Short Story Competition 2021

We are pleased to announce:

The 2021 Frinton Literary Festival Short Story Competition

“Ghosts on the Coast”

Your challenge is to write a 1,000 word ghost story. We are an island nation, and our history is enriched by stories connected with the sea, so we are looking for stories which feature some aspects of our beautiful coastline here in North Essex. Whether you have a haunted beach hut, a ghostly fishing boat, or mysterious footsteps in the sand, the subject is entirely up to you.

Then all you have to do is email your story to us at before 10pm on Sunday 19th September 2021.
The shortlisted authors will be listed on the website on 1st October 2021.
The three finalists will be notified by email on 11th October. They will be invited to join us as our guests at the Festival Literary Lunch with Lady Anne Glenconner on Saturday, 23rd October at Frinton Tennis Club, where the overall winner will be announced. The winner will receive a £50 Caxton Books gift voucher.

Entry is FREE, but please make sure you check the guidelines, terms and conditions below:


Lesley Kara: Lesley is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She completed an English degree and PGCE at Greenwich University, having previously worked as a nurse and a secretary, and then became a lecturer and manager in Further Education. She lives on the North Essex coast. Her novels The Rumour, Who Did You Tell, and The Dare, are published by Transworld, a division of Penguin Random House.

Gordon Wise: Gordon became a literary agent at Curtis Brown in 2005 but began working in the book industry in 1989 as a bookseller. He went on to be an editor and later, Publishing Director at companies including Pan Macmillan and John Murray/Hachette. Besides managing his own wide-ranging list of fiction and non-fiction clients, he is Joint Managing Director of Curtis Brown’s Book Department, and has been Agent of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards and President of the Association of Authors’ Agents.

Anita Belli: Anita is both a traditionally and independently published novelist. She writes 20th Century Historical Novels and Contemporary Romance, and has published non-fiction books to accompany her workshop series. As a creative writing tutor, Anita works in schools, libraries and communities to inspire as many people as possible to explore creative writing, tell their own story and to publish their work.

Gerald Hornsby: Gerald has written and published several full-length novels and hundreds of pieces of short and micro fiction. Active in independent publishing since 2010, he has published seven crime and thriller novels under his own name and his pseudonym, Jack Warwick. Gerald has been a co-host of the Literary Roadhouse podcast for over 3 years, is co-owner of publisher Hard Pressed Books and writing support services company

Terms and conditions of entry
• Frinton Literary Festival 2021 Short Story Competition is open to all writers living or working in North Essex, which includes Tendring and Colchester.
• Entrants must be over 18.
• Family members or close friends of the four judges will not be eligible.
• There is no limit to the number of entries any one entrant is allowed to make. Each entry must be sent in a separate email.
• Short story pieces of up to 1000 words, excluding the title, are eligible for entry. Entries over this length will not be eligible.
• Stories must be an identifiable ghost story.
• All submissions must be written in English.
• Format your story in Times New Roman or similar font, Size 12, 2.0/1.5 spacing, using black font colour.
• Please supply your name and the name of your story in the body of the email and attach the story as a Microsoft Word .doc or .docx file.
• Stories must be submitted anonymously, without any identifying information on the attachment. Attachments that include names or contact information will not be eligible.
• We are unable to offer personalised feedback for entries.
• All entries must be submitted via email only to:
We are unable to accept postal entries or hard copy entries. If this poses a problem, please contact Caxton Books and Gallery.
• Our competitions are run and judged internally. Our judging team is comprised of 4 authors and agent working in the literary industry, who are also members of the Frinton Literary Festival Committee.
• The closing deadline is 10pm, GMT (21:59pm) on the 19th September 2021.
• Winners will be notified by email on 11th October 2021 and on the Frinton Literary Festival website short afterwards.
The finalists should make themselves available to be present at the Frinton Literary Festival Literary Lunch on Saturday, 23rd October 2021 at 1pm. Tickets will be collected from Caxton Books and Gallery in Frinton, or can be posted, once the finalists have been notified.