2020 Competition Rules & Guidelines

General Information

  • Our competitions are open to writers from all over the world. All we ask is that entries be submitted in English.

  • Multiple submissions may be made by a single entry. Each submission must have a valid entry fee paid for it. Duplicate submissions will result in the oldest version(s) being disqualified from our competition. No refunds will be made in these cases. 

  • Our competitions are run and judged internally and our judges are all writers, editors, and professional readers. 

  • All of our competitions are entry funded. This means that all of our prize pools, running costs, and judges' payments are covered by the entry fees. We do not offer concessions.

  • All entries must be submitted via our submission platform. We are unable to accept email/postal entries.

  • All payments must be made via PayPal at time of entry. We are unable to accept any other form of payment. If you do not have a valid PayPal account, you will be able to make a payment as a guest using your credit/debit card at the time of entry. Please select this option at the payment stage of the entry process.

  • Please read the competition terms prior to entry by clicking here or using the Competitions tab of the menu above. Entry into one of our competitions counts confirmation that you have read, understood, and accepted all that is included in our terms.

Competition Information

  • The closing times for our competitions are 23:59pm GMT (UTC) on the stipulated date. Entries will not be accepted after the deadlines.

  • Prizes are judged and awarded by our in-house judging team unless otherwise stipulated, and we will not enter into any discussions or disputes following our decision or those made by special guest judges.

  • Entries made without paying the amended 'Feedback Supplement' introduced in the 2020 season will not receive feedback on their work, but will be informed of the success, or lack thereof, of their entry via the 'User Dashboard'. Results and feedback can be found under the 'My Entries' section following the release date.

  • Entries made which include the Feedback Supplement must be preceded by the Grindstone provided frontmatter, which can be found here. When using the provided frontmatter, entrants will be able to guide the nature of their feedback. If no frontmatter is used or no requests are made at the time of submission, then the type and focus of the feedback will be decided by the provider at the time of judging. Following submission, no requests/amendments may be made in regards to the feedback by the entrant as this violates our anonymity policy. Further information on the feedback provided can be found here.

  • Entries made in error cannot be changed or corrected and no refunds will be given in this case. 

  • Entries must either be copied and pasted, or uploaded as a PDF file. A guide to submission and file formatting can be found here.

  • All prize money constitutes income and must be registered for tax purposes by the bearer.

  • All prize money will be paid via PayPal.

  • Entrants may only enter previously unpublished work into our competitions. Self-published work is also excluded.

  • Entrants may only enter work to which they have full copyright.

  • In our short fiction and poetry competitions (Short Story Prize, Flash Fiction Prize, Micro Fiction Prize, and Poetry Prize), entrants may not submit work which exceeds the stipulated word/line limits, and we reserve the right to exclude such work from placing in the longlists or higher.

  • In our manuscript/novel competition (Novel Prize), entrants' work may exceed the 3000 word limit by a margin of 10% to allow the work to conclude naturally. If the work exceeds this 10% limit, we reserve the right to exclude such work from placing in the longlist or higher.

  • In our manuscript/novel competition (Novel Prize), entrants whose work contains an opening chapter which does not reach the 3000 word limit are asked to submit the remaining wordcount in subsequent chapters.

  • To our manuscript/novel competition (Novel Prize), entrants may submit finished or part-finished manuscripts exceeding (or projected to exceed) 50,000 words in total length, of any genre, aimed at YA audiences or older.

  • In our manuscript/novel competition (Novel Prize), entrants are asked to submit a synopsis preceding their work in the same document as their submission.

  • Entries should be submitted in Times New Roman, size 12, 1.5/2.0 spacing.

  • If uploading a PDF, entrants must submit their work in a single file not exceeding 3MB in size. 

  • A guide to submission and the preferred layout of entries can be found here.

  • All work must be submitted anonymously into our competition via the User Dashboard and entries should not contain any identifying data. Including such data may exclude you from placing in the longlist or higher.

  • Entries are stored securely in our database, and can be deleted by the user at any time.

If any of the above information is unclear, please feel free to get in touch. 

Thanks for the support!

We're continually enamoured by the support and generosity of the writing community, so we just wanted to take a second to say a big thank you to our contributors. The Almond Press, CreativeWritingInk, and Christopher Fielden are kind enough to list our competitions on their sites, and in doing so, help to spread the Grindstone name. They've been instrumental in our growth and success, and we can't thank them enough. Though, we hope this message goes a small way to doing so! 

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Grindstone Literary Ltd is based in the United Kingdom.