Friday 20 July 2018

Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition 2018


Theme: Markets

Word limit: 2,000

Cash Prizes:

1st: £400

2nd: £250

3rd: £100

Entry fee: £8 per manuscript. Entrants are welcome to submit multiple entries. There is no limit to number of submissions, provided an entry fee has been paid for each.

Deadline: 31st July 2018 for email entries, 16th July 2018 for postal entries.

Adjudicator: Alison Bruce

International entries welcome.

Results will be announced at our gala on 16th October 2018 and will be available on our website and social media shortly after.

There will be ten winners. The top three will receive cash prizes. The prize package for the top ten winners will include a signed copy of ‘A Market for Our Times’ by Michael and Frances Holmes, the definitive local history book on the historic Norwich market, plus publication in our non-profit 2018 anthology.

There is no limit to genre, as long as it is fiction and it follows the theme of ‘markets’. How you choose to incorporate that theme is up to you. Your entry doesn’t have to be about Norwich Market – it could be a market in a faraway fantasy land. It doesn’t even have to be a literal, physical market. Your character could work on the stock market, or you could weave a narrative about navigating the job market. There is no limit except your own imagination. Just be sure you consider the theme and explore it as best you can. It might help to think ‘What does the word ‘market’ mean to me?’ and work from there.

We highly recommend checking out our post ‘2018 Official Launch Gala’ for advice and tips on what the adjudicator is looking for in a winning entry, and also checking out previous years anthologies to see how past winners have incorporated the theme.

Please read our full terms and conditions below or on our terms and conditions page before entering.

Please note that we simply do not have the resources or manpower to send confirmation of receipt to every entrant. We do, however, have an automated reply set up. If you do not receive this, please get in touch to confirm we have received your entry. Otherwise, please take our automated reply as confirmation of receipt. If there are any issues with your entry, we will contact you.

Please read our guidelines below. Failure to follow them may result in disqualification.



Please attach a separate cover sheet with the following details:
Your full name
Story title
Word count
Your email address
Any telephone number(s) we can contact you on
Your full address
PayPal reference (if applicable)

We need this information for admin purposes and so we can contact you if you win. It will not be passed onto third parties.

If you are sending your entry by email, the cover sheet should be a separate attachment to your story. Please do not put this in the body of the email. The document title should also be formatted as follows: [Story Title] Cover Sheet.

If you’re still not sure, you can download a template here:


You can either fill it in, or make your own, as long as it contains the same details. Please be sure to include it with your entry.

Each story you submit should have its own cover sheet.

If you are sending by post, it must be a separate sheet of paper placed at the front of the manuscript it relates to.


Manuscripts must be formatted as follows:
Double spaced
12pt Times New Roman or Arial font
3cm page margin
Paper size A4
It must not contain your name or anything that might identify you anywhere.
Your header or footer must contain a page number, formatted as page x of y and also the title of your story. This will prevent mix-ups during administration and adjudication.

If you are still not sure how to format your work, please find a template below. Simply fill in the required fields in the header and body. You can either write your story in it, or copy and paste the relevant parts.



Emailed entries are preferred as they make administration easier.

Emailed submissions must be sent as an attachment. Please do not put your story in the body of the email. Any entries sent this way will be disqualified.

All file attachments MUST be formatted as a .doc or .rtf file. PDFs will not be accepted.

Please email them to

Please also include your name, manuscript title, and Paypal reference (if applicable) in the subject.

If you are sending multiple entries, please send each as a separate email.


Although emailed entries are preferred, if you are unable to do so, please post them to:

Paul Taylor, 2 Briar Court, Norwich, Norfolk, NR5 8PR

Should your entry win, you will be required to email a digital copy to us. Entries are not returned, ensure you keep a copy.

If you are sending multiple entries, they can be put them in the same envelope, but please ensure the correct cover sheet is in front of each manuscript.

Please ensure you pay sufficient postage.


Payments can be made via PayPal to Please use the name you are submitting your work under and your story title as a reference.

Cost is £8 per entry. PayPal may confirm your payment to Alan Rosser, who is our Treasurer.

If you do not follow our guidelines, your entry may be disqualified. A disqualified entry will not receive the entry fee back.

If you have any questions, be sure to check out our FAQ page. If your question is not answered there, or you are still unsure about something, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Please note it may take 3-5 working days for us to respond.

Terms and Conditions:

Entries must never have been published or self-published in any format, including but not limited to, publication on any website, blog or online forum, or broadcast.
Entries must not be awaiting publication or self-publication in any format, including but not limited to, publication on any website, blog or online forum, or broadcast.
Work must not have placed in any other competition, either as a winner (i.e 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place) nor have been shortlisted, longlisted or highly commended.
If you submit your entry to another competition while it is entered with us, you must notify us should it place and immediately withdraw your entry. You will not receive your entry fee back.
By submitting your entry, you are giving us permission for it to be included in our non-profit anthology should it win. You will retain the copyright to the story and be allowed to publish it elsewhere should you wish to after the results have been officially announced on 16th October 2018.
Entries submitted posthumously will not be eligible.
Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification and any prize money paid will be reclaimed.
Entries received after the deadline will not be entered, nor will any fees paid be returned.
Each story submitted counts as an entry and must be paid for. There is no limit to the number of entries that can be submitted provided they are paid for.
If an entrant is found to have breached any of the terms and conditions, their entry will be disqualified. Any fees paid will not be refunded. If they have been given any prize money, it will be reclaimed.
All entries MUST be in English.
It is the sole responsibility of the entrant to report any cash prizes they win in the competition according to the tax laws that apply in their respective country and/or county/state/province.
Submission of work will be taken as a declaration that you (the entrant) understand all of the terms and conditions and agree to them all.

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