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Competition Guidelines

During the year we have regular competitions that all club members can enter. These competitions are listed HERE. Some club competitions are similar to the Scottish Association of Writers (SAW) annual competitions, and you may wish to use the same piece of work to enter both.

Entry dates fall on club meeting nights. Your submission should be e-mailed direct to our Competition Secretary in the 7-days prior to the closing date at –

To ensure complete anonymity in the competitions, each entrant chooses a single word pseudonym. Only the Competition Secretary knows the true names – the adjudicating judge is never aware who has written which entry. Entrants should use a different pseudonym for every competition they enter. 

Adjudicators are chosen for their skill and experience in the genre being judged, and are asked to provide feedback on each entry. Entering competitions is always a positive step to improving your writing because your work will be independently reviewed.

Going in for a variety of genres will benefit your writing and planning skills. Each competition has a deadline, and some have a theme. You might be unused to writing in some genres, but club competitions are an ideal way to try out new forms of expressing yourself. Some people are surprised to find they have an unexpected talent for drama or article writing, when they were convinced poetry was their genre.

The top three places in the competitions receive Waterstones Book Token prizes.  The winning entrant from each of the competitions will be presented with a trophy in recognition of their achievement at the annual Awards Dinner in May, apart from the Ayrshire Drabble Scribble Competition winner, who will be presented with their trophy on the night itself.

A sliding-scale of points are also awarded for each competition you enter. These accumulate throughout the year. If you enter every club competition, you gain extra points. An additional trophy is awarded to the person with the most points at the end of the year.

Here are some general comments from past adjudicators:
Betty McKay
adjudicator for Woman’s Short Story category

All entries were on subjects which would be suitable for a woman’s magazine. While this is a market that is open to new writers, it’s worth remembering that it’s also a very competitive one, so your work should be of the highest standard. Presentation of your manuscript is very important. Lots of the stories started with interesting first lines and paragraphs to grab the reader’s attention and it’s important to remember that endings are important too, and should round everything off satisfactorily.’

Rosemary Gemmell
adjudicator for Historical Novel category

Thank you very much for allowing me to read your precious manuscripts for the Historical Novel competition. I enjoyed all of them very much and was delighted with the variety, originality and overall competency in writing historical fiction. Not one entry failed to deliver some kind of historical aspect and all of them were good enough that I could guess the period correctly.