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Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition

Writing.ie | Magazine | Writing Competitions
Cranked Anvil

By Writing.ie

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Next competition deadline: 31st October 2020

The Cranked Anvil quarterly short story competition is open for entries all year round.

The competition is open to any theme or genre, but your story must be a maximum of 1,500 words (not including the title). Closing dates are:

31st January
30th April
31st July
31st October

You can enter up to three* stories in each quarterly competition.

* Due to its popularity, we are once again relaxing our rules slightly. If you pay the £10 entry fee, you will get one free entry. That is, you will be able to enter FOUR stories rather than three.

Entry fees: £5 for the first | plus £3 for the second | plus £2 for the third [and fourth]

1st – £150
2nd – £75
3rd – £30

The three placed stories from each quarter will be published on this website. Future anthologies will also be considered, published by Cranked Anvil Press, in which a selection of short- and long-listed stories from each competition will be published.

The results will be announced here (and in our social media) within six weeks of the closing dates.

Terms and Conditions


1. Entries must be in English.

2. Entries must be the original and unpublished work of the entrant. This includes publication online, including (but not limited to) personal blogs or websites. Each entry must not be currently submitted for publication nor for any other competition or award.

3. Each story must stay within the 1,500-word limit. This means any story up to and including 1,500 words. The title does not form part of the word count.

4. The closing date for entries is midnight (UK time) on the 31st January, 30th April, 31st July and 31st October. If your entry, for whatever reason, just misses a deadline, it will be automatically entered into the following quarter.

5. No corrections will be accepted or refunds given.

Entry fees

6. You can enter up to three stories in each quarterly competition.

6a. Due to its popularity we are continuing to run our ‘special offer’: if you pay the £10 entry fee you can enter four stories instead of the usual three. This will continue until further notice. Cranked Anvil reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time without notice.

7. £5 for the first | plus £3 for the second | plus £2 for the third [and fourth].

8. Entries will not be accepted without prior payment.


9. Manuscripts must be typed using a clear font (eg. Times New Roman or Arial), 12pt, and double spaced.

10. Manuscripts should have numbered pages, with a covering page which states the following:

  • Story title
  • Your name
  • Your email address (If your entry fee comes from a different email address account, we strongly advise you also note that on your cover page)
  • Word count
  • Your twitter handle, if you have one

11. The cover page must be the first page of the whole manuscript document. DO NOT attach a seperate cover page – your entry will be disqualified.

12. Your manuscript document should be named with the title of your story, followed by your name in capitals;
ie: Title Of Your Story YOUR NAME

13. Entries should be submitted as an email attachment to enter@crankedanvil.co.uk as a Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx), OpenDocument Text (.odt), or PDF (.pdf).

14. If you are entering more than one story, each story must be submitted as a separate manuscript. Ensure your email address is on the covering page of every manuscript.


15. Competition judges will be appointed by Cranked Anvil.  The decision of the judge is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

16. If, in the opinion of the judges, enough stories of sufficient quality have not been received, then Cranked Anvil is under no obligation to award any or all of the three prizes.


17. Winners will be notified by email no later than six weeks after each closing date. (Except in exceptional circumstances where a delay cannot be avoided. If this is the case it will be announced on our website, and the winners then notified as soon as possible after that.)

18. The results of the competition, and the three winning stories, will be published on our website.


19. The author retains full copyright of any submitted story. However, by entering the competition the author gives permission for publication of the work on the Cranked Anvil website, and possible future printed anthologies. (Authors will be contacted in advance if any of their submitted work is being considered for one of our anthologies.)


20. We advise that, in conjunction with these rules, the author reads our GDPR/Privacy Policy statement.

PLEASE NOTE: Entries not complying with all competition rules will be disqualified. Please make sure you comply with all rules, as no entry fees can be returned or refunded. The decision of Cranked Anvil and the judges is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.  By submitting, you are agreeing to all competition rules, which are subject to change without prior notice.

Go to the entry page to pay your entry fee and enter the competition.

Good luck! – We look forward to reading your stories.

In the meantime, you can read previous winning stories here.

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