txtlit.co.uk - The UK's Easiest to Enter Writing Competitions

Example Story
She denied stealing the shoes, though witnesses had seen her attempt to secrete the red, shiny stilettos. A victim of fashion, the evidence was patent.
October 2014 Competition

October's competition theme is "The Letter". You decide postal or alphabetical. Just write a relevant story in 154 characters or less, precede it with the word STORY and a space and text it to 82085

November 2014 Competition

November's competition theme will be released at the end of October. Come back to find out what it will be and to see the results for September.


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Competition Results

Results are published Below. Make sure you check back regularly to get the latest competiton news and themes.

If you run your own website or blog, a link to the website will help our search engine ranking too. Links from websites such as the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/newtalent/opportunities/) are helping our rankings. We're currently on page 2 of Google for the search phrase "UK writing competitions" but more links to us from other sites will help us to rank higher, which will mean more visits to the website and so more competition entries, and therefor greater prize money.

Remember, whilst the act of entring the competitions is easy, writing a compelling story in just 154 characters takes some doing, but it's excellent writing practice and makes for good disciplined writing.

All competitions cost £1 per entry plus the cost of a standard text message from your mobile phone service provider.

December 10 Competition: Theme - Money Print E-mail

Winning Entry:


The ransom was in a bag - her stepfather's  money. I kissed her, gave her the bag and let her go. It was going to be OK - he loves my daughter like I do. 


Brian James from Staffordshire wins December's Txtlit competition, the theme for which was 'Money'. Brian James Brian, who works full-time in local-government outsourcing hadn't really taken much notice of writing competitions before, let alone entered one. But, he came across Txtlit.co.uk and decided it looked like fun and so entered a story. We bet he's glad he made the effort as he'll soon be £50 better off. We're just happy to have introduced someone new to the genre.

This is a very clever story by Brian James which expertly tells us so much by reading between the lines. Clearly a ransom has been paid but it's not until we read the whole story that we understand the motivation behind it. The fact that the apparent kidnap victim is let go with the bag containing the ransom causes some confusion, but it all becomes clear when we understand the lengths that a father has gone to for the sake of his daughter's happiness and wellbeing. An interetsing interpretation of the Money theme too. Brian has clearly thought outside the box with this one. 

Other Shortlisted Entries:

As the cash-filled envelope dropped to the mat so did her hope. She had been praying he would want them both. 'Sorry' she wept, gently touching her belly.

By Karen Francis  


My stupid, rich parents! I told them I wanted money for my 18th. They got me a crappy picture of water lilies by someone called Claude. I torched it!

By Delphine Richards of Dryslwyn, Carmarthen 


Mother regarded our gift a curse. But as we watched the sixth and final ball roll down, she agreed some premonitions could be advantageous.

By Andrea Hayward of Bury St Edmunds 


November 2010 Competition: Theme - Continue 'It was a pleasure to burn' Print E-mail

Winning Entry:


It was a pleasure to burn. Inhalation was heavenly, exhalation a sin. I grieved every time the fire died. It felt like hell when the packet was empty.  


Congratulations to Martin Parsons of Weybridge in Surrey for winning the November competition Martin Parsonsfor which we had some excellent entries. Martin has been writing for over a decade, but up until recently, only for his own pleasure. This year he's begun to write short stories for publication and entering as many writing competitions as he could. Yet to be published Txtlit is the first competition in which Martin has seen any success and it has given him great encouragement to continue writing. He's been practicing his flash fiction by regularly entering a 75 word story competition at another website which has allowed him to hone his skills when it comes to writing very short ficiton ss his win this month clearly demonstrates.


With your opening line given to you for the November competition it was interesting to see the number of different ways it was interpreted. We were blown away though by the quality of the entries, hence a couple extra making the shortlist. But we love a good twist or a reveal at the end of a story that makes us say "Ah, yes!"; and this narrative from Martin Parsons doesn't dissapoint. We are given a little clue at the outset with how the inhalation and exhalation make our protaganist feel. And there is something sinister about grieving each time the fire dies. Are we dealing with a pyromaniac perhaps? The closing line is a real gem but it's a simple phrase like "when the packet was empty" that gives the game away. Any smokers planning to quit this January?

Other Shortlisted Entries:

It was a pleasure to burn in the crackling, blazing depths of hell. My deliciously sinful memories transcended me above the pain and sustained me through the isolation.

By Karen Francis  


It was a pleasure to burn. The sharp rays of the sun soaked her pale skin for the first time in her life. Finally free of the cellar, she turned her back as her father was led away.

By Chloe Banks from Bristol

It was a pleasure to burn. He had done it dozens of times before and he never lost his taste for it; a phoenix, he would rise a new. Glancing at his engulfed documents, he vacated.

By Richard Turner from Abram, Wigan


It was a pleasure to burn. I rocketed up and adorned the night sky with fire. Such a short life. I faded, whispering as the sky darkened. Remember, remember the fifth of November.

By Jo Thompson

It was a pleasure to burn. To burn them all. To smell their melting flesh, to see their beautiful scars. I smiled as they screamed. But we all knew I was the best tattooist in town.

By Lizzie Morrison

October Competition: Theme - Surprise Print E-mail

Winning Entry:


His wife arranged a surprise for his birthday. He found lacy panties where the ripcord belonged. It took the rest of his life to remember whose they were.  


A second win for Dan Purdue from Worcester with this outstanding entry. Since his last win in July 2009, Dan PurdueDan has been working on a novel, which, having almost finished, went back to the beginning to change the point of view and re-jig the structure. He has also been writing a lot of short stories, trying to develop his range and generally improve as a writer; with some successes. Dan won the Chapter One Short Story Competition, got a story into Writers' Forum magazine, and picked up a few placings and shortlistings in other competitions. Dan has also set up a blog so if anyone's interested in learning more, they can catch up at http://lies-ink.blogspot.com/

Dan says, "I hadn't visited the Txtlit site for a while, but I'm glad I came back as I'd forgotten what good exercise it is to try to tell a story in such a compressed word count. It really brings it home to you how powerful a single word can be, and how what you leave out can be as important as what you put in." Well put Dan.


This is a real cracker from Dan and a deserved second win. He has managed to tell so much of the story between the lines but we are still able to grasp the plot within a single reading. This story could easily have finished after the second line but Dan has shown real professionalism here by adding the third sentence which gives the story closure in an amusing way whilst leaving us a little working out to do. With 'Surprise' as the theme, this story nails it. Dan has clearly worked hard at his entry too to get it to fit to the competition parameters at exactly 154 characters.

Other Shortlisted Entries:

Surprise! 'Very funny', I admitted, taking in his costume, 'but my birthday is next week'. 'I know', he replied, and the scythe came down.

By Shona Short  


The pink tassels, handcuffs and whipped cream were inevitable, it was my stag night, but my mother-in- law as the stripogram was rather unexpected.

By Tracy Fells

'Nice cosy place to kip', chuckled Mr Hedgehog, burrowing into a pile of wood with a funny man on top. Soon to be cosier, MUCH cosier than he ever dreamt!

By Liz Evans 



September 2010 Competition: Theme - Lost Print E-mail

Winning Entry:


I tried airports, train stations, hospitals and police stations. When I thought you had gone forever, you came back. Now I have to try to lose you again.


Well done to Alice Gregg form London for winning the September competition which had "Lost" as alice greggthe theme. 27 year old Alice has recently decided to concentrate on writing full-time, and says that this win has been a brilliant, encouraging start. She tells us that the prize money will go towards her rent.

We had a surprisingly low turnout for the September competition. We thought the theme would have inspired a few more of you to enter. Notwithstanding, Alice is a deserving winner with this classically formatted entry. The scene is set as we are led to believe that the story's protagonist has been searching in vain for a lost entity, looking in all the usual places you might expect. We are treated to a twist in the last sentence as we discover that our character was trying to lose something or someone rather than find it. What it is that comes back doesn't really matter but Alice has managed to weave in a sinster air about whatever or whoever it is.

Other Shortlisted Entries:

It started well but how would it end? Suspended in nothingness they waited. No one knew what, if anything would happen next. The author had lost the plot.

By Lorna D'Alton  


She wandered from rail to rail, lost in pretty dresses and skirts, until fear gripped her as she realised her desperate situation. Mummy, where are you?

By Samantha Priestley

Hansel decided not to  take the Satnav, relying on Gretel's recent orienteering qualification to get them out of any potentially sticky situation.

By Audrey Elliot 


And a real cringer...   

Perfectly aged venison graced the menu. From the dusk beyond the soft lights, drifted the haunting lament of a hind who had lost her hart to the chef.

By Aileen Shirra


August 2010 Competition: Theme - Crime Print E-mail

Winning Entry:


I knew it was the wrong decision, but money's tight in my game. Sweat dripped off my anxious brow. With a heavy heart, but a full account... 'PENALTY!'


It's a second competition win for Richard Turner from Abram, Wigan with this entry for ourRichard Turner August competition which had Crime as the theme. Apart from being one year older much has remained the same for Richard who is an English Lecturer. Since winning the competition last August, Richard has eagerly recommended the competition to his students - particularly in their college 'Competition Writing Club'. Richard says Txtlit is a great way to get people from all walks of life involved with literature in a quick and simple way. We agree!

Crime has been a competition theme on several occasions now, and because of its popularity, story originality has become a key component when judging the entries. Many of you answered the call and selecting a winner took a lot of deliberation but Richard won us over with this entry which combined originality with the contemporary issue of 'match-fixing' in sport. But it was more than just the idea that won Richard his second Txtlit competition. The story is very well constructed as we are thrown immediately into a dilemma that we understand to be driven by financial desperation, or perhaps greed. The tension mounts and although the character is sad, he justifies his decision by thinking of the money. The final word reveals all.

Other Shortlisted Entries:

'Tuck in,' she said. I deserved to; I'd given her years of hell. But having found her secret ingredient, I thought it only fair that Ann should join me...

By Tessa Eydmann  


He watched her aging face turn purple; turned up the TV and hurried to his attic retreat. Who could blame him for not hearing his wife choke on a peanut?

By Lorna D'Alton

Trapped by green slippery walls, there was no way out. Would the camera work? Would Miss Brutal Hands get her comeuppance? Would this kitty have her day?

By Liz Cleere 


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