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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 2021

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.

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.

See here to enter.

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 Entries must be the original and unpublished work of the entrant.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. At the time of entry, your work must not be 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

  1. £5 for the first | plus £3 for the second | plus £2 for the third.
  2. Entries will not be accepted without prior payment.
  3. You can enter up to three stories in each quarterly competition.
  4. Entries should be submitted as an email attachment to enter@crankedanvil.co.uk as a Microsoft Word Document, OpenDocument Text, or PDF. Do not paste your story into the body of the email.
  5. Your attached document should be named with the title of your story, followed by your name in capitals. eg: The Pickwick Papers CHARLES DICKENS
  6. Manuscripts must be typed using a clear font and text size, and double spaced.
  7. Manuscripts should have numbered pages, including a covering page which states the following:

Story title
Your name
Your main email address
Your paypal email address (if different)
Word count
Your twitter handle, if you have one

Your name should only appear on the cover page and not on any subsequent pages.

  1. The cover page should be the first page of the whole document. Do not send a separate cover page – your entry will be disqualified.
  2. If you are entering more than one story, each story must be submitted as a separate document.


  1. Competition judges will be appointed by Cranked Anvil. The decision of the judges is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  2. 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.


  1. 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.)
  2. The results of the competition, as well as the long- and short-lists for each competition, will be announced in social media and on our website.


  1. The author retains full copyright of any submitted story. If your entry wins a cash prize you grant to Cranked Anvil a non-exclusive license to publish your work online on our website.
  2. We will also, once or twice a year, publish printed anthologies, which are made up of the winning stories plus short- and long-listed entries from previous competitions. If we wish to publish your work in print we will always contact you to seek permission to do so. You are free to agree or decline as you wish. No entry will be published in print without your permission.
  3. Whether or not you win a cash prize in our competition, and if we publish your entry in one of our print anthologies, you retain all other rights. (For example, you may still publish your work online or in print elsewhere, or enter it into other competitions.)


  1. 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.

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