusing moment. Black comedy and dark humour is fine, as is fluffy kitten mainstream amusement. I appreciate all types of funny. You can learn more about my twisted sense of humour on my stuff what makes I laugh page.

I look for imaginative stories that are engaging, with strong characters that grip a reader and are compelling to read to the (very satisfying) end. As you will see if you’ve read any of my short stories, I do enjoy fantasy. But I also appreciate any genre of writing that is well composed and gripping. So, any style of story has a chance in this competition.

I do not want to receive poetry, non-fiction or stories that contain gratuitous sex or violence.

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How to Enter

Once you have read the Rules and the Terms and Conditions, please pay your entry fee via Paypal by using the button below.

You do not have to have a Paypal account and can pay by debit or credit card. I use Paypal because it is secure, safe and protects your personal information, ensuring a safe transaction. You can learn more about Paypal here.

Number of stories:

Once you have made your payment, please email your entry to Remember to include all the details requested in the rules above!

Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of all the Terms and Conditions. Failure to comply with the rules could mean you are disqualified. I reserve the right to update the terms and conditions at any time.

Entries are accepted by email only. I do not accept printed entries by post.

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Terms and Conditions
All entries are read and judged by Christopher Fielden who will compile the shortlist.
The shortlisted entries will be read independanty by up to 10 published short story authors (one of whom is Christopher Fielden) who will score each story. The highest scoring stories will win. This judging method is undertaken to incorporate a variety of reading tastes, giving the fairest result.
Christopher Fielden reserves the right to refuse entry to the competition for any reason at his absolute discretion.
Winners will be contacted personally by email or by telephone.
The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Every story submitted must be original, fictional, and entirely the author’s own work.
By submitting a story to the competition it is warranted by the author that the story is original, fictional, and entirely the author’s own work. The author warrants that the story they have entered does not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party and is not libellous, unlawful or defamatory of any living person or corporate body.
By submitting a story to Christopher Fielden’s To Hull and Back Short Story Competition the entrant hereby acknowledges and agrees that, free of any fees or royalty payments, their short story, biography and photo:
will be made available for publication in the To Hull & Back Anthology;
may be read out or reproduced as a podcast, and broadcast (in whole or in part) via any medium;
can be used (in whole or in part) in advertising and marketing material in any format via any medium.
Each story included in the anthology will be edited into a consistent, professional format for publication.
All copyright remains with the author.
Each entrant will be added to my email list so they receive competition news. Every email I send will have an unsubscribe option.
I will not share any of your personal details with anyone else, ever.

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A Few More Details About the Competition & How it’s Run

I genuinely welcome new writers and will take great pleasure in being able to publish a writer for the first time. But equally, established, published and even famous writers are more than welcome to enter this competition.

There is an entry fee, but this competition is not run for profit. It’s run for the love of writing and reading short stories. I hope the fee will cover the prize fund, the cost of producing the anthology and the cost of taking the winner’s book to Hull and back. If I manage to collect more money from the entry fees than anticipated, the extra cash will be put towards the next competition to increase the prize fund.

I’ll do everything I can to publicize the anthology and gain as much exposure for the writers and the stories as I can. Anything writers and readers can do to help with this would be GREATLY appreciated.

If this competition isn't for you, there are loads more that might interest you on my short story competition list page .

*This is the badger: a colloquialism meaning ‘this is the one’ or ‘this is brilliant’.

**Chris Fielden is slightly eccentric. Put less politely, he’s mental. He can guarantee nothing.

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Harley Davidson

Just a quick note about the fine provider of the motorcyle that I ride that features rather heavily in the competition prize.
After the inaugural competition, I wrote to them saying:

Dear Customer Services

I’ve enjoyed riding my Harley Davidson FLSTFi Fatboy for 6 years now. It’s the greatest vehicular purchase I’ve ever made. I’ve ridden it all over the British Isles and Europe and never had a problem with it – it’s the most reliable bike I’ve ever owned.

So first of all, thank you :)

Second of all, I’m a writer. I run a humorous short story competition which boasts the most amazing prize in the known macrocosm. It features my Harley. The winner has their face featured on the cover of a short story anthology that contains the best stories from the competition. The book is then strapped to my bike and filmed being ridden from Bristol in the UK (where I live) to Hull. And back again. There’s an interlude in Hull where some beer is supped and then some sleep is had, but it’s a 454 mile round trip of joyous cruising comfort.

I’ve shared this with you wonderful people because I thought it would be nice for you to know that one of your customers gets so much inspiration and joy out of a motorcycle you built.

Here’s the video from the last competition:

I hope you like it (and don’t think I’m too mental). Cheers, Chris
Harley Davidson wrote back saying:

Good Morning Chris, thank you for your email.

I have taken a look at your video. It looks like you had a great time on your trip - and the weather was kind too.

We always appreciate feedback from our customers - both positive and constructive, but it's always great to hear when we are doing it right.

We hope that the weather improves soon and that you are able to get out and put many more enjoyable miles on your bike - that's what we're about, after all.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us and we look forward to hearing of more of your adventures.

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