What Makes Grindstone Different?

There are so many writing competitions out there, so what makes Grindstone different?



Grindstone began back in 2016 as an idea with a simple ethos. A writing competition for everyone, where you received confirmation that your work had been read and considered, and personalised feedback giving our honest opinion on the work.


In just five short competition seasons, we've grown a lot. In so many ways. We began with poetry and short fiction, asking for just 500 words, running a competition every month. And now we're one of the biggest Novel Prizes in the country.


And as we move into our sixth year of hosting competitions, we've learned a lot, changed a lot, but still want to ensure that we're devoting the same care and interest to your work that we always have. So, what's different about a Grindstone competition you won't find elsewhere?


You Can Get Feedback

For just a small, optional supplement, you can receive more than 1000+ words of actionable feedback on your work thanks to our new grading system. You can read more about how this new system works on our blog very soon.


Diversity At The Forefront

We champion diversity and are always on the lookout for new and exciting voices and stories from underrepresented backgrounds and cultures. Our short and longlists are packed with a variety of voices we're sure will go on to do amazing things.


Always Fair Pricing

We make sure to keep our fees as low as we can, and even offer further discounts in our Super Early Bird and Early Bird phases. This year, we'll also be running lots of little competitions with free entries with feedback up for grabs.


We Work With Agents

We're moving away from a single-agent judge, and instead send our longlists to all of our affiliated agents. In the 2021 Novel Prize alone, this has already resulted in more than 30 full manuscript requests.


Judged By Real Writers And Editors

Our judges are seasoned, successful authors and editors with a wealth of experience and knowledge, as well as passion and enthusiasm, all of which they bring to the Grindstone judging process.


Multi-Stage Judging

We read all the entries once, and earmark all of those we really like to be re-read during the final longlisting stage. In the 2021 prize, we re-read 84 pieces in the final weeks to whittle down to our longlist.


Results Confirmation

There's nothing worse than just not knowing. That's why, regardless of the result of your submission, you'll receive a notification letting you know how you did, and whether your work has moved on to the re-reading (longlisting) stage.


Cash Prizes

Money isn't our primary concern, but we do offer competitive cash prizes, with a £2,000 prize pool up for grabs in 2022.


We know there are lots of great opportunities out there for writers, but we also know there that don't embody the same values we do. We've worked hard since 2017 to make sure Grindstone is always growing and evolving, and although now we don't have the capacity or the time to dedicate to short fiction or poetry, we're still determined to provide the best service we can to aspiring authors, putting their work in the hands of the best agents in the country, and giving concise, actionable, valuable feedback if their work isn't quite ready.


2022 is set to be an exciting year, and we can't wait to see the best that you have to offer.

Good luck, we really can't wait to read your work.


All the best,

Daniel & Nathan

Grindstone Co-Founders