Please make sure you have read the rules thoroughly before submitting your entry/ies.



  • 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 and the word count(s).
  • Once submitted, no alterations may be made to your entry.
  • Please note that the above formatting / cover page instructions are for ease of administration and we prefer you to follow them. However, if you forget anything or put details (titles, author name, word- or line-counts) in the wrong place, your entry will not be disqualified. We will only disqualify entries if they are over the word or line limit.
  • Your entry will not be returned, so please keep a copy. If you require confirmation of receipt of a postal entry, please enclose an SAE labelled ‘Acknowledgement’. 
  • No competitor will win more than one prize in any one competition.
  • We do not send copies of the results to entrants, but results are published in Mslexia magazine and listed on the Mslexia website.
  • The winners and finalists of our three fiction competitions will be announced in Mslexia magazine as follows: Short Story and Flash Fiction in the March 2020 edition; Adult Novel in the June 2020 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 or are under consideration in other fiction competitions are not eligible.
  • The Novel Competition is for unpublished novelists only. Women who have had a novel 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 be a woman. Entries are welcomed from women in the transgender community.
  • 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 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 please enter every competition separately, accompanied by a separate fee.



Short Story Competition

  • The Moniack Mhor retreat 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 Moniack Mhor retreat includes accommodation and food only; dates should be agreed between Moniack Mhor 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 Moniack Mhor retreat and the time with a Virago editor, i.e. travel, etc. 
  • These additional prizes must be taken before 30 September 2020.

Novel Competition

  • Manuscript feedback from The Literary Consultancy is optional. Practical arrangements should be agreed between the finalists and TLC. 
  • Agent representation by judge Charlotte Robertson is optional.
  • 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 2020. 

The closing date for all competitions is 30 September 2019

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