Friday, 9 March 2012

Short story comp now open for entries!!

I can't deny we're a family of faffers but, despite lots of things still being in a state of flux, I feel I've been faffing enough over this competition (wait till we've got Paypal...wait till the shop's moved...wait for the sun to turn purple...there's always something, right?)

So, read on for all the official info you need. I'm hoping it's complete and clear but if you notice a vital piece missing, please let me know.

Three Bags Full is our wool shop in Halifax, Yorkshire; The Knock On Effect is a fundraising project based in Ledbury, Gloucestershire. The link between them is Rosie Kilburn who was 1) our niece and 2) founder of The Knock On Effect. Rose's aim was to get people talking about cancer and to raise money to help cancer charities. Sadly, she died of her own rare liver cancer in Sept 2011, but TKOE is this year aiming to raise £20,000 in honour of what would've been her 20th birthday. This competition is our attempt to help towards that total. You can see what great charities have already benefitted from TKOE work on the webpage:

Competition rules
Required wordcount is between 50 (yes, fifty) words and 1000 words.

There is no theme, but your story must include the phrase 'knock on effect' at some point. Please don't send salacious stories or stories aimed at children.

General info
Closing date for entries is 14th May 2012.

The competition is open to writers sending stories in English and able to pay in sterling.

Stories can't be returned, so please keep a copy.

Judging - all stories will be read in-house and a longlist of twenty produced. This list will be on the blog by mid-June at the latest. These twenty stories will then be read by TKOE team and whittled down to a shortlist of ten. The final ten will be read by award-winning South African writer, Ginny Swart, who will choose the first and second prize winners. The judges' decisions are final!

Copyright will remain with the authors, but first and second prize winners' stories will be published on the Knock On Effect blog.

All proceeds from the competition, over and above the payment of the first prize, will be donated to Knock On Effect funds.

Paying and sending your story
The entry fee is £2.50. It would be absolutely fabulous to receive this in the form of a cheque made out to K J Kilburn. Please write the name of your story, the wordcount and your email address on the back of your cheque or in an accompanying note.
If you'd like to pay electronically, you can 'buy' a competition entry from the website. The link is accessible from the home page. Because the site is generally geared up for commercial sales, small orders attract a p&p charge so you need to input the code TKOE2012 on the payment page. This initially reduces your payment to 70p, but when the 'postage' charge is added it takes it back to the full amount of £2.50. Does that make sense? It's a slight fudge, to accommodate those who would like to pay by credit card or Paypal, but it works! Please add the title of your story and the wordcount in the section marked 'customer note' at the bottom of the order page.

You can then post your story (along with the cheque, if paying by cheque), to:
Three Bags Full wool shop,
The Piece Hall,
HX1 1RE.
Or you can send it electronically in the body of an email to Please type your story title and wordcount in the subject line and include all relevant details at the start of your email - name, address, etc.

First prize is half the entry fees up to a maximum of £100.

Second prize is £20 of gift vouchers for the Three Bags Full wool shop or a £20 online voucher for, depending on the winner's preference.

Good luck!


  1. Hi Kath
    I'm just down the road from you in Brighouse! My name is Sharon and I run a succesful on-line writing group and we'd love to know more about the story comp. Do we put our names on the stories entered?
    Is it only one entry allowed per person? Does the 2.50 entry fee cover one story or does it cover more than one?
    What happens if the comp is cancelled? Is it open to UK residents only or do you accept entries from other countries?
    Are you going to publisisce this via The Halifax courier and local press/media? If not, I'd love to write a PR for you and send it out.(for free!) I can also help you spread the word by placing a link on my site to you (also for free).
    kind regards
    Sharon Boothroyd

  2. Thanks very mucxh for getting in touch, Sharon. Interesting that you run an online group - my main group is also online and they've been very helpful over the years. I've sent you an email reply to the points you raised and your kind offer of PR.

    1. Glynis Scrivens3/12/2012

      one question re the competition, Kath - do you accept previously published stories?

  3. Hi Glynis. Yes, previously published stories are fine.

  4. Anonymous3/16/2012

    Hi Kath - just found your competition via the 'Bring back fiction to women's magazines' facebook group and glad I did. I grew up in Brighouse and visited the Piece Hall many, many times.
    Hope you get a good response and I'm going to start brainstorming my entry now!

  5. Thanks, Sally! I'll look forward to reading your story. Kath

  6. Anonymous3/16/2012

    Hello, sorry to be the bearer of potentially bad news, but Paypal have a shoddy track record when it comes to charitable causes. They can freeze your money without warning, keeping their fees of course.

    See here for a Doctor Who book in aid of Alzheimer's:

    And here for a fund-raising drive to get Christmas presents for disadvantaged children:

    Both have now been resolved, because of online shaming campaigns causing Paypal to worry about their PR. It's impossible to tell how many charitable causes have had their money frozen without this sort of support though. Just thought you needed to know, best of luck with the competition.

  7. I share your concerns, Anonymous! I've read the horror stories myself but customers love Paypal, so we decided to add it to the site anyway and are hoping for the best. Thanks for the warning tho'.

  8. Have told my writing friends about the competition but you might like to promote the competition by emailing details to

    They have a website for writers looking for competitions to enter.

  9. Many thanks very much for passing the word around, Sue. I'll send details to the writing network address too.

  10. Anonymous6/15/2012

    Longing for the longlist....