Jack Ladenburg

Judge: Isobel Dixon

Sponsor: HW Fisher

Entry fee: £5 for stories up to 2,500 words. £8 for stories up to 5,000 words

Word Limit: 2,500 (£5) 5,000 (£8)

Deadline (Closing Date): 12 Midnight GMT Sunday 16 May 2021

  • First Prize: £500
  • Second Prize: £100
  • Third Prize: £50

The Top 3 stories will be published on the ChipLitFest website.

We promote and encourage quality writing from amateurs and professionals alike, so the competition is open to everyone aged 16 or over by the closing date, Sunday 16 May 2021, not only in the UK, but overseas as well.

Following the generous sponsorship of the competition by HW Fisher, we are now in a position to offer free entries to those writers on a low income:

Free entries are available for writers on low incomes. To qualify, you should be in receipt in one or more of the following: Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Council Tax Support, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Carer’s Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, income-related ESA, Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, or Statutory Maternity Pay.

To enter, please email your story (do not include your name on the story itself) to editor@fictionjunkies.com along with a scan of a recent letter proving your eligibility. Entries will be submitted into the same system as paying entrants and will not include any identification of your status.

Please don’t hesitate to contact editor@fictionjunkies.com if you are not in receipt of one of the above benefits but find yourself struggling to afford entry.

About Isobel Dixon

We are delighted that literary agent Isobel Dixon is joining us as the judge of our sixth short story competition. The late and much-missed agent and author Carole Blake was a great friend to ChipLitFest and so we are especially pleased to continue the connection by working with Isobel, who joined publishing 25 years ago as Carole’s assistant and is now MD and Head of Books at the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, which Carole founded with Julian Friedmann. (this wonderful photo by Conrad Williams of Carole and Isobel is from Carole's 70th birthday in 2016).

Isobel represents writers from around the world, among them Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers and international prize-winners. Her interests are wide-ranging and her clients' work includes contemporary, historical and literary fiction, crime and thrillers, memoir, biography and history. Her clients include Romalyn Ante, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Edward Carey, Elizabeth Chadwick, Barbara Erskine, Ann Granger, Peter James, Charles Lambert, Deon Meyer, Zakes Mda, Deon Meyer, Gregory Norminton, Joseph O’Connor, Sheila O’Flanagan, Alan Parks, Julian Stockwin, Monique Roffey and Ivan Vladislavic, among others. Many of her clients are also excellent short fiction writers. For fuller details of authors see her agent page and Blake Friedmann’s submissions page.

Isobel is a Trustee of the National Centre for Writing and The Book Trade Charity and President of the Association of Authors' Agents. She often gives workshops on creative writing, agenting and negotiation, and speaks on panels at literary events, to schools and students and to writers' groups.

Scottish publisher Mariscat released Isobel’s poetry pamphlet, The Leonids in 2016 and her latest poetry collectionBearings was published by Nine Arches, who also re-issued her earlier titles A Fold in the Map and The Tempest Prognosticator. Nine Arches will publish her next collection, The Landing, in 2022. There are recordings of her work on the Poetry Archive and she is working on an art-music-poetry collaboration, A Whistling of Birds, inspired by D.H. Lawrence’s nature writing and his collection Birds, Beasts and Flowers. See more on her poetry website.

Twitter @isobeldixon
Instagram @isobelmdixon

How to Enter

Applicants are encouraged to make their submission online as early as possible before the deadline. Postal entries are also accepted.

First, read the Competition Rules thoroughly. Non-compliance may result in disqualification.

Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of the Competition Rules and the Terms and Conditions.

Formatting guidelines:

  • Your submission must be written in English or be your own work translated into English
  • Add the title and word count on the front page. A cover page is not necessary.
  • Your submission can be in any font, but must be in black type, 12pt. Handwritten entries will not be accepted.
  • 1.5 or double spaced.
  • Please number your pages.
  • Please attach your document as a pdf or word doc. Maximum file size 2MB.
  • Please name attachments with your exact story title. If untitled, with the exact first line.
  • Please ensure your submission does not include your name or any other identifying marks.

We’re looking forward to receiving your entries and thank you for taking part.


Submissions by post should be sent to:

Main Street
Chipping Norton

and should include the following:

  • A cover letter including your name, address and telephone number, plus email address (if you have one) and the title of your story(ies).
  • Your submission, featuring only the title of the story and the wordcount on the front page with no other identifying marks whatsoever.
  • A cheque or postal order for £5 per submission up to 2,500 words, or £8 per submission up to 5,000 words.

Cheques and postal orders are to be made payable to ‘CLF Trading Ltd’. Please include your name and address on the back.

IMPORTANT: Your details should be included on your cover letter only, and not on your submission. Your submission should feature only the title of the story, the story itself and the word count, and should have no other identifying marks. Failure to delete identifying marks will result in disqualification.

Multiple entries are acceptable and may be posted together, but remember to adjust payment accordingly. Each entry should be on a new sheet.

If you require acknowledgement of receipt, please enclose a self-addressed postcard with ‘Acknowledgement’ written on it.


Below you can enter your submissions online using either the WorldPay or PayPal payment systems. You will need a credit or debit card to do this.

Please make sure you have read the entry instructions and the competition rules. Failure to abide by the rules may result in disqualification.

Please use the title of your short story as the name of the document, or if untitled, the first line.

Your submissions can be uploaded at the checkout, as a pdf or word doc. Please do not exceed 2MB in file size.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure your attachments do not include your name or any other identifying marks.

Multiple entries are accepted, but please amend your payment accordingly, i.e. £5 for stories up to 2,500 words, or £8 for stories up to 5,000 words.

Once payment has been received you will receive email acknowledgements from both PayPal and ChipLitFest.

Thank you!