Looking for our Poetry and Poetry Pamphlet Competition 2020 rules? Head this way.


Online entry

How do I enter online?
On the competition page, select the number of entries you are submitting and proceed through to the checkout. Upon completing your payment, you will be immediately redirected to an order confirmation page; from there click on the button ‘Send us your entry’, which will take you to a form where you can submit your information and upload your text(s).

Can I pay now and submit my entry later?
Yes. Once your order is completed you will receive an order confirmation from us (please check your spam if it hasn’t arrived). On the order confirmation, there will be a ‘competition entry link’, which will take you to the upload page where you can submit your entry at a later date. But please note, you MUST submit before the deadline.

The upload isn’t working, what do I do?
If for some reason the entry form doesn’t appear, the email hasn’t reached you, or the upload isn’t working, please email your text along with a coversheet, as attachments to competitions@mslexia.co.uk ; please mention in the email that you have paid online. Please DO NOT pay to enter again in order to access the form.

What file format can I send?
Permitted file types are: .doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf, .txt, .pages, .odt.
Maximum allowed file size is 1Mb.
NOTE: Please DO NOT lock your file for editing. We need to be able to add your unique competition ID number to your entry. Locking the file for editing prevents this important anonymising process.

Do I have to upload my text(s) as single attachments?
You can either upload your texts as a single attachment, or multiple attachments.

Will I receive a confirmation email once I have uploaded my entry via the upload form?
Yes, you will be sent an automated confirmation email. If you haven’t received this email, please check your spam.

What do I do if I’m unsure my entry has arrived safely?
Please don’t send us another identical entry ‘just in case’. If you think something has gone wrong with the upload or your email hasn’t reached us, please just email us at competitions@mslexia.co.uk and we’ll check for you.

We do contact everybody for whom we have received payment but no submission, and vice versa, with enough time to ensure your entry will be entered into the competition. This may not be until after the deadline, but we will be in touch.

I want to enter more than one competition online, what do I do?
You can enter each competition separately. Or simply add the competition entry fees to your basket and proceed through the checkout. Once your order has completed, you should see multiple competition entry forms where you can send us your entries. Likewise, you will receive an order confirmation with multiple competition entry links if you’d like to submit your work at a later date.

PLEASE ensure you submit the correct entry to the correct competition.


Cover sheets

I’ve submitted online, do I need a cover sheet?
As long as you’ve filled out the information required in the upload form, you don’t need to also include a coversheet, but you can if you’d like to.

What do I include in my cover sheet?
Your name, address, email address, title of your entry and word count.

I’ve forgotten to include my cover sheet, what do I do?
As long as you’ve filled out the information required in the upload form, you don’t need to worry as we have everything we need. Therefore, please don’t resend your coversheet or email it as an attachment. We can trace all payments and uploads, so we will be in touch if we require any further information from you.

I’m submitting by post, do I need a cover sheet?
Yes. We’ll need your information to process your entry. If you’ve posted your entry and have forgotten to include your coversheet in the envelope, just email us at competitions@mslexia.co.uk


Postal entries

Can I enter by post?
Yes. If you’re entering our competition by post you can pay by cheque (made payable to Mslexia Publications Ltd.) or via credit/debit card (call our office on 0191 204 8860 to pay over the phone).

What address do I send my postal entry to?
Mslexia Fiction & Memoir Competition
Mslexia Publications Ltd.
PO Box 656
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 1PZ

Can I send my entry recorded delivery to your PO Box?
Yes, we can receive post sent by recorded delivery to our office. It will be accepted by our mail room, then delivered and signed for by our admin team.

Will someone be there to accept my postal entry at the weekend?
Although no one will be in the Mslexia office, our building’s mail room will be open and your package will be delivered.

I included an SAE but haven’t received it yet.
Please be patient. We receive a lot of entries so it can take us a little while to get around to opening them. However, if you’re concerned that your entry hasn’t arrived, email us at competitions@mslexia.co.uk and we can check for you.

I submitted long before the deadline but my cheque hasn’t been cashed yet.
We tend not to process the entries until nearer the deadline, which is why the funds won’t have been accessed. However, if you’re concerned that your entry hasn’t arrived, email us at competitions@mslexia.co.uk and we can check for you.

I am entering more than one competition by post, should I send separate cheques?
Yes, please! It makes our admin life a little easier.



I live outside the UK – can I enter?
Yes. We accept submissions from entrants anywhere in the world.

I’m under 18 – can I enter?
Yes. We have no age limit for our competitions. 

My flash fiction/short story/novel/memoir has been published, can I submit to the competition?
No. Our competitions are for unpublished work. Novels which have been self-published, however, are eligible to be entered.

How do you define ‘published’?
We define published as an editorial decision that someone else has made to include your work in a publication – i.e. it has been chosen from a selection to be published.

My entry has been published in another country, am I eligible to enter?
No, if your work has been published in another country, you’re not eligible to enter.

My entry has appeared on my personal blog/social media page, am I eligible to enter?
As long as you don’t have thousands of followers, it’s fine to send us your work.

My entry has received a prize/payment in another competition, can I enter?

I have self-published my novel, am I eligible to enter?
Yes. Self-published novels are eligible.

Do you accept simultaneous submissions?
Yes. But if your entry is accepted for publication and/or shortlisted in another competition where the prize includes publication, you must withdraw your entry.

What do you consider memoir?
We consider a memoir to be a record of events based on personal observation. For the purposes of the competition the memoir should reflect your own personal experience, and should not be a work of fiction.

Can my memoir be about someone else?
If your memoir weaves your own experience in with wider themes, it is eligible.

Do I have to subscribe to Mslexia to enter?
No, you don’t have to subscribe to Mslexia.

I’m a man, can I submit?
Unfortunately we do not accept submissions from men. Mslexia was founded to provide a platform for women writers. If you’d like to read more about our reasoning, please read the two articles here.

My story/novel contains strong language – is this okay?
Swearing is permitted!



How should I format my entry?
Double-spaced, single-sided, font size 12 in a commonly used font, such as Cambria, Calibri, Times New Roman or Arial. Legibility is the important thing.

Should my pages be numbered?
It is helpful to add page numbers if you are submitting a paper entry by post. For online entries, it is not necessary.

Should my title appear on my work?
Yes, please.

What should my upload file be titled?
Anything you’d like, but most people use the title of the creative work being entered.

Can I put my name on my entry?
Absolutely not. Entries are judged anonymously, so please make sure your name does NOT appear on any entry.

I’ve accidentally left my name on my entry, what do I do?
Don’t panic! Our competitions manager will remove your name and ensure your entry is anonymised for the judges. Please DON’T send us an amended entry. But if you are concerned, just email us at competitions@mslexia.co.uk to let us know.

I’ve made changes to my story since submitting my entry to the competition. Can I send a replacement story?
No, we cannot make any changes to stories once they have been submitted. However, if you would like your revised story to be considered, you can enter it again with an additional entry fee. Both stories will then be considered.

I’ve noticed a glaring error in my entry after I’ve uploaded it, what do I do?
Please contact competitions@mslexia.co.uk

I’ve uploaded the wrong file, what do I do?
Please contact competitions@mslexia.co.uk

I haven’t included my word count on my entry, what do I do?
Please don’t worry! Our competition manager checks the length of entries, so if you have forgotten to include a word count please DON’T send us a new version which includes it, and please DON’T email us with your word count. If your work is over the word limit, we will be in touch.

I’m entering the Children’s & YA and/or Memoir & Life-Writing competition, do I need to send a synopsis with my extract?
You can send less than 5,000 words, but you cannot send more.

The extract I’m submitting to the Children’s & YA and/or Memoir & Life-Writing competition cuts my story off mid-chapter, is this okay?
Yes. Please don’t worry if the extract cuts off mid-chapter, if you are long-listed we will be requesting your full manuscript anyway.

I’m entering the Children’s & YA and/or Memoir & Life-Writing competition, do I need to send a synopsis with my 5,000 word extract?
No. Should you be long-listed in the competition you will then be asked to send a synopsis. You do not need to send a synopsis for the first stage of the competition.


Sponsored entry

Applications for Sponsored Entries for our Fiction & Memoir Competition 2020 are now closed. 



What time is the deadline?
23.59 GMT, 21 September 2020.
If you live outside of the UK, please make sure your entry reaches us based on GMT.


After the deadline

Will I have to send my full novel/memoir?
Yes. If you are long-listed you will be asked to send us your full manuscript.

Were I to be long-listed when will I have to send you my full novel/memoir?
If you are long-listed you will be notified in January 2021 (Children’s & YA), and February 2021 (Memoir & Life Writing) and asked to send us your full manuscript then.

Will I be notified of the outcome of my entry?
Yes. Everyone who provided us with an email address will be sent an email notifying them of the outcome of their entry.

When will I hear about the outcome of my entry?
Short Story: November 2020
Flash Fiction: November 2020
Children’s & YA Novel: January 2021
Memoir & Life Writing: February 2021

When will the results be published?
Short Story will be published in the December 2020 edition of Mslexia.
Flash Fiction will be published in the December 2020 edition.
Children’s & YA Novel winner and finalists will be published in the June 2021 edition.
Memoir & Life Writing winner and finalists will be published in the June 2021 edition.

Will the winners be published online?
Yes, the winners will be published in our winners’ gallery.

Please ensure you have also read the competition rules.

Ready to enter? Click here, and good luck!