Call for Entries

The darker the night, the brighter the stars...

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

This year's theme 'The City At Night' is a landscape full of potential and inspiration for the development of interesting and compelling characters and situations. Competition rules and further details are below - there are prizes and potential for publication.

First Prize £300

2 x Runners-Up £100 each

Commended entries recognised

You will see we are making a small reading charge for the first time this year, it is something we have held off doing for a while, but feel now it is unavoidable in order that we can continue to give every entry the full consideration it deserves. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to receiving your entry - happy writing!

Deadline: 28 February 2022

How to Enter

1. READ THE COMPETITION RULES BELOW - if you enter the competition, we will assume you have read, understood and accept the Competition Rules.

2. MAKE A PAYMENT of GBP8.00 using the 'PAY NOW' button at the bottom of the page.

- We ask that you make sure to include the Title of Your Story in the box provided at the bottom of this page so that we can match your payment with your entry.

- Clicking on the 'PAY NOW' button will take you to a Paypal payment page so that you can make a payment with your Paypal account if you have one, or a credit/debit card.

3. SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY - After you have made your payment, Paypal will send you a receipt including a Seller Transaction ID - please include this SELLER Transaction ID in the subject line of your submission - see below for further details of what else to include in the submission.

Competition Rules


OUEN PRESS 2021 Short Story Competition



1. The deadline date for entries will be Midnight (UK time) on 28th February 2022.

2. Entries to be submitted to competition@ouenpress.com.

3. The short story must be a work of fiction with the theme of 'The City At Night'. The judges will be looking for well-written compelling storylines, thoughtful plots and engaging characters.

4. Ouen Press reserves the right to change the rules without notice where it is considered necessary. Any changes made will be posted on the Ouen Press website www.ouenpress.com and any entrant objecting to any change made will have the right to withdraw from the competition prior to judging.


5. Entrants must be over the age of 18 at the closing date for entries.

6. Authors may be of any nationality living in any country.

7. Only one entry per author.

8.No entries may be submitted posthumously.

9.Submissions must be original, completely the author’s own work and must not have been published in any format previously. The submitted short story must not have been awarded any prizes or commendations. No third party shall have been granted any licence or other rights to the submitted short story.

10. No person associated with Ouen Press or the judges either professionally or personally shall be entitled to submit entries.

11. If for any reason the submission should not be eligible for the competition, or becomes ineligible following submission the author should notify Ouen Press immediately. There will be no refund of the reading fee should the submission become ineligible.

Entry Format

12. The length of the submission should be no less than 3000 words and no more than 7500 words excluding the title and word count.

13. Submissions must be written in English.

14. Submission must be made by EMAIL ONLY to competition@ouenpress.com . Any other format will not be admitted to the competition nor will they be acknowledged.

15. All entry information, including the short story submitted should be in the MAIN BODY of the email. Attachments WILL NOT BE OPENED and therefore will be void. There is no restriction on font, line spacing or layout.

16. Entry emails should contain the following:

In the subject line, include -

- the Paypal Seller transaction ID emailed to you in your receipt by Paypal, after you have paid your entry fee.

- story title.

- author name.

In the body of the email, include -

- author telephone contact number.

- author contact postal address.

- previously published works of the author [ including published by a publisher, self-published, published on any website ].

- any previous prizes awarded to the author.

- current employment of the author.

- short story submission, including title and word count.


18. There is a GBP8.00 charge for entry. Only one entry is permitted per author. No refunds will be made for ineligible entries.

Receipt of entry

19. All entry submissions will be acknowledged by email. No other form of communication will be undertaken before the final results are communicated.

20. Entries will not be returned (so entrants are advised to keep a copy) and no corrections or changes will be permitted once the short story has been submitted.


21.There will be one Winner who will receive £300 and two Runners-up who will each receive £100. There will also be a selection of ‘Highly Commended’ and 'Commended' entries. The Winner, Runners-up and Commended entries may be published in a compilation following the announcement of the results of the competition.

22. The shortlist of authors and titles will be published on www.ouenpress.com on 1st July 2022.

23. Notification of the winning title, the runners-up titles and the commended titles will be confirmed to the individual authors and then published on www.ouenpress.com prior to the intended publication date later in the year. No other submissions will be listed.

24. Where the title THE CITY AT NIGHT Short Story compilation is stated, Ouen Press reserves the right use this as a ‘working title’ for the intended publication and amend or change this ‘working title’ such that the actual publication may be published under a different title(s).

25.Authors of entries selected for publication will make themselves available for reasonable marketing programmes, including interviews, and provide a publicity photograph of themselves.

26. Each shortlisted author will receive Two (2) paperback copies of the intended publication, free of charge.


27. Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author.

28. a. It is the intention of the organisers that the winning entry, the runners-up and the commended (highly or otherwise) stories will be published by Ouen Press in a compilation of short stories. Ouen Press or its associates will have the unrestricted right to publish competition entries in perpetuity in any format at any time and in any language, and/or use any part or the whole in any relevant promotional material.

b. By submitting an entry, authors of all winning, runners-up and commended (highly or otherwise) stories agree to ensure that in the event any winning, runners-up or commended (highly or otherwise) entries are published, including in any anthology publications, it will carry approved Ouen Press Short Story Competition credits, if requested to do so, and ensure all materials bearing such approved credits, logos or trademarks are pre-approved by Ouen Press Administration.

29. Ouen Press will have the right to edit, make corrections and set submitted entry in ‘house style’ for the purpose of publication or marketing.

30. Ouen Press will have the exclusive and unrestricted licence to develop all rights in any format including film, TV and/or radio digital, audio and/or any format or platform not yet known in the submitted competition entry Ouen Press may consider appropriate for a period of five (5) years from the date of the winning entry being announced and the author of the story shall be entitled to fifty percent (50%) of the net profit achieved by Ouen Press from any such film TV and/or radio and/or other venture related to the submitted competition entry.


31. Judging will be fair and without bias.

32. The judges decision will be final and no criticism or advice will be provided.

33. The judges will be Paula Comley, Principal - Ouen Press, Michael Connor, Author and Travel Writer and another judge (TBA). Ouen Press reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice.

Important note:

Before entering the competition please ensure you have read and understood the rules. Submitting an entry will imply you have readand understood and are prepared to abide by the rules. Failure to comply with the rules may result in disqualification.

If you are ready to submit your entry:

Include the Title of your Story in the box provided below, to help us match up your payment with your submission.

Please use the PAY NOW button below to settle your GBP8.00 entry fee. You can use your Paypal Account or your Debit/Credit card to pay. When you select the PAY NOW button it will take you to a Paypal payment page.

After you have paid, submit your entry to competition@ouenpress.com including all the information listed in Section 16. above.

We look forward to receiving your entry! - All the best from the Ouen Press team.

Title of your Story