Generic filters
One talented writer will win £500 and have their short story published online, when they win Portsmouth City Council's short story competition 2022.

This year’s competition is themed around objects on display at Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery’s Silver City Exhibition. Participants can choose one of three objects to inspire their original, non-published story, up to a maximum of 4,000 words.

Item 1 – Oil painting of the Town Crier
The picture shows Edward Burgess, who held his position for 38 years, stood at the top of Commercial Road Portsmouth holding the attention of the crowd, eagerly awaiting to hear his announcement.

Item 2 – Model silver fish
An articulated silver model fish, which was originally made in Spain, was donated to the city by Admiral Sir Charles Madden to mark the assembly of the Home Fleet off Portsmouth in 1964.

Item 3 – Silver medal of bravery
This medal of bravery was presented to HMS Ark Royal in recognition of courage demonstrated by the crew in saving the ship’s cats, at personal risk, when the ship was sunk.

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 9am on Friday 29 July to 5pm on Friday 28 October 2022.

Cllr Steve Pitt, 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. This year’s theme will give writers and readers the opportunity to learn more about Portsmouth’s history and for the artefacts to spark new artistic works. If you have 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 the historic objects inspire this year’s stories.”

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 2023.

For more information on how to enter and the terms and conditions, visit the library service’s digital platform: For further enquiries, email, ask in your local library, or call 023 9281 9311.