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Aspiring writers can now enter Portsmouth City Council’s annual short story competition for a chance to win £500 and have their short story published online.

This year’s competition has the theme ’10 years ago’. Writers can choose to interpret the theme how they wish in an original, non-published short story up to a maximum of 4,000 words.

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. The entry fee is £5 and the competition runs from Friday 30 July – Friday 29 October 2021.

Cllr Ben Dowling, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: “This annual competition is a fantastic chance for budding writers to share their creative talent with the Portsmouth community. If you’ve ever wondered if you could write a book, this is your opportunity to see if writing is something you enjoy. We look forward to seeing how people choose to interpret this year’s theme.”

This annual competition has been running since 2015 with previous winners and shortlisted entries published in ‘City of Stories’, available from Portsmouth Libraries. The winner of the £500 prize will be announced at Portsmouth BookFest in February 2022.

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.