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.


June's prompt

Crowded beach

Write a story set on a beach.

Image credit, katermikesch on Pixabay.

How to Enter

Entries for our June competition are currently open. Submit your story by Tuesday 3 July 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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May's Winners

Prompt: Write a story about an unusual plant

Flower blossom
All-age category winner by Iain Macfarlane:

The family filed out of the lawyer's office, dismayed at the trinkets they'd been bequeathed. Had the fabled safety deposit box been just that? Geraldine alone was pleased. Clutching Grandma's prized geranium, she emerged into the sunlight. In the darkness, the roots of the geranium clutched a slender brass key.

Gaelic category winner by Marie Christine Macaulay:

Is iad flùraichean an dòchais dhòmhsa. Chan e na flùraichean àbhaisteach earrach mar tiuilip, lus a’ chrom-chinn agus an t-sòbhrag, ach na flùraichean cian-annasach Sleepy Snakeheads. A’ nochdadh gu dìleas anns a’ Mhàrt tro thalamh dorch, fuar, fliuch, grod le luibheach. Le cinn fhìnealta dhathte bhreac-phurpaidh.

Ath-bheothachadh nàdair.

Author’s translation

They are my hope flowers. Not the usual spring flowers such as the tulip, the daffodil and primrose, but the exotic Sleepy Snakeheads. Appearing faithfully in March through dark, cold, wet soil, rotten with weeds. With delicate drooping heads and speckled purple colour. 

Nature re-awakening.

Young Writers (12-18) category winning fictional story by Katie Hendry, age 15:

The biologist stooped over and plucked the specimen from the dirt; three days into this jungle expedition and she’d found nothing but bug bites. She stared down at the plant as it unfurled its tendrils with a gooey pink squelch. With a slow and heady blink, the plant stared back.

Young Writers (5-11) category winning story by Lexie Spencer, age 11:

"That plant is beautiful," I said.  I reached out to touch it and my hand stuck to a soft grey leaf. Time stopped.  Everyone around was still. The plant turned and the leaf opened to reveal a thousand tiny, sharp edged clocks.  Time moved jaggedly and my hand dripped red.

Young Writer guest judges for May 2018

This month, two guest judges choose an additional winner in the 12-18 category. Andrew is a 16 year old writer and poet with us for Work Experience from the Royal Blind School, and Amelia is a 15 year old poet with us on Work Experience from Trinity Academy, their choice was:

Guest judges winning story for Young Writers (12-18) category by Sarah Kelly, aged 16:

The laughter of the flowers echoes, from bubbly shrieks of iris to low rumbles of lilies. Their petals curve intricately to form a face; human-like, yet separate in every way. I’d laugh with them if it wasn’t for their stems caging me in and the hunger in their villainous eyes.


Read all the previous winning stories here.

Image credit to Holiho on Pixabay