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The Bridport Prize

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Closing date May 31st

All entries submitted can be on any subject, and written in any style or form.  However, we do not recommend poems or stories written for children.

Flash Fiction

Judge: David SwannDave_Swann

Word limit: 250 words (no minimum). Title not included.

Entry fee:  £6 for each flash fiction submitted.

Prizes: 1st £1,000, 2nd £500, 3rd £250 + Highly Commended 3 x £25

What is flash fiction?

Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some are as low as 250 words (such as ours), while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.

Other names for flash fiction include sudden fiction, micro fiction, micro-story, short short, postcard fiction and short short story, though distinctions are sometimes drawn between some of these terms; for example, sometimes one-thousand words is considered the cut-off between “flash fiction” and the slightly longer short story “sudden fiction”. The terms “micro fiction” and “micro narrative” are sometimes defined as below 300 words.

Flash-fiction often contains the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles or complications, and resolution. However, unlike a traditional short story, the limited word length often forces some of these elements to remain unwritten – that is, hinted at or implied in the written storyline.

Short Stories

Judge: Michèle Robertsmimi_pic_1

Word limit: 5,000 words (no minimum). Title not included.

Entry fee:  £8 for each short story submitted.

Prizes: 1st £5,000, 2nd £1,000, 3rd £500 + Highly Commended 10 x £50

 

Poems

Judge: Wendy Cope

Line limit: 42 lines (no minimum). Title not included.wendy cope

Entry fee:  £7 for each poem submitted.

Prizes: 1st £5,000, 2nd £1,000, 3rd £500 + Highly Commended 10 x £50

Entry details here

Marcus Smith

Marcus Smith: Featured Poet

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Isabella Robbins

A child who doesn’t fit anyone’s mind,
I’m slow at mazes of letters and words,
And know numbers are strange elusive birds.
Tested, my soul proves ill-defined:

“Isabella Robbins, crayon a picture
Of how you dream.”
Purple for the twilight
In room with black box and window of white.
A stick figure stiffly watching the future –
I call it, “I hope I have a good day,”
Written in the teacher’s near-perfect hand.

The pain I draw is like a muted scream
I’ve hid so well no one can understand
How to help, or what to me help might mean.

Next week, in my room, I draw, “I go away.”

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British/American poet Marcus Smith has been a finalist for The Cinnamon Press Book Competition and shortlisted twice for The Bridgport Prize. “Isabella Robbins” is from The Great-Great Grandchildren of Edward  Darley Boit, a manuscript that takes its name from John Singer Sargent’s perhaps most unconventional portrait, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit. (The daughters never had children.) Poems in The Grandchildren… have appeared in Orbis, Envoi, HQ, Dark Horse, The Text, The Journal, Ambit, Weyfarers, Poetry Salzburg Review, Able Muse and Slant and received Plough and Poetry on the Lake prizes. SEZ/everything speaks is forthcoming with Live Canon, London.