The Yeovil Literary Prize

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Recent Successes

Read about our most recent successes.

2018 Results

Novel Category :
FIRST PRIZE - Clare Golding
SECOND PRIZE - Warwick Cairns
THIRD PRIZE - Warwick Blanchett
VERY HIGHLY COMMENDED
Nick Owen · Clare Hawkins · Beverley Stark · Nathalie Chong

Short Story Category :
FIRST PRIZE - Michele Evenstar
SECOND PRIZE - Dennis Harkness
THIRD PRIZE - Christopher Holt

Poetry Category :
FIRST PRIZE - Laurence O’Dwyer
SECOND PRIZE - Glen Wilson
THIRD PRIZE - Christopher M. James

Writing Without Restrictions :
FIRST PRIZE - Bob Shepherd
SECOND PRIZE - Jilly O’Brien
THIRD PRIZE - Valerie French
VERY HIGHLY COMMENDED
Linda Burnett

welcome to the

Competition Introduction

From small beginnings the Yeovil Literary Prize has nurtured many hundreds of aspiring writers. 2019 heralds the 17th competition, and we have a reputation to maintain now as writers worldwide share their work with us.


You can feel confident in entering this prestigious competition, knowing your work will be respected and judged purely on merit, as judging is done anonymously. This is an opportunity to impress our judges with original writing, as you can submit work in one or more of the four categories. We are thrilled when, at the end of the competition, we see writers have succeeded in more than one style of writing.


We know we attract interest from agents and publishers, and who knows where success lies? See our SUCCESSES tab to read about what happened to some of you after entering the Yeovil Literary Prize. We have met several of you at the Past Winners’ event at the Yeovil Literary Festival, and that gives us infinite pleasure. Friendships have been forged, and several past winners held their published books in their hands; some read extracts. I am sure we will see more books and winners in the future.


Our four categories give opportunity to writers of all types. Storytelling or a poem starts with a notion, a spark of an idea. A happening, an overheard conversation maybe gives that spark life, shifting and forming it until it interrupts your thoughts, necessitating research until it develops into that first draft. As an author you are hooked and your story starts to unfold.


We acknowledge how writing flourishes; there is now a vibrant literary world in India, as well as in many other countries. Our judge for the Novel category is Vaseem Khan, who is the British born best-selling author of the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series; a crime series of five books (so far) based in Mumbai, India, featuring a baby elephant. None of us know when inspiration will hit us, but for Vaseem it was seeing a baby elephant cross the road and that spark successfully grew. He works at UCL Department of Security and Crime Science, so knowing facts makes fiction more interesting and believable.


Those of us who master writing a Short Story give infinite pleasure. We may read novels by renowned authors and then find they have a short story collection or anthology sitting on bookshelves as well. There is a definite craft to the short story; it needs believable characters, a succinct plot, a theme; all set in a recognisable time and place. All that in 2000 words is a really good read. Our link with the publishing world this year is through our short story category judge. Laura Williams is an agent with Greene and Heaton, and as an incentive to all our writers Laura will be looking for new talent in all our categories once judging is finalised.


Our Poetry category has the distinguished poet Phillip Gross, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Wales as our judge. His collections of poems have won a number of prestigious awards including the T.S. Eliot Prize, a Gregory Award and the National Poetry Competition. He has judged many competitions so your words are in safe hands.


Our Writing Without Restrictions category can be for fun, informative or funky writing. Long poems, Haiku, essays, quirky letters or short stories that don’t fit into a low word count, then this is designed to accommodate your creativity, to unleash your imaginations. Writing that does not fit into the usual competition categories can be entered. Make the judge think, laugh, cry. We hope to read something distinctive, unusual or positively inspiring. You write it and immeasurable pleasure will be heading towards our WWR judge, Chris Redmond. Chris is a writer, musician, performer and artistic director of Tongu Fu, a group of spoken word performance poets.


Last year some excellent work was eliminated from the short list judging as it exceeded the word count, so please check the Rules for each category. Even if you end your novel entry mid-sentence, that will be better than not being judged properly.


There are two ways to enter, by using the postal system, or online using PayPal. We look forward to your entries when our writing contest opens on 1st January 2019. The last date for entries is 31st May, so enter as soon as you are ready without waiting until the final week.

Entry Fees

Novel: £12
Short Story: £7
Poetry: £7 one poem; £10 for two poems; £12 for three poems.
Writing Without Restrictions: £5

Enjoy your writing!

the Judging Team