#HNSLondon14 Short Story Award Rules

Open to all delegates at #HNSLondon14

Closing date: 31st August 2014

Up to 2500 words : historical set : open theme : e-submissions only
Prizes: £100 and the HNSLondon14 Short Story Cup

Competition Rules

Closing date for receipt of entries: Sunday 31st August 2014 at 5pm GMT
Maximum 2500 words (no minimum). Historical short stories set no later than 1960. Open theme.

The competition shall be open to all delegates of the Historical Novel Society Conference 2014, in London, excluding the competition judges and principal Conference organizers.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must not at any time have been published, self-published, broadcast, or published online on any website or forum (save for a closed forum), or have won or been placed in any other competition.

Each entry must comprise a complete short story (and not be in the form of a poem or script). Entrants may write on any theme, though only those stories in which the substantive action takes place no later than 1960 will be considered. Time-slip and historical thrillers/detective short stories are admissible. Fantasy and Steam-punk are not admissible on this occasion. Entries must not exceed 2,500 words each.

All entries must be submitted by using the Submission page.
Please ensure you provide your entry in any of our supported formats (pdf, doc, docx, rtf, odt, wpd) with the filename being made up of the story title alone.
Please do not put your name on the document or within the filename.
Online payment must be made at the time the entry is submitted. Only paid-for entries will be considered.

The entry fee shall be £6.50 per story (entrants may submit more than one story each up to a maximum of three). Fees shall be payable in sterling via the link on the on the HNSLondon14 submission page.

It is also possible to pay by cheque to Historical Novel Society sent to

Historical Novel Society
Marine Cottage
The Strand
Starcross, Devon EX6 8NY
United Kingdom

You should then email the story as an attachment to storyaward (at) hns-conference.org.uk confirming in the body of the email: your name, your pen name, the name on the cheque, that you have booked a place at HNSLondon14 and that you have read and agreed to the rules. We will then enter your story manually for you.

  • Entries must be in English, typed in a supported file format (pdf, doc, docx, rtf, odt, wpd), formatted for A4 paper, one side only, with pages numbered.
  • Each entry must be contained within a separate Word document and a Paypal payment for the total of all entries submitted on the same day. Cheque payment for the total of all entries must clear by 15 August 2014.
  • Entries must be double-line spaced and include a word count at the top of the first page.
  • The story title  must appear at the top of each page.
  • Manuscripts must show no name, address or other identifying marks apart from the name of the story
  • Entries will not be returned, so please keep a copy.
  • No corrections can be made after receipt, nor fees refunded.

An automatic email confirmation will be sent to the address from which the submission was made. No other correspondence will be entered into.

Worldwide copyright in each entry will remain with the author.

The judges’ decision shall be final and no debate or correspondence will be entered into. Judges will be unable to comment on individual entries. Judging will be fair and unbiased and made without reference to the entrant’s identity.

All stories will be read and considered in the first instance by Charlotte Betts, Carol McGrath and Ouida Taafe.  They will select a long-list of ten stories and look for, amongst other things, skill in:

  • Deft use of historical research
  • Characterization
  • Concision
  • Readability
  • Voice

Final judging will be by Ian Skillicorn, founder of National Short Story Week.

Work must be presented professionally, formatted according to the competition rules and spell-checked.

The winner will be awarded the HNS London14 Short Story Cup and receive a prize of £100. The Cup will remain the property of Historical Novel Society, and must be returned not later than Friday 20 January 2015. The second and third placed entrants will each receive certificates.

The long list will be displayed on the HNS Conference website on or around 1st September 2014. The short list will be announced and prizes will be awarded during the prize-giving ceremony at the Conference. With the author’s consent, the winning story will be published after the prize-giving.

Entry constitutes acceptance of all the rules. Failure to comply with the entry requirements will result in disqualification.

Please make your payment and submit your entry via the HNSLondon14 Short Story Award submission page.