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.


November's prompt

Street Food stall

Book Week Scotland is almost here (Nov 27 - Dec 3) and the theme this year is Nourish. To celebrate, our November 50 Word Fiction challenge is to write a story featuring Street Food.

Image by StockSnap, Pixabay


How to Enter

Entries for our November competition are currently open. Submit your story by Wednesday 29 November 2017 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
Please note: this box does not limit you to 50 words, so please check your story length before submitting.
Please tick the box below - this checks a human is submitting the form and prevents spam

October's Winners

Shadow of black cat
All-age category winner by Lynda Nicolson:

"Rosemary Anderson's cat's deid."
"You mean her trousers are too short?"
"No, her actual cat, it's been run over by a van, I saw it from the school bus. You tell her, she's your pal. Here she comes."
"Oh Rosemary, Stevie says Blackie's puddens are all over the Lanark Road."


All-age category Gaelic winner by Ailidh Kingham:

Dà bhròg a' suidhe ris a' chagailt, cupa tì fuar air a' bhòrd.
Anns an leabaidh fhalamh, tha e a' feitheamh air gormanaich, agus an cat dubh a' tilleadh dhachaigh.
Aon latha, 's dòcha, bidh i a’ tilleadh mar bhean a-rithist.

Translation by the Gaelic Books Council:
Two shoes sitting next to the hearth, a cold cup of tea on the table.
In the empty bed, he waits for dawn, and the black cat’s return home.
One day, maybe, she’ll return as a wife once more.

Young Writers (12-18) category winning story by R Lapsley:

I stood there gazing as the flames danced. Something brushed against my legs. I watched the black cat slink into the shadows. The one that was always there. At every fire. Ever. It just sits there, staring into space. Sometimes I wonder what it’s thinking. I wonder what it knows.


Young Writers (5-11) category winning story by Zac Dodd, age 11:

We had four mice. Now we only have one. The devious black cat is a sly and silent killer. He stalks the fat juicy mice one by one. First it was Chuck. Dan. Butter. All victims of the evil cold hearted killer. The only trace is a black, small hair.

Image by Kalhh, Pixabay

Read all the previous winning stories here.