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Competitions Policy & Rules


Read our competition rules before submitting; and if you require more information on eligibilty, guidelines, how to submit and more, visit our Entry Instructions page.

Fiction Competition 2024 Rules & Prize Terms

Competition categories 

Children’s & YA Novel Competition: for novels of at least 20,000 words, for children or young adult readers.

Short Story Competition: for complete fiction texts of up to 3,000 words. 

Flash Fiction Competition: for complete fiction texts of up to 300 words.  


All entries

  • Please submit your work typed, double-spaced, on A4 pages, single sided, with pages numbered.
  • Your entry will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name on the text pages of your entry.
  • If entering by post, please print out and complete the submission form
  • No alterations may be made to your entry once it has been submitted.
  • Your entry will not be returned, so do keep a copy. If you require confirmation of receipt of a postal entry, enclose an SAE labelled ‘Acknowledgement’. 
  • No entrant will win more than one prize in any one competition.
  • All entrants will be notified of the outcome of their entry via email. Notifications will be sent to Short Story and Flash Fiction entrants in November 2024; to Novel entrants in February 2025.
  • The winners and finalists of the Children’s & YA Novel Competition will be announced in the June 2025 edition of Mslexia.
  • The winner and three finalists of the Short Story and Flash Fiction competitions will be published in the December 2024 edition of Mslexia.
  • The full shortlist of 12 entrants for each of the Short Story and Flash Fiction competitions will be announced in Mslexia magazine and on the website, and published in the ebook anthology Best Women’s Short Fiction 2024 on 1 December 2024.
  • Copyright of any entry remains with the author, but Mslexia has the unrestricted right to publish the winning entries or extracts in its magazine and on its website, plus unrestricted rights to use the winning entries and any related material for PR purposes.


  • Entries should be in English (or English dialect) and should not have been published or accepted for publication in print or online by a third party.  
  • Entries that have won other competitions are not eligible.
  • The Children’s & YA Novel Competition is for unpublished novelist only. Women who have had a text novel published by a mainstream or independent publisher, for any age group, in any country, are not eligible. 
  • All of part of self-published manuscripts with sales of fewer than 500 copies are eligible.
  • Entries should not be a translation of another author’s work.
  • We will accept entries from women of any nationality from any country.
  • You do not have to subscribe to Mslexia to be eligible, but you do have to self-identify as a woman. 
  • Employees of Mslexia are not eligible. 

For a more detailed explination of 'published' visit our Entry Instructions page.

How to enter

  • All competition categories open for entries on 1 June 2024 and close at 23.59 GMT on 23 September 2024.
  • You may enter online at, or send your entry by post. If entering online, there are full instructions on the website.  
  • If entering by post, please print out and complete the submission form on our website (, mark your envelope ‘Mslexia Fiction Competition’ and send it to: Mslexia Publications Ltd, PO Box 656, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 1PZ.
  • If entering by post, please pay by cheque (payable to Mslexia Publications Ltd.) or by debit/credit card (phone +44 (0)191 204 8860 with your details). 
  • You may enter as many competition categories as you like, with as many submissions as you like, but you must enter each submission separately, accompanied by a separate fee.
  • Entry fees must be in pounds sterling. For overseas entries, international online card payments are accepted. 

Prize Terms

Novel Comeptition
  • Manuscript feedback from The Literary Consultancy is optional. Practical arrangements should be agreed between the finalists and TLC. 
  • The pitch training is a day-long professional workshop in Newcastle upon Tyne. The personal introduction to agents and editors will take place at a Talent Party in central London. Both events are arranged in partnership with New Writing North. These parts of the prize are also optional. Mslexia will contribute a total of £100 towards each finalists’ travel expenses. 
  • These additional prizes must be taken before 30 September 2024. 
Short Story Competition
  • Payment for each of the eight additional shortlisted stories, that will be published along with the four winners in the ebook anthology Best Women’s Short Fiction 2024, is £25. 
Flash Fiction Competition
  • Payment for each of the eight additional shortlisted flash fictions that will be published along with the four winners in the ebook anthology Best Women’s Short Fiction 2024, is £25.   

The closing date for all three fiction competition categories is 23 September 2024

Our Policy

Mslexia is staffed mainly by writers and we treat your work with the same respect we would wish for our own writing. Submissions are assessed by authors, agents and tutors at the top of their professions.

Monitoring diversity

Everyone published in Mslexia is sent a diversity monitoring form to help us assess whether we are reaching the broadest possible population of women writers, and responding appropriately to your interests and challenges. When considering those interests and challenges, we include issues of income, class, race, age, gender identification, sexuality, caring responsibilities, location, disability, mental and physical health and any other issue that that affects your skill, time and confidence to write and submit your work, and your reception when you do so.

Republishing work after it appears in Mslexia 

If your work wins or is a finalist in a Mslexia competition, we are happy for you to reprint it on your own website or social media, or submit it for possible publication elsewhere, provided this occurs after the original date of its publication in Mslexia and provided Mslexia is credited as follows: ‘This piece was originally published in Mslexia, the magazine for women who write,’. 

Donated Competition Entries

We operate a ‘Donate an entry’ scheme for all of our competitions. This allows us to offer sponsored entries to low-income writers. Click for here for eligibility criteria if you'd like to apply for a sponsored entry and details of how to donate can be found below.

Donate an Entry 

Please visit our Entry Instructions page for a detailed look at eligibility criteria, information on what happens after you've submitted, and instructions on how to enter.

And our full Terms & Conditions can be found here.