Announcing the 2024 Young Writers' Flash Fiction Competition!

If you’re aged between 10 and 18-years, send us your Flash Fiction, 250 or 500-word story on the theme of ‘Key’ Words. There are two age categories – 10-14 years and 14-18 years – with cash prizes in each category of £200, £100 and £50, plus the chance to be published and to perform your work at Exeter Custom House.

We are looking for your inventive story, with a maximum word count of 500 words in the 10-14 year age-category and 250 words in the 14-18 year age-category.

The theme:
We’re interested in reading your ‘key’ words – that means we want every word to count. As long as you’re telling us a fascinating story you can write about whatever you like, the important thing is the telling. However, if you want some inspiration you could also think about the other definition of a key. What can keys unlock? What story will you unlock with your writing?

Last year’s winners were presented their prizes by acclaimed author Patrick Gale and they all had their work published in the Quay Voices #3 anthology.

Guidelines for writing your entry

1. The maximum word count is 500 words in the 10-14 year age-category and 250 words in the 14-18 year age-category. There is no minimum
2. Entries should be typed on a computer
3. You may use any font, size 12, black
4. Entries should be double spaced

Guidelines for submitting your entry

1. Include a front page which includes the title and the word count

2. Save the short story as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) preferably, or as an Adobe PDF, with your first and last name in the file name.

3. For school groups or classes, please send the entries in a block, either as a .zip file using the entry form or by email to – each individual entry should include the entrant’s name and the name of the school (for administrative purposes). Please indicate clearly which category the entries are for.

Closing date: Sunday 12th May 2024, midday

Entry form

Submitting your entry

Entries can be posted to:
Quay Words Young Writers’ Competition
c/o Exeter Custom House
46, The Quay

Or submitted via the entry form below.

If you are entering on behalf of a school class or group, entries may be submitted in a .zip folder using this form, posted to the address mentioned or emailed directly to

Please use the subject ‘Quay Words Young Writers’ Competition’ and don’t forget to tell us the name of your school, the class name/ year group and the age category you are entering for.


Entry form

  • Accepted file types: doc, pdf, zip, docx.
    We accept entries in Word document and PDF format and can also accept Zip folders for multiple entries from school groups and classes. Please label each entry with the child's first and last name and for schools, the name of the school.
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