The 50-Word Fiction Competition

Can you write a story in just 50 words?

Each month we’ll provide a prompt to get you started, but where the story goes from there is entirely up to you.

The competition includes four categories, Adult Writers, All-age Gaelic Writers, Young Writers 5-11 and Young Writer 12-18. The entries will be judged by a panel and the four winning stories will be published on our website two weeks after the closing date.

A prize will be awarded to a writer in each category:

Whether you're a seasoned writer or you've always fancied picking up a pen, why not give it a go?

Need some inspiration or tips? Read our 50 Word Fiction blogs, check out Sophie Cooke's 5 Things for Writing A Short Story and read last month's winners.


August's prompt

Door Knocker

Write a story on the theme of 'someone's knocking at the door'.

Image credit, MichaelGaida on Pixabay.

How to Enter

Entries for our August competition are currently open. Submit your story by Tuesday 28 August 2018 at noon.

- You can submit one entry to one category per month. Please read the terms and conditions carefully before entering.
- To submit your story, please complete the form below. You will receive a confirmation message on screen after submitting. 
- We welcome entries in Scots or Scottish Gaelic for both categories and thank The Gaelic Books Council for their support in judging our entries.
- Please note that we no longer send acknowledgement emails and due to the large number of entries, we are not able to offer individual feedback.

Gaelic Book Council
Literary Gift Company

If you have any questions about the competition, please send them to:

Submit your entry here:

We only need this information if you are 18 or under
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Please note: this box does not limit you to 50 words, so please check your story length before submitting.
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July's Winners

Prompt: Write a story about a painting.

tubes of paint
All-age category winner by Morag Hill:

"Why are you late, mummy?"
"I got held up, Fiona. Sorry."
"You're always late on Tuesdays. I've been waiting ages."
That teatime Fiona smiled at daddy.
"Look what Fiona painted at school. It's just like you!"
"That's mummy," said Fiona. "And that's the ginger man in mummy's car on Tuesdays."

Gaelic category winner by Seonaidh Adams:

Bha an t-eadar-sholas gorm-purpaidh. Bha agus na cruthan daonna. Le bloighean ruadh, geal, buidhe agus glas. Bho pholl, cailc, clach agus brìgh lusach. Gach fèith, gach alt, gach cuisle.
Buill-airm. A’ tighinn gar spadadh. Chan ionann iad agus ìomhaighean geala na Roimhe.
Borb. Righinn. Dathte. Dùthchasach.
Cruithnich. Dealbh beò.

Translation by Gaelic Books Council:

The twilight was a bluish-purple. That and the human figures. With splashes of brown, white, yellow and grey. From mud, chalk, stone and plant essence. Every sinew, every joint, every vein.
Weapons. Coming to kill us. How different they are to the white statues of Rome.
Brutal. Tough. Colourful. Native.
Picts. A living painting.
Young Writers (12-18) category winning story by Grace Clark, age 12:

He was screaming, always screaming. My class walked straight past him but I lingered. I stared. Shadows flickered in the corner of my eye. On the canvas, two figures I hadn't already noticed moved. The gallery turned suddenly cold. I realised what he was screaming at. I turned and fled.

Young Writers (5-11) category winning story by Mugunth Muthu Ramakrishnan, age 7:

On my birthday my parents gifted me a easel and paints. I was eager to paint a giant monster. I was surprised to see the monster come alive. I was scared and thought it would attack me but it didn't. We both became friends. This will be my new pet.


Read all the previous winning stories here.

Image credit to Nietjuh on Pixabay