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.


January's prompt

Piano keyboard

Write a story that features an old piano.

Image by ktphotography, Pixabay


How to Enter

Entries for our January competition are currently open. Submit your story by Wednesday 31 January 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
Please note: this box does not limit you to 50 words, so please check your story length before submitting.
Please tick the box below - this checks a human is submitting the form and prevents spam

December's Winners

All-age category winner by Helen Jane Somers:

Lantern on snow
Sarah dragged the corpse through the kitchen.  It left a messy trail behind. Cursing, she began to clean up before her husband returned.  He’d loved the fragrant Norwegian beauty, had enthused how their dreary winter nights had been illuminated.  Next year, she decided jealously, their Christmas tree would be artificial.


All-age category Gaelic winner by Anne Campbell:

Chi mi an t-sealagair leis a bhreacan-guailne a’ lasadh suas an oidhche, geal a measg a mhuir dhubh agus sinn seoladh eadar na solais aig bonn an t-saoghail. Rua Reith agus Hyskeir, Uisinis agus Neist gam chumail ceangailte ris a mhuir agus an oidhche agus an dorachadas.

Translation by the Gaelic Books Council:

I see the Hunter with his plaid lighting up the night, white amid the black sea as we sail between the lights at the end of the world. Rua Reidh and Hyskeir, Uisinish and Neist* keep me tied to the sea and the night and the darkness.
*These are all lighthouses on the west coast of Scotland.

Young Writers (12-18) category winning story by Tristan Deeley, age 16:

The lights are beautiful from up here.
Cold winds rise. The oxygen tanks ran empty hours ago; our lungs die slowly. God took pity, giving us the kaleidoscopic Aurora Borealis. You freeze, eyes still stargazing. Lucky. Frosted eyelids flutter softly, wanting to shut.
The lights are beautiful from up here.


Young Writers (5-11) category winning story by Freya Karg, age 10:

Two kids were playing in the snow when they saw a candle. they thought they should bury it but suddenly it went out. A storm started and a snow demon came out. They ran and the demon chased them. Then'' SUPER DAD TO THE RESCUE!!! '' Dad jamp out and sucked the demon up with a hoover and lit the candle.

Image by 6034649, Pixabay

Read all the previous winning stories here.