The Yeovil Literary Prize

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Recent Successes

Read about our most recent successes.

2019 Results

Novel Category :
FIRST PRIZE - David Laws
SECOND PRIZE - Rue Baldry
THIRD PRIZE - Chloe Turner
HIGHLY COMMENDED
Monica Balt · David Hough

Short Story Category :
FIRST PRIZE - Christine Goodwin
SECOND PRIZE - Mildred Davidson
THIRD PRIZE - Clare Reddaway
HIGHLY COMMENDED
Valerie Hoare · Joan Wilson

Poetry Category :
FIRST PRIZE - Caroline Gilfillan
SECOND PRIZE - Ann Leahy
THIRD PRIZE - Aripi Menken
HIGHLY COMMENDED
Caroline Gilfillan · Stephen Boyce · Bob Newman · Susan Spiers

Writing Without Restrictions :
FIRST PRIZE - Lucy Bignall
SECOND PRIZE - Vanessa Lampert
THIRD PRIZE - Wendy Breckon
HIGHLY COMMENDED
David McVey · Maureen Osborne · Barbara Hawkins · Felicity Tessaro

welcome to the

Competition Introduction

Competition Opens 1st January 2020

Imagine! Literary Agents seeing your work…


On the front of a notebook were the words If you can dream it you can do it. That is so true, as our competition is the place for wordsmiths everywhere to enter and be judged by people who love the written word. Buying a notebook may be the beginning of making that dream come true.


The 2020 Yeovil Literary Prize is a triumph as our judges are highly respected in the writing and publishing world. With four categories the Yeovil Literary Prize aims to offer you every reason to write. Last year we mentioned how from small beginnings the Yeovil Literary Prize has grown into this internationally recognised, well established writing competition. When something gains a reputation, then it must always look to achieve even more by improvement and development. This year we have a plethora of literary agents waiting to read your work.


Writers everywhere know that editing can sometimes feel brutal; killing off a character or deleting that sentence you had thought perfect in the first draft is difficult. Writing competitions need a ruthless pen sometimes, and advice is invaluable. Seek friendship in a writing group for constructive criticism, and encouragement.


Our Novel category is exceptional, something special for all aspiring novelists spurring them on to put ideas to paper or printer, and then commit their words to our judge Paul Blezard. Paul, who is regarded as one of the most influential people in the world of literature and broadcasting, has arranged as part of the prize, that our winner will have three opportunities to pitch their novel to literary agents. Cathryn Summerhayes of Curtis Brown; Luigi Bonomi, literary agent at LBA; and Clare Conville of Conville & Walsh. This is an exciting opportunity for our winner of this category. If you needed an incentive to enter, then surely this will help.


The Short Story may sound an easy option to a new writer, but the storytelling skills needed to spin characters, a plot, time and place, in a mere 2000 words into a satisfying read is a demanding craft to be learned. Many writers hone their writing skills with a short story. Never feel ‘put off’, as your ideas are unique and valued. As our judge we welcome Susan Sandon for the short story category. Susan is a publisher of great esteem, experienced in all writing, and a supporter of writers and book festivals.


Our Poetry judge is Caroline Gilfillan, a poet who not only won this category last year but is a highly respected judge for all creative writing. It is a pleasure to find such a writer among our winners, as our judging is done anonymously. When the winners are determined by reference number only, we search our database and that is when the number becomes a person. Welcome Caroline as you are a worthy poet and judge.


Our Writing Without Restriction category needs someone extraordinary as judge as it attracts such a wide range of writing. We always say that if you have written it and are proud of your words, then it is our pleasure to read it. Show off and dream big! Our judge is special as she grew up and was educated in Yeovil, and then became successful in the publishing world. We are delighted to have Jessica Axe join us for judging this wide-open category. 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. See the Rules and you will see apart from completing an entry, then all writing is welcomed.


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, BACS or IBAN. We look forward to your entries when our writing contest opens on 1st January 2020. The last date for entries is 31st May 2020, 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