Reader’s Digest 100-word Short Story Competition 2012

Those kind people at Reader’s Digest are running their ‘100 word short story competition’ again (third year running!) and first prize in the Adult category is a rather lovely £1000.

More details here but in a nutshell, you have until 31st January 2013 to send your story – which must be EXACTLY 100 words (not 101 or 99!) by email to:

It doesn’t say whether you can submit more than one entry, so I assume you can. But you have to be a UK resident. There are categories for children too.

As usual, Reader’s Digest are claiming the copyright of all entries. Which effectively means that, once you press ‘send’, they can do what they like with your story. But as it’s only 100 words (not exactly a novel or something likely to be turned into a film..) AND they have, up to now at least, done the decent thing and paid for any entries that they’ve published (in addition to the winners), then I don’t have a problem with that – but if you do, then don’t enter. Simples!

It’s worth looking at the commended stories from last year, as that will give you a good idea of what kind of thing they’re looking for (but, obviously – try to be original!!)

I’ll be having a go at this one too. Good luck to everyone!!

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14 Responses to Reader’s Digest 100-word Short Story Competition 2012

  1. This sounds fun! Thanks for letting us know about it:-)

  2. Tracy Fells says:

    Thanks for the reminder on this one Helen. I’ve entered both years to date, so maybe this time it will be 3rd time lucky. Worth having a go as it’s a free competition. You used to be able to enter multiple entries, but that may have changed as I think they got 1,000’s of stories!

  3. PhilippaB says:

    Thanks Helen, sounds like fun – but I’m afraid I can’t take part as I don’t live in the UK. I have to say I find it unfair and frustrating when competitions use UK residence as a condition for entry – it’s not as if I can enter any local competitions! (Actually, I have done before, for the intellectual exercise, as it’s interesting to see how different one writes in a different language, French in my case, what with reduced scope and not being able to weigh and ‘feel’ the words in the same visceral way, but obviously it can never be done in any “competitive” way). I’m sure lots of other writers living in non-anglo countries have the same problem…There, got that off my chest!

    • Hmm, Philippa that must be a pain! I hadn’t thought of that (well, if you will live in these exotic overseas lands…!) But there are competitions that allow entries from anywhere in the world, so keep your eye out for those. Has your book arrived yet? I know it was due to be sent last Monday!

      • PhilippaB says:

        I suppose you’re right – being able to revel in southern French weather, wine, cheese, countryside, etc. etc. means having to give up some other things! And yes, happily there are still plenty of undiscriminating competitions…No book yet, I’ll let you know when it arrives.

  4. Sounds good Helen, worth a go. Thanks for the link.

  5. daniallen says:


    My story was commended last year and I really enjoyed writing it too! This is definitely a competition for people who write flash fiction or want to have a go!

    Dani. X

  6. Stephanie Holliday says:

    Thanks for the info. Its made me go back to a short story I’ve had hanging around for ages and I’ve now made it in to an entry to the comp. I often wonder though if a huge magazine like this will get so many entries that it will make it harder for new writers like me. What do you think?

    • Stephanie, I think you’ve got just as much chance as anyone else – and you never know what will catch a judge’s eye so, especially when it’s free to enter, you’ve got nothing to lose! The idea is the main thing – be original, make your entry stand out from the hundreds of others and you just might be lucky! good luck!

  7. Maggie May says:

    Thanks Helen. I will be doing this one.

  8. Muhammad ayaz lali says:

    Why not the other nations…. Readers digest, as i think, is universal. So should the competition be.

  9. Muhammad ayaz lali says:

    Why not the other nations…. Readers digest, as i think, is universal. So should the competition be. There should be some change.

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