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.
April 2014 Competition

Your competition theme for April is 'America'. Whatever that inspires in you, write a story about it in 154 characters or less, precede it with the word STORY and a space and text it to 82085

May 2014 Competition

May's competition theme will be announced at the end of the April, so come back to find out what it will be and to see the results for March.  



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Competition Results

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

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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.

May 2010 Competition: Theme - Forgotten Print E-mail

Winning Entry:


'Whatever you do, don't forget to lock the cage.' The words boiled inside Eric's head as the beast rose above him, baring bloodstained fangs.


Well done to James Emberson for winning the May Txtlit competition, the theme James Embersonfor which was forgotten. James, 23, is currently studying towards a Masters in Creative Writing at Brunel University and found Txtlit through the short story website www.theshortstory.org.uk (Thanks for the link). He has entered various other short story and flash fiction competitions but enjoyed the challenge of getting his idea into 154 characters and found Txtlit by far the most accessible. James is currently working on his first novel (which falls under the banner of 'psychological horror') as part of his Masters studies.
We like this story because it has an uncomplicated construction but still manages to deliver an unexpected ending. The scene is set with a single line of dialogue and we deduce that there may be consequences for forgetting to lock the cage. We are also allowed to assume that it will be forgotten. How Eric is feeling is made clear with the description of the words 'boiling' in his head as he faces certain doom. The finer details of Eric's demise is left to our own imagination though we are given enough of a description of the beast to draw our conclusions. A neat story that doesn't try to be too clever.

Other Shortlisted Entries:

Did I? Did I? Yes of course I did. Last month or last week. DEFINITELY paid - I think. 10 yards and closing. Keep calm. 'Your driving documents please?'

By Ed Kirkham 


I just want a cuddle, for him to want me like he used to. He never even looks at me anymore. I guess he's just got too grown up for his old teddy bear.

By Jill Hughes

He searched frantically in the desk drawers for his World Cup ticket. 'Have you forgotten where you put it?' his wife asked, idly stroking the shredder.

By Catriona Gordon McMillan 

April 2010 Competition: Theme - The Vote Print E-mail

Winning Entry:


The phone lines were closed and the votes had been counted. The judges gazed at the girl trembling in the centre of the stage. 'Guilty' they pronounced.


Congratulations for the second time go to Priya Venkatesan. April's winner Priya also won Txtlit Priya Venkatesanback in December 2008. A keen sampler of London's nightlife, Txtlit remains the only competitions that Priya has entered, though she says that winning gives her confidence to enter others. We recommend that she does as there is clearly some talent lurking in there somewhere.
Priya's entry was a worthy winner because it ticked all of the boxes for what a Txtlit micro story should be. An introductory sentence that sets the scene by cleverly leading us to call on our own experiences and knowledge to create the situation. Then the story continues to what appears to be a natural development as we, and who we think is a contestant of a talent competition, await the outcome of the votes. And finally POW! We are hit with an unexpected concluding line that delivers a twist that totally shakes up our pre-conceptions and re-configures the entire story with a single word. A great story that mixes modern culture with a hint of science fiction; though how many of you found yourself visualising Simon Cowell reading out the verdict?

Other Shortlisted Entries:

I knew it was wrong. I just couldn't go against the crowd. I gave THEM the choice. So, once the jeering had died down, it was done - Barrabus was free. 

By Richard Turner, Wigan


Ready to give her acceptance speech. The masses daring to hope for the changes promised. Lunchtime lemonade for all. Class 5 would never look back again.

By Lisa Vercelli, Wakefield

The hot air balloon plummeted to the ground and the three men argued frantically. The vote was cast, tearful goodbyes followed and the unlucky man jumped.

By Paul Ramplin 

And a cheeky one from Paul...

'I like that one.' The other voters were inclined to agree and it was unanimously decided that the winner of April's competition should be Paul Ramplin.


March 2010 Competition - Theme: Love Print E-mail

Winning Entry:


Holding the photo of my 6 year old son I weep as the man he has become is bundled into the police car. Love did the right thing but still my heart breaks.


Well done Lynda Earl for this winning entry to our March competition which had the theme of 'love'. Lynda lives in Lynda EarlKent with her three teenage boys and works as a secretary for the NHS.  Having always enjoyed writing short stories and poems mainly for her own pleasure, this is the first competition she has won. It's also the first time she hasI entered a txtlit competition, and admits to being amazed and delighted.
March wasn't the first time that we have run a love themed competition and we were thrilled by the diversity of plots and scenarios of the competittion entries. Lynda Earl's entry gave us the agonising choices that love sometimes leads us to. Her story sets out a very clear image and tells us just enough for us to broadly understand the current situation, keaving us to surmise the finer details of how we have arrived here. For any mother, seeing her son being taken away by the police must be heart-wrenching, but we then discover that it was the mother's own actions, motivated by her love for her son, that has brought about his arrest. A neat, uncomplicated story that still manages a sligh twist.

Other Shortlisted Entries:

'But I love you' I wept, staring after him as he backed away hopelessly, unhearing. As he screeched away I prayed the box could keep my fur from the rain.

By Georgia Munns, Buckinghamshire


 'I said I'd love you 'til death,' he crooned, stroking her neck. 'But see, I don't love you anymore.' His grip tightened. 'And I always keep my promises.'

By Chloe Banks, Bristol

She cooed at her perfect new baby with his toothless grin and she knew. She would love him far more than the woman she'd just stolen him from ever could.

By Sian Altman 

And one that tickled us

Bob and Sue made LOVE on the table then collapsed on the sofa. The day had been long and hot and the four stone letters had not been easy to carve.

By Tim Ellis from Haslemere


February 2010 Competition: Theme - Anger Print E-mail

Winning Entry:


All day he railed against the forces that had conspired to make him miss his flight. When the news came, his anger plummeted like wreckage from the plane.


Congratulations to former modern languages teacher, Joan FlemingJoanFlemming from Glasgow, who wins our February competition. Joan has had several articles, short stories and a children’s story published, and is currently on the lookout for a publisher for her novel which she is in the process of editing. Joan enjoys the challenge of writing in different genres, and is delighted to be a competition winner for the first time with her Txtlit story. Well, who wouldn't be?
February's theme of 'Anger' inspired a range of differing ideas from you all, however we found that many of the entries dealt more with revenge than with the emotion of Anger. We chose Joan Fleming's entry because we liked the way that anger was placed within the story. Most of us can probably relate to feelings of anger as events cause us to be late for meetings or deadlines. Even something like a bad run of traffic lights can set teeth grinding. In Joan's story we can feel for our character who has missed his flight, but can only imagine the emotional change when he discovers that actually, what made him miss his plane also saved his life. A very cleverly constructed sentence uses the plummeting plane wreckage to describe how the anger subsides whilst giving the story its twist. An excellent space saving technique for the confines of a Txtlit story.

Other Shortlisted Entries:

Rage burning for a cheating liar. Flailing wildly I plunge the knife through a frozen heart. The anger subsides, I fall to the floor. The heart was mine.

By Steph Double 


'What have you done to my daughter? You've mutilated her.' I cry. 'How could you?' But he just smirks. I want to kill him. 'It's only a tattoo.' He says.

By Mrs Jay Nair (?)

The anger encompassed her like a mist so she acted impulsively. She saw red - and  so would he when he looked at the previously white leather interior!

By Lynne Arnot from Edingburgh 

And one we simply couldn't resist

Dr Bruce Banner sighed wearily and rearranged his shredded underwear, resolving to buy some large elasticated pants for those 'irritable' days...

By Priya Venkatesan of Tooting, London


January 2010 Competition: Theme - The Memory Print E-mail

Winning Entry:


Amnesia, the doctors called it and said I could regain my memory at any moment, but I wish it had not occurred just as I was about to say 'I do'. Again.


Congratulations for the second time to Uta Coutts of Hitchin in Hertfordshire who becomes the first writer toUta Coutts win a second Txtlit competition. We're still waiting to hear from Uta about what's new since last time she won so in the meantime we've gone ahead and published her story.
January's competition theme of 'The Memory' produced some interesting entries. We had lots of descriptions of memories, and, fact or fiction, there were some wonderfully depicted scenes. However, story structure was lacking from many of them, and whilst we enjoyed reading them all, as we always do, this was the main reason entries didn't make the short-list. We liked Uta's story because she has managed to relay so much information in just one sentence at the same time as building towards a climax. She has thought about the words she has used which give us clues that something has happened in the passed, though the result of this is more important than the detail. Writing in the first person makes it much more efficient to relay the information and the phrase 'I do' says so much in so few characters. Finally, the word 'again', in a sentence all of its own for added impact, adds a whole new dimension to the story, and leaves the reader thoroughly intrigued. A very worthy winner.

Other Shortlisted Entries:

Tony paused. One press and all memories of her would be erased. No more suzanne. He pressed the button. A blonde woman ran up to him.

By Victoria Biram 


My memory of that night is hazy at best. I remember Anna's name but little else. And anything more I need to know I can find out from my wife's solicitor.

By Paul Ramplin

DELETE? CLICK. Mac yanked the cable from his head and closed his laptop. Tears dried on his face, but he couldn't remember whom they were for. He smiled.

By Kevin Mannion 


She packed her trunk full of water and waited for the Keeper to approach. Nelly never forgot.

By Lynne Thomas 


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