Competition deadline: 3rd July 2020
The Royal Society of Literature is delighted to announce the twenty-first V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize. This Prize for the best unpublished short story of the year was founded by the RSL at the beginning of the new millennium to commemorate the centenary of an author widely regarded as the finest English short-story writer of the 20th century, and to preserve a tradition encompassing Pritchett’s warmth of feeling and mastery of narrative.
The author of the winning entry will be awarded a prize of £1,000 and have their story published in Prospect online and in the RSL Review. The V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize is administered by the Royal Society of Literature in association with Prospect magazine. For more details, see here. We are grateful to Prospect magazine for publishing the winning entry online.
Terms and Conditions
- Entrants must be resident in the UK, Republic of Ireland or Commonwealth (see list of countries here) and likely to be available for a prize-giving event in November 2020
- Stories entered for the competition must not have been published previously (including online) or broadcast in any other medium
- Multiple entries to this competition are permitted but must be submitted and paid for individually (the fee is £7.50 per entry to cover administration costs)
- Entrants must be over 18 at the time of submission.
- be written in English
- be between 2,000 and 4,000 words
- be submitted as Microsoft Word or PDF documents with the author name (surname, first name) and short story title in the file name e.g. Wilde, Oscar – The Happy Prince
- use Arial, 12pt, black-coloured font and use double-line spacing
- have page numbers at the bottom right-hand side of each page
- have the title of the story and word count at the top of the first page.
Stories MUST NOT:
- include the name of the entrant, contact details or any identifying mark anywhere in the document
- include photos or illustrations.
The Royal Society of Literature cannot undertake to make corrections or additions to submissions. You must request that your submission is opened for editing if you wish to make changes. Submission of an entry implies acceptance of these conditions and entry fees are non-refundable. The shortlist will be contacted in autumn. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Due to the volume of submissions received, we are not able to provide individual feedback.
Please note that any entries that do not meet the requirements outlined above will not be accepted and the fee will not be refunded. No correspondence will be entered into regarding incorrect submissions.
We encourage entrants to submit their entries via this portal, once you have read and understood the guidelines above click the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom of this page. To submit by post, please follow the directions on our website.
Entries for low-income writers
The RSL is committed to increasing accessibility and supporting writers of all incomes. As such, we are offering 50 free entries to low-income writers based in the UK.
To apply for a free entry to this year’s prize please e-mail email@example.com using the subject ‘Free VSP Entry Application’ and in the body of the email include your name, postcode and up to 200 words on why you are eligible for a free entry, along with supporting documentation as proof of financial eligibility such as: Jobseeker’s Allowance, Disability Benefit, Income Support; Working Tax Credit; proof of being a full-time student; Housing Benefit; proof of being a full-time carer. All details will be kept in the strictest confidence and have no bearing on your Prize entry. Applications with no supporting evidence will not be accepted.
Applicants have until 5pm on 19 June to apply for a free entry. However, we recommend applying earlier as these entries are offered on a first come, first served basis. You will be informed by email as to whether you have been accepted and then given instructions on how to enter. Please do not send your story to us prior to this. Successful applicants will have until midnight on Friday 3 July (the same as the general entry deadline) to submit their story to the competition.
Please note, if successful you can only submit one free entry into the competition. Additional stories will need to submitted via the general submission portal at the bottom of this page (£7.50 per entry).
If you have technical difficulties completing the online entry form please email firstname.lastname@example.org.