The Bridport Prize

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06/30/2006 - 12:00am
06/30/2006 - 12:00pm
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The Bridport Prize

The Bridport Prize International Creative Writing Competition started in 1973 as a local project with minimal entry fees and nominal prizes, to raise funds for the development of Bridport Arts Centre. in 1980 the Bridport Prize became a regional competition with a first prize in each category of £100. Although coverage was intended to be only regional, right from the start the competition attracted entries from all parts of the UK and even some from overseas.

The competition grew in popularity very quickly; in the early days approximately 5000 entry forms each year were distributed but by 1999 the number had climbed to 250,000. The prize money and entry fees have risen over the years as well and from 2006 the first prize in each category is £5000, second prize £1000 and third prize £500. An additional 10 supplementary prizes (for each category) of £50 each are awarded. The entry fee for the year 2006 is £6 per poem or story. The top four poems are entered for the Forward Prize for Poetry, an award not open to the general public. The short story winners will also be entered to The National Short Story Prize with a first prize of £15,000. The winning and longlist stories will be read by leading London literary agents with a view to representing writers.

There is no age limit (the competition is for adults) and the subject matter is entirely open.

Short stories must not exeed 5000 words and poems must not exeed 42 lines.

In 1994 the late John Fowles agreed to become Patron of the Bridport Prize and notable previous judges include Margaret Drabble, U.A. Fanthorpe, Rose Tremain, Maggie Gee and Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate.

In many cases a win in the Bridport Prize has led to further successes and helped to launch new writers. Kate Atkinson (a short story winner in 1990) said that it was very important, confirming that she had found her 'voice'. Her short story went on to become the first chapter of her novel, 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum', winner of the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year. She returned to judge the Short Story section in 2001.

Other noteworthy names include Helen Dunmore (also a 1990 winner) whose 'Spell of Winter' won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1996; Tobias Hill, a winner in both categories (poetry 1994, short story 1996) and 2002's Short Story judge; and Tess Biddington, a winner in 2000, who made it onto the short list for The Forward Prize, and gained an agent for her forthcoming novel, plus many others.

All entries to the competition are judged anonymously. The judges make their evaluations on the quality of the work alone. Nobody wins beacause of who they are, who they know or what their name sounds like. All the poems and stories go into the same pile whether the writer is famous and very experienced or the writer is entering his/her first competition.

Online Entry Rules:

Closing date and time for receipt of entries: 30th June 2006. Midnight GMT

Maximum of 5000 words for short stories and maximum of 42 lines for poems.

Prizes for both short stories and poems for 2006 are: 1st £5000, 2nd £1000, 3rd £500 plus 10 supplementary prizes of £50.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been published (including the internet) or broadcast.

The entry fee is £6 per entry. The fee is payable with a credit/debit card at the time the entry is sent.

Entries must be in English.

Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title. Entries are not returned keep a copy. No corrections can be made after receipt, nor fees refunded.

Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but the Bridport Prize will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning poems and stories, (including runners up), in the annual anthology.

No competitor may win more than one prize in each category. The judges' decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.

Prize winners will be notified in writing by beginning of October 2006. The list of prizewinners will be displayed on the website after the prizegiving in November. Prizes will be awarded on 18th November 2006.

Entry implies acceptance of all the rules.

Failure to comply with the entry requirements will result in disqualification.

Postal Entry Rules:

Closing date and time for receipt of entries: 30th June 2006.

Maximum of 5000 words for short stories and maximum of 42 lines for poems.

Prizes for both short stories and poems for 2006 are: 1st £5000, 2nd £1000, 3rd £500 plus 10 supplementary prizes of £50.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been published (including the internet) or broadcast.

The entry fee is £6 per poem or story payable in sterling by credit/debit card, cheque or postal order. Cheques must be from a UK bank and should be payable to The Bridport Prize with the sender's name and address on the back.

Postal entries from overseas can only be paid by credit/debit card or in cash (notes only, NO coins) - either US dollars (US$10 per entry) or Euros (€10 per entry). Overseas cheques, money orders or drafts will not be accepted.

Postal entries should be sent to The Bridport Prize, Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, Dorset DT6 3NR, UK.

Entries must be in English (preferably typed), single sided, with pages numbered and securely fastened; each entry on a new sheet. Stories to be double spaced; poems to be single spaced. Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title, (all details should be on the entry form). Entries are not returned, keep a copy. No corrections can be made after receipt, nor fees refunded.

Enclose a stamped addressed postcard marked ACKNOWLEDGEMENT if you require acknowledgement of receipt of your postal entry. For the judges' reports and full results in December 2006 - enclose an A5 stamped addressed envelope marked RESULTS.

Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but the Bridport Prize will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning poems and stories,(including runners up), in the annual anthology.

No competitor may win more than one prize in each category. The judges' decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.

Prizewinners will be notified in writing by beginning of October 2006. The list of prizewinners will be displayed on the website after the prizegiving in November. Prizes will be awarded on 18th November 2006.

Entry implies acceptance of all the rules.

Failure to comply with the entry requirements will result in disqualification.

Source:
http://www.bridportprize.org.uk/