‘Make Your Mark’ Cross Pens / Writing.ie Short Story Competition

Writing.ie | Magazine | Writing Competitions
Cross Botanica

Opening 1st September, closing date 1st October 2015

With hundreds of book submissions landing on desks across Ireland and the UK,  it is impossible for agents and editors to engage with every new writer, and sometimes it can feel like you are swimming upstream with a million other fish, all asking similar questions and not always finding the answers.

Writing.ie is run by publishing consultant and Ireland’s leading literary scout Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, who fully understands the issues faced by new and aspiring writers. Writing.ie provides thousands of free articles to assist writers at all levels of their career, but now she’s teamed up with Cross Pens to bring a unique and invaluable prize to a new short story competition – lunch with leading literary agent Simon Trewin, from WME, who has helped shape the careers of many internationally bestselling authors. WME is one of the world’s most successful creative agencies with offices all over the world representing talent from all areas of the creative, sporting and digital spectrum.

Simon-Trewin-futurebook hackThe winner of the Cross Pens Writing.ie short story competition will not only get a chance to choose a beautiful Cross Pen up to the value of €250 from their extensive collection, but they will get a chance to talk publishing with both Simon Trewin and Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin over lunch in Dublin on Saturday 17th October.

Vanessa has brought in international bestselling authors John Boyne, Sinead Moriarty and Alex Barclay to help judge the competition and is very excited to see what will arrive. As she explained to Writing Magazine, “I’m always looking for new talent and competitions are a fabulous way to spot new voices. I’m also passionate about writers having access to opportunity, so this will be a free to enter competition.”

With a theme of ‘Make Your Mark’, Cross Pens (www.cross.com) allow writers to truly express themselves by putting pen to paper, so only 1000 words of fiction could stand between you and the opportunity of a lifetime.

Cross Pens Writing.ie ‘Make Your Mark’ Short Story Competition

Closing date 1st October 2015

Short stories:  1000 words maximum, no minimum, the title is not included in the word count.

The theme of the competition is ‘Make Your Mark’, this does not have to be your title, but your story should reflect the theme.

The deadline date for entries is 5pm October 1st. Entries postmarked on or prior to the closing date will be accepted. Please do not try to hand deliver as this has resulted in lost entries in the past.

Post your entry in hard copy (see formatting requirements below) to:

Cross Pens Writing.ie Make Your Mark Competition

The Old Post Office


Country Wicklow.

All entries are judged anonymously:  do not include your name on the document, but include on a SEPARATE cover sheet, YOUR:

  • NAME,
  • AND TELEPHONE NUMBER (in case there is a problem with your email).


The competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and resident in Ireland, aged 18 years old and over at the time of the closing date.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant – by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

Entries must never have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast nor winning or placed in any other competition.

If your entry has been longlisted or shortlisted in other competitions, provided it has not won a prize then it is eligible for entry.

Entries submitted posthumously will not be eligible.


The competition is free to enter.

Multiple entries are permitted, but spare a thought for the judges and only enter your best work!

Entry Format

Entries must be in English, typed; single sided, with pages numbered and securely fastened with a staple. Stories must be double line spaced and the word count noted at the top of the first page.

Please use a legible font such as Times New Roman or Arial (no Comic Sans, not even in jest!)

Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title in the body of the work. Please complete a separate cover sheet as described above.

Entries are not returned, keep a copy.

Amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted, nor substitutions made.  If entrants wish to correct errors they must submit a new entry, marked ‘Final Version’ on the title page, and enter again.  No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into.

Please ensure that you use the correct postage.  If insufficient postage is used, Writing.ie will not pay the additional postage required and the entry will be returned by the Post Office.

Receipt of entry

Enclose a stamped addressed postcard marked ‘MAKE YOUR MARK ACKNOWLEDGEMENT’ if you require acknowledgement of receipt of your entry.

It is not possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email.


The results of the competition – shortlisted authors and the winner will be published at writing.ie. The winner will be notified not later than Saturday 10th October and must be available to come to Dublin on Saturday 17th October for their prize lunch. The prize is not transferable.


Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but Writing.ie will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning story online.


The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.

Judges are unable to comment on individual entries.

Judging is fair and unbiased. Experienced readers assist the judges in selecting the shortlists.

The shortlist will be judged by international bestselling authors John Boyne, Alex Barclay and Sinead Moriarty and literary agent Simon Trewin.

Writing.ie reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice.


There is no cash prize.

The winner will receive a Cross Pen of their choice to the value of €250, plus lunch on 17th October with Simon Trewin, Head of Literary at WME London and Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, literary scout and founder of Writing.ie.

The prize does not include travel to Dublin or accommodation.

Writing.ie reserves the right to amend these rules where it is deemed necessary to do so.


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