Please make sure you have read the rules thoroughly before submitting your entry/ies.
Looking for the Mslexia Poetry and Poetry Pamphlet Competition 2020 rules? Head this way.



  • Children’s & YA Novel Competition: for novels of at least 20,000 words in any genre for children and young people aged 18 and under. There is no need to define the age-group in your entry.
  • Memoir & Life Writing Competition: for book length prose of at least 50,000 words which narrates events in the writer’s life and/or a quest or investigation she undertakes. There is no need to define the genre in your entry.
  • Short Story Competition: for complete creative prose texts of up to 3,000 words.
  • Flash Fiction Competition: for complete creative prose texts of up to 300 words.



  • 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.
  • Add a separate cover page with your contact details, plus the title(s) of the work you are submitting.
  • Once submitted, no alterations may be made to your entry.
  • Your entry will not be returned, so please 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.
  • Results are published in Mslexia magazine and listed on the Mslexia website.
  • The winners and finalists of these four competitions will be announced in Mslexia magazine as follows:
  • Short Story and Flash Fiction in the December 2020 edition; Children’s & YA and Memoir & Life Writing in the June 2021 edition.
  • Copyright of any entry remains with the author, but Mslexia has the unrestricted right to publish the winning entries in its magazine, on its website, and in any related material for PR purposes.



  • Entries should be in English (or English dialect) and should not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • Entries that have won other competitions are not eligible.
  • The Children’s & YA Novel Competition and the Memoir & Life Writing Competition are for unpublished novelists, memoirists and biographers. Women who have had such a book published by a mainstream or independent publisher, for any age group, in any country, are not eligible.
  • Self-published manuscripts are eligible.
  • Entries should not be a translation of another author’s work.
  • You do not have to subscribe to Mslexia to be eligible, but you do have to self-identify as a woman.
  • We will accept entries from women of any nationality from any country.



  • 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, mark your envelope ‘Mslexia Fiction and Memoir 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).
  • You may enter as many competitions with as many submissions as you like, but you must enter each competition separately, accompanied by a separate fee.



Short Story Competition

  • The week at an Arvon writing centre and Virago mentoring session are optional additions to the first prize. If the winner opts not to take advantage of either or both, they will be offered to another finalist.
  • The date of the week at an Arvon writing centre should be agreed between Arvon and the competition winner.
  • The date of the Virago mentoring session should be agreed between Virago and the competition winner.
  • The winner is responsible for any other expenses involved with attending the Arvon week and the time with a Virago editor, i.e. travel, etc.
  • These additional prizes must be taken before 30 September 2021.

Novel and Memoir Competition

  • 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 special ‘talent party’ in central London. Both events are arranged in partnership with New Writing North.
  • Mslexia will contribute a total of £100 towards each finalists’ travel expenses.
  • These additional prizes must be taken before 30 September 2021.


The closing date for all competition is the 21 September 2020