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Do you like to write? Fancy a chance at winning a £500 first prize?

The annual Portsmouth Short Story Competition is now open for entries. The annual competition run by Portsmouth City Council invites aspiring writers living or working in Portsmouth to submit their short story in response to a theme.

This year’s theme is ‘Reunion’, which might lead writers to take inspiration from the experience of social distancing during the pandemic, but writers can interpret the theme in any way they wish. Young adults and adults over 16 are invited to share their stories for a chance to win £500 and have their short story published on the Libraries and Archive website and in a future compilation of winning and shortlisted entries.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture and City Development, said: “This annual competition is a fantastic chance for budding writers to share their creative talent with the Portsmouth community. The theme of ‘reunion’ may hold more meaning during these strange times when we have been distancing from family and friends, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the theme will be interpreted.”

Entries are open to anyone aged 16 and over who lives, works or studies in Portsmouth or can demonstrate a close personal connection to the city. Original, non-published stories of up to 4,000 words on the theme can be submitted. The entry fee is £5 and the competition closes at 5.00pm on Friday 30 October.

This annual competition has been running since 2015 with previous winners and shortlisted entries published in ‘City of Stories’, available from Portsmouth Libraries.

For more information on how to enter and the terms and conditions, visit the library service’s digital platform: portsmouth.spydus.co.uk. For further enquiries, email libraries@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or call 023 9281 9311.