Formatting and style
Entries should be in English or English dialect. Strong language is permitted; there is no need to censor your writing for Mslexia!
Your entry should be typed, double-spaced, on A4 pages. For legibility’s sake, please use a 12-point-size font.
If you are entering online there is no need to number the pages, but it is helpful to number the pages of postal entries.
Please include the title of the work on your entry, but NOT your name. If entering online, please use the title of the work for the file you are uploading, but NOT your name.
Your entry will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name or contact details anywhere on the text pages of your entry. (This information should be restricted to your online Entry Form or to a cover sheet for postal entries.)
If you are entering by post, add a separate cover sheet with your contact details, plus the title/s of the work you are submitting. There is more about cover sheets below. (If you are submitting online, there is no need for a separate cover sheet. The information will be requested on your online Entry Form.)
Your entry will not be returned, so please keep a copy.
Once submitted, no alterations may be made to your entry. If you want to make changes, we regret you will need to submit a new entry with an additional entry fee. Both entries will then be considered separately.
If you have accidentally uploaded the wrong file, included your name on the submission text, or noticed some other issue with your entry – please (please) don’t worry! Just email email@example.com explaining your concern and we will get in touch and sort it out for you.
What happens next?
If you require confirmation of receipt of a postal entry, enclose an SAE labelled ‘Acknowledgement’.
Winners and finalists are announced and/or published in Mslexia magazine and listed on the Mslexia website in our Meet the Winners section. An interview with the winner of each competition is published in the magazine.
You will be informed by email of the outcome of your entry around three weeks prior to publication of the edition of the magazine in which the winners and finalists are announced. If your entry has not been placed, this email will contain an account of the range of work received along with general feedback on the entries and judging process by the judge/s in question.
Copyright of any entry remains with the author, but Mslexia has the right to publish the winning entries in its magazine, on its website, and in any related material for PR purposes.
How to enter
You may enter online or send your entry by post. If you are entering online or by post, there are full instructions below.
Where do I start?
Check you have followed the instructions for formatting, then select the number of entries you are submitting and proceed through to the checkout to pay your entry fee/s. You can start the online entry process here.
Upon completing your payment, you will be immediately redirected to an order confirmation page. Once there, click on the button ‘Enter Now’ (you may need to scroll down on the page to see this), which will take you to an online Entry Form, where you can input your contact details and upload your text/s.
We will send you a payment confirmation email as soon as we receive your payment. (Check your Junk folder if you can’t see it in your in-box.)
Must I submit my entry as soon as I have paid?
Once you have paid you may submit your entry either immediately or later – at any time, right up until the competition deadline. To enter at a later date, however, you will need to create a Mslexia online account either before, or during the checkout process. Simply login to your account and locate the 'competitions' tab when you're ready to submit.
That didn’t seem to work – what should I do?
If the Entry Form doesn’t appear, or the upload doesn’t work, please email your entry text along with a cover sheet with your details (see Cover Sheets below), as separate attachments, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Explain in the email that you have paid online and we will process the entry for you. DO NOT pay again to restart the entry process. (We will refund you if you do, of course, but it is a bit of an admin headache!)
What kind of file format can I use for my entry text?
All the common formats are acceptable, including.doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf, .txt, .pages, .odt.
What if I've forgotten to included my word count on my entry text?
If this is the case, please don't worry! As long as your word count is under the maximum allowance, there's no need to get in touch to tell us.
Will you confirm that you have received my entry?
Yes. We will send an automatic confirmation email. (Check your Junk folder if you can’t see it in your in-box.) So you will receive one email confirming your payment, and a second one when we receive your actual entry.
What if I’m worried that my entry has not arrived?
Please don’t send us another identical entry ‘just in case’. If you think something might have gone wrong with the upload, or anything else, email us at email@example.com and we’ll check for you.
If we receive your payment but no entry, or vice versa, we will contact you. This might not be until after the deadline, when we process all the entries, but we promise we will be in touch if there is an issue, in order to make sure that your entry is entered into the competition.
Can I enter more than one Mslexia competition at a time?
Yes! You may enter as many of our competitions as you like, with as many entries as you like – on separate occasions or all at the same time.
Once you have paid for your entry and passed through the Checkout you will see your competition entries listed, and will be able to submit your work. If you decide to pay for more than one entry in the same transaction, you will see the equivalent number of links to the relevant Entry Forms when you have passed through checkout. (You will also receive an order confirmation email, with the equivalent number of competition entry links, for you to use if you decide to submit an entry at a later date – right up until the competition deadline.)
If you are entering several different competitions, please double-check that you have uploaded the correct entry to the correct competition! (But don’t panic if you’ve made a mistake – just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll sort it out for you.)
Entering by Post
If entering by post, mark your envelope ‘Mslexia + the title of the competition’ and send it to: Mslexia Publications Ltd, PO Box 656, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 1PZ.
If entering by post, you can pay by cheque (payable to Mslexia Publications Ltd.) or by debit/credit card (phone +44 (0)191 204 8860 with your details). We won’t process your entry until we have received your payment.
Can I enter more than one Mslexia competition at a time?
Yes! You may enter as many different competitions as you like, but please use a separate envelope, marked separately for each competition, and accompanied by separate entry fee/s.
You may send several entries for the same competition in the same envelope, but it is helpful if you enclose a separate cheque for each entry.
Can I send my entry by recorded delivery to your PO Box?
Yes. It will be accepted by the mail room in our building, then delivered and signed for by our admin team. The mail room in our building is open seven days a week.
What if my postal entry arrives after the deadline?
Don’t worry. We will check the postmark to ensure that any entry posted before the deadline is entered into the competition, even if it arrives a day or two later.
I enclosed an SAE for an acknowledgment but haven’t received it back yet.
Please be patient. We receive many entries towards the closing date so it takes time to open them all. But if you’re worried, email us at email@example.com and we will check for you.
I entered ages ago but my cheque hasn’t been cashed yet.
We process most entries around the time of the deadline and bank the cheques at that time. But if you’re worried, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will check for you.
Cover Sheets for Postal Entries
Do I need a cover sheet?
If you are submitting online there is no need for a cover sheet. Simply fill in the Entry Form with the details requested.
If you are submitting by post, please add a separate cover sheet for each entry, listing the following details: your name, address, email address, the title of your entry and (for fiction texts) the word count. We need this information to process your entry. You can create your own cover sheet, or download and print out one we have helpfully prepared below.
Flash Fiction Competition Cover Sheet for Postal Entry
Short Story Competition Cover Sheet for Postal Entry
Novel Competition Cover Sheet for Postal Entry
Poetry Competition Cover Sheet for Postal Entry
Pamphlet Competition Cover Sheet for Postal Entry
If you are entering more than one poem for a poetry competition entry (up to three poems per entry fee are allowed for the Poetry Competition, up to 20 poems for the Poetry Pamphlet Competition), list all of the titles on the cover sheet.
What if I’ve forgotten to include my cover sheet?
If you forget to include a cover sheet with your postal entry, please email us at email@example.com with the information listed above. We need this information to process your entry.
Mslexia provides a number of sponsored entries for low-income women writers.
Donate a Sponsored Entry
If you would like to donate an entry, you can do so online here, or over the phone by calling us on 0191 204 8860.
Apply for a Sponsored Entry
Sponsored entries are available to writers in receipt of the following benefits: Job Seeker’s Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Disability Living Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, etc. or writers living below the poverty line, which is currently defined as £195 a week for a lone parent with two children.
If you qualify for a sponsored entry and would like to apply, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If we receive more applications than sponsored fees, your name will be entered into a random draw shortly following the relevant Sponsored Entry application deadline, which are as follows:
Women’s Fiction Competition 2021: 23 August
Women’s Poetry Competition 2021: TBA