Plymouth Writers' Group international short story competition

Unique partnership between University of Plymouth (English & Creative Writing Department) and Plymouth Writers' Group (PWG)

A group of our current third year English students have been given a fantastic opportunity to act as a judging panel for the Plymouth Writers’ Group international short story competition.

Plymouth Writers' Group (PWG) are a local community group with some 20 members, including staff and former students, at the University of Plymouth. 

Four years ago PWG approached the English and Creative Writing Department, and offered a collaboration in respect of their intention to run a Short Story Competition. 

We are now in our fourth year of competition. Entry numbers have risen each year and have been submitted from over 27 different countries.

"Plymouth Writers' Group (PWG) were seeking help and expertise in terms of assessing the stories being submitted, whilst at the same time offering students the opportunity to gain experience in assessing live entries. 

For the student, it would mean being able to demonstrate representing their University and working in partnership with the local community. 

It would involve team work, and personal discipline in meeting the contest deadlines. and would offer opportunities for positive media exposure."

"The team from the University are all volunteers, and designate a team leader to work with the co-ordinator from PWG. The experience to date has been extremely positive. It has involved the design and agreement of a common assessment form, with stories being judged in parallel by both teams and then collaboration to determine the first five winners. 

First prize is £250, second prize is £50, both are covered by entry fees. The first five winners are also included in the annual PWG Anthology, free of charge. In addition, the English and Creative Writing Team support the PWG meeting in the University premises on the first Saturday of each month"

Alan Grant, Plymouth Writers' Group

Bonnie Latimer, BA (Hons) English Programme Lead

We are really pleased to offer our students the opportunity to develop their critical and editorial skills by judging this competition.

"It’s a superb chance for them to work in teams and with partners in the local community, as well as developing an eye for what makes a great story!"

What do our student judging panel say?

"Judging the Plymouth Writing Groups short story competition has been a wonderful learning experience. Everyone involved is absolutely lovely and takes the responsibility with a level of friendly professionalism. The stories we are receiving are diverse in topic and interesting to read through." 

Erin Crocker, BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing, third year

"I am greatly enjoying helping to judge the Plymouth Writers' Group short story competition. Having entered many writing competitions in the past, it is interesting to be involved in a competition from the judging side. The stories we have received so far have been of a high standard, and the open submission has allowed for a multitude of different topics. This is helping my own studies as reading the works of others is a useful tool for improving your own writing, and getting to view different styles and genres expands my own skill set."

Jo Stephens, BA (Hons) English, third year

"The competition experience has been really enjoyable so far. As team leader for the University judging panel, I have been able to work with amazing people from both the University and the Plymouth Writers' Group. The students involved in the team are very professional and we are all enjoying the experience of judging such a diverse competition. Being team leader has enabled me to work on transferable skills, such as delegation and communication skills, which will help me further on in my life when I have a career. As a student studying BA (Hons) English with Publishing, this competition is helping me in several aspects of my degree, from close reading and analysis to editing skills. It has been a great experience so far and I’m excited to continue leading this team as we try and choose the top five!"

Abigail Joyce, BA (Hons) English with Publishing, third year