Ends on September 17, 2018£8.00

Thanks for your interest in the London Short Story Prize 2018, managed by London's literature development organisation Spread the Word. We have been running the prize since 2013, to discover and raise the profile of short story writers. 

This year's judges are Guy Gunaratne, Clare Fisher and Sarah Such.

The winning story will receive £1,000 and a meeting with an agent. Two highly commended authors will receive £250 and a meeting with an editor. Further prizes include spaces on Spread the Word courses, and membership to the London Writers Network. All shortlisted stories will be published in the London Short Story Prize Anthology, to be launched in April 2019.

Each entry costs £8 and we have 50 free entries for London writers on a low-income. Details on how to apply for this can be found in the Prize’s rules and guidelines - you can find them here.

We're looking forward to reading your stories!

The Literary Consultancy's Free Reads Scheme is open to all writers resident in England through a range of partners. You can find a map of the partners operating in each region, as well as more information about the scheme here. The Free Read scheme particularly welcomes applications from writers belonging to groups currently under-represented in publishing including women writers, disabled writers, BAME writers, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Spread the Word is The Literary Consultancy’s regional partner for London and will be processing entries from writers living in London. Applications are now open for the 2018-2019 submission period. Please see below how to apply.   

To apply via Spread the Word, you must live in London and be on a low-income, meeting one of the following criteria:  

· You earn £23,000 or below

· You are a full-time student

· You are a pensioner

· You are in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Disability Benefits, Income Support or Working Tax Credits.

You may also submit HMRC self-assessment paperwork to show you are low-earning if you are a freelancer and not in receipt of income support. 


  • You must be based in London to apply via Spread the Word. 
  • Applicants cannot apply for a Free Read two years in a row. 
  • Applicants must be over the age of 16.
  • Free Reads are subject to TLC's manuscript assessment T&Cs
  • We only accept single authored work.
  • We only accept writing in English.

All entrants must fill out a Free Reads Application Form (available in doc and PDF versions below). You’ll also need to submit 1000 words of writing, along with a synopsis. If you’re entering poetry or a script into the scheme, then please send in up to 20 pages of your writing. This must be the writing you wish to have assessed for a Free Read.

All entries must have an application form with evidence of eligibility attached.  We aim to notify all participants of the outcome by the 14 December 2018. 

We’ve created an FAQ page, but if your question or query is not listed, please do get in touch. The deadline to apply is midnight on Friday 13 November 2018. Good luck!

Free Reads Application Form (doc)
Free Reads Application Form (pdf)

Asia House is partnering with Spread the Word to find the best new poetry talent. If you’re passionate about telling stories through poetry, want the chance to be named the Asia House Poetry Slam champion 2018 and also win a professional development session with Spread the Word, make sure you enter the slam by midnight on Friday 5th October 2018.

The judges will select eight aspiring poets and spoken word artists aged 18-25 to perform their work at the Asia House Poetry Slam event on Tuesday 6th November 2018. You will also have the opportunity to hear our amazing judges perform their own poetry on the night.

How to enter

We’d like you to send us one of your poems that has relevance to Asia and/or the diaspora. If you’ve got a video link to you performing you can include this as well. Please do also tell us a bit about yourself.

The deadline is midnight on Friday 5 October 2018.

Terms and Conditions

  • Be aged 18 – 25 years old
  • Be unpublished
  • You may only submit one poem as your entry and this must be your original work
  • Your poem must have some relevance to Asia (a region we define as running from Turkey to Tokyo) and/or the diaspora
  • Available between 18:45 – 20:00 on Tuesday 6 November
  • You cannot be a published poet. This competition is to foster new talent.
  • If you have a video clip (even recorded on your phone at home) of you delivering some of your poetry please submit this along with your poem.
  • All applicants must leave an email address and/or phone number. Your data will only be used as a means of contacting you and will be deleted after 6th November 2018.
  • Your poem cannot be longer than 5 minutes.
  • The closing date for submissions is midnight on Friday 5 October Any entries received after this will not be counted.
  • If we select you to be shortlisted, we will contact you twice. If we do not hear back from you before 22 October, we will not be able to confirm you in the final shortlist.

If you have any questions, please get in touch. Good luck! 

Spread the Word