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 Writers 12-18. The entries will be judged by a panel and the four winning stories will be published on our website roughly 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.


May's prompt

Prompt: Write a story set on a subway train.

black and white picture taken on a subway train
Image credit: via Engin_Akyurt at Pixabay

How to Enter

Entries for our May competition are currently open. Submit your story by Tuesday 28 May 2019 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.
  • If you have any questions about the competition, please send them to:
Gaelic Book Council
Literary Gift Company


Submit your entry here:

We are taking these details so that we can contact you with the result of your entry. You can find our Privacy Statement here. If you would like to withdraw your consent and have your story or details removed from our database, please emails

We only need this information if you are 18 or under
Interested in Scottish Book Trust’s monthly round-up of tips, advice, awards and competitions for writers? Subscribe to our Writing Newsletter
Please note: this box does not limit you to 50 words, so please check your story length before submitting.
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April's Winners

Prompt: Write a story featuring a bee.

bee on a flower
All-age category winner Emily Teng

From: Hive 314A

To: Central

Project Pollination is experiencing significant issues in Sector 5NE. Human activity has caused setbacks of 33.1%. Anticipating severe delays if not properly addressed. Request permission to initiate countermeasures. Please advise as to aggression levels.
From: Central

To: Hive 314A

Permission granted. Proceed with maximum aggression.


All-age Gaelic category winner Aonghas MacGill-Eain

Bha i na suidhe air a' bhruach, uisge fuar an locha ma casan.  Bha a làmhan a' slìobadh an fhraoich, agus an-dràsta 's a rithist thogadh i a sùilean a dh’amharc na sgòthan a' sgapadh à sealladh gu tuath.

Dh'èirich dranndan seillein bhon mhonadh; bhiodh blàths-leighis an t-samhraidh faisg.

Mhaireadh i.

Author’s own translation:

She was sitting on the bank, her feet immersed in the cold water of the loch. Her hands were stroking the heather, and now and again she would lift her eyes and gaze at the clouds dissipating from sight to the north.

The humming of a bee rose up from the moor; the healing warmth of summer would be near.

She would last.

Young Writers (12-18) category winning story by Louisa Gower, age 16

She’s heard of Bees, but their magic has long since been lost on her. They’re as real as Unicorns; that's to say, not at all. Yet there was one before her, a splash of yellow amidst the smog, a wish on a spring morning, and she starts to believe again.


Young Writers (5-11) category winning story by Amy Paterson, age 8

Happy was a small fuzzy, buzzy bee. One day he set off across the garden to find his favourite flower, it was pink and purple. Oh how he loved it, he loved it like a friend. It welcomed him with open petals. I'm sure you would love it too.

Read all the previous winning stories here.

Image credit, thekaleidascope on Pixabay.