About Our Competitions
Feedback provided by professional judges
Shortlists presented to Literary Agents
All shortlisted work is published
Prize pools and writing course discounts
How it works
Register for a free account
Completely free, and it makes tracking your entries super simple.
Upload your work as a PDF
No need for emails or attachments. Upload directly in the dashboard.
Pay and submit with PayPal
Easy integrated payments through PayPal or via debit card.
Wait for the results
Results can be viewed right there on the dashboard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who judges competitions at Grindstone?
Our judging team is made up of talented writers, editors, and professional readers from around the world, all of whom are trained using Grindstone's very own judging system to ensure fairness across both genre and style.
How does the feedback work?
Entrants who request feedback on their work compete alongside those who choose not to pay for it. If you choose to receive the optional feedback, you'll be able to download a Grindstone frontmatter for your submission, which will allow you to guide the nature of your own feedback! That means you'll get critical feedback on the aspects of your work you most need it, as well as getting a chance to compete for the prizes along with everyone else.
Is the user account completely free of charge?
Yes. Registering and maintaining an account at Grindstone is completely free, and will remain that way. There're no hidden charges, no fees, and no bills to pay. Competitions, though, do have entry fees, payable at the time of submission.
Do I have to sign up?
Yes. We did offer guest entries, but many entrants were not providing correct email addresses, or were missing their feedback, so we felt that centralising everything in the user dashboard would eliminate that issue altogether. And wouldn't you know it -- it has. Signing up for an account keeps everything in one place and means you'll never miss feedback or announcements again.
Do you really show the shortlists to literary agents?
We know that the end-goal for a lot of writers is to have their work picked up by an agent and published. And that's why we work hard to bring on board top agents to preside over our competitions and read the best entries. But it's not just the agent judging who might be interested. Authors who shortlist in our competitions often go on to find representation, as a win or high placement says a lot about the quality of your work!
How do the cash prizes work?
You win them, we send them to you. It's as simple as that.
How does copyright work at Grindstone?
You retain the copyright to your work. All that we ask is that you give us permission to publish it. Full details on this can be found on our Terms page.
Who are you guys, and how did this all start?
We're writers, like you. And we were tired of the same old competition set-up. Emails with attachments, long judging periods and missed announcements, weird payment methods which meant multiple tabs, cheques in the post, and bank transfers to random accounts. And we thought the best way to change that was to do it ourselves. So, we set out to make something great, and it turned into Grindstone. Simple, straightforward, and made with writers in mind.
What's the best way to stay up to date?
Registering an account will add you to our mailing list (which can be unsubscribed from using the link at the bottom of our emails), but we also have a thriving social media network. Find us on Facebook and Twitter using the links at the bottom of the page.
Need something else? Get in touch.