FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Why can I only write 1200 words in my story?

There are no real rules as to how long the “short story” is but when we first did our research to explore setting up the competition in 2013, there were several other competitions which also imposed a limit like this. 1200 words is about 2.5 pages of A4 in 12 point text. It seems to us a good length and forces you to be pithy and succinct! After all Mark Twain once wrote that he didn’t have time to write  a short letter, so he was writing a long one!

Is the 1200 word limit strictly applied?

Yes! It wouldn’t be fair to everyone else if we accepted a story over the word limit. Having said that, there’s nothing stopping you submitting a shorter story and there have been great short-listed stories with approximately 800 words in previous years.

Why is there an entry fee at all?

All the organisers are volunteers but there are lots of costs involved in running the competition. This includes setting up and running a website, getting a book published, giving prizes, hiring a venue, paying for our judges to travel to Strasbourg. The book tends to pay for itself, but the other costs are generously covered by the entry fees and our sponsors. Any venture needs some start-up funding and we are particularly grateful to the three founding associations the ESC, the AIA and ESU who have believed in us since the start!

I haven’t heard anything else since I uploaded my entry. Why not?

Your entry consists of your entry form, your story, plus your confirmed payment. The organisers are volunteers with other kinds of work or jobs to do. So someone will get back to you soon when your method of payment has been confirmed. We get Paypal confirmations straight away but confirmation of cheques and IBAN payments can take longer. Also our treasurer travels a lot and sometimes we have to wait for him to get in touch to confirm an IBAN payment. If you got confirmation at your end that the payment was successful then it was probably fine. We’ll be in touch as soon as we can!

I haven’t heard anything else since I registered for my workshop. Why not?

When you registered and hit “Send” and then you didn’t get a confirmation email to the email address you supplied, then please get in touch with us at info@sxb-write-a-story.org. Otherwise someone will be in touch with you in the week before the workshop to check you are still interested, as per the email you got on registration. In the past we have found that people wait until the last week to register anyway, so if you got a confirmation then it’s fine. You have a place at the workshop.

Why does it take so long for me to find out if I’ve been shortlisted?

The judging period takes between 4-6 weeks after you submitted your entry. Then the book needs to be prepared and printed and that takes time. Then the award ceremony needs to be organised. Someone will be in touch with you during the month of April to let you know whether or not you have been shortlisted. We invite all those shortlisted to attend our award ceremony and only announce the category winners then. The 2017 award ceremony will take place at 6.30pm on Fri 28 April 2017 in the Munsterhof at 9 rue des Juifs, Strasbourg.

When will I know if I’ve been shortlisted? When is the 2017 award ceremony?

The judging period takes between 4-6 weeks after you submitted your entry. Then the book needs to be prepared and printed and that takes time. Then the award ceremony needs to be organised. Someone will be in touch with you during the month of April to let you know whether or not you have been shortlisted. We invite all those shortlisted to attend our award ceremony and only announce the category winners then. The 2017 award ceremony will take place at 6.30 p.m. on Fri 28 April 2017 in the Munsterhof at 9 rue des Juifs, Strasbourg.