Press Release: Prescot Festival Offers Literary Challenge during the Lockdown

With gatherings and events being postponed nationwide at the moment, a Merseyside town has decided that one aspect of its summer arts festival can go ahead as planned—lockdown or no lockdown.

Organisers of the Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts will press on with their annual Short Story Competition, and have announced that ‘Dreams’ will be this year’s theme, opening a world of creative possibilities to prospective authors.Now in its ninth year, the writing contest offers a £100 prize for the winner. Previous winning entries have included tales of wedded bliss gone awry, a whimsical wheelbarrow race with an elderly relative, and a haunting encounter at Lime Street Station.

The contest is open to all unpublished fiction writers in the six boroughs of Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Halton, Wirral and Liverpool. There’s a 1,000 upper word limit but no minimum wordcount.

In a change to previous years’ requirements, submissions are invited via email rather than by post. The deadline is Friday 29 May 2020. The full rules are online at

The Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts was founded in 2005 in the historic Lancashire town of Prescot, Merseyside. The organisers continue to keep festival audiences up-to-date and occasionally entertained through their official website,, and their Facebook and Twitter pages.


Full rules are below:

2020 Prescot Festival Short Story Competition

Stuck at home and feeling imaginative?

Put pen to paper and write a short story of up to 1,000 words for the 2020 Prescot Festival Short Story Competition. As always, a prize of £100 will go to the winning author.

The theme for this year’s contest is DREAMS. We’ve created a word cloud to inspire you. You don’t have to follow the theme slavishly—it’s a jumping-off point for your imagination, and you can interpret it figuratively or literally. Scroll down for the full rules (and please read carefully – we are doing things a little differently this year).

Entry to the 2020 Prescot Festival Short Story Competition is FREE and open to non-professional writers of ALL AGES living in Merseyside and Halton. This year’s theme is DREAMS. The word cloud above is also full of ideas to kick-start your story.

The deadline is 29 May 2020, and there’s a £100 prize for the winner, so start writing!

2020 Prescot Festival Short Story Competition Full Rules

1. To enter, you must live in one of the following six boroughs: Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Halton, Wirral or Liverpool. You must not have had a piece of fictional writing professionally published, ie, in return for payment. There are no age restrictions. Only one entry per person is allowed.

2. The story you submit must be inspired in some way by the following theme: DREAMS. It is your choice how to interpret the theme. The story must be your own original work of fiction (no biography, poetry or nonfiction), unpublished, in English, and with no more than 1,000 words. There is no minimum word count.

3. Type your story in size 12 font. You may include page numbers and the title of the story in the headers and/or footers, but you must NOT include your name or any identifying details, such as an address or email address, in the document itself, as it will be judged anonymously.

4. Submit it via email to Include your name and contact details in the body of the message and the short story as an attachment in Word (.doc/.docx), ODT, RTF or PDF format only

4. The closing date for the competition is Friday 29 May 2020. All entries must be received by then.

5. A panel of judges will read the stories, whose writers remain anonymous, and decide a winner. The judges’ decision is final.

6. The winner will receive a prize of £100, and their name will be posted to the festival website on or shortly after 1 July 2020.

7. You retain full copyright of your story, but by submitting it, you give the Prescot Festival permission to republish it online and/or in print, naming you as author.

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