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0) Arggghhh!!! I have found an error in my entry!

Firstly, in the words of Douglas Adam’s Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, DON’T PANIC! A spelling error won’t make your entry invalid, and even missing off the line count for a poem is not the end of the world. Drop us an email explaining what has happened and we’ll do our best to help. We cannot edit your file for you, that would be wrong, but we will probably come up with a way to solve the problem without making you re-enter.

1) Can I enter the competition with a nom de plume?

Yes indeed you can. However, you do need to make that clear when you upload your document. Simply put the full information in the notes section, or in your covering letter if you are sending in a postal entry.

2) Can I use a smattering of foreign language words in my story or poem?

Yes, but the predominant text needs to be in English. Any additions in foreign languages or made up languages come to that, need to be understandable or ‘got the gist of’ by the reader. They should not have to refer to a translator to comprehend what’s going on.

3) How do you process electronic entries so you know which is my entry?

The process works like this:
  1. You write your short story or poem in Word or another word processor and save it as (for example) Sunny Day.doc
  2. You go to buy an entry in our web shop which will give you a file upload button, from which you find your Word document
  3. You fill in all your details and pay via PayPal
  4. The system allocates a unique number to your file, so it will be called (another example) 1234-5678_Sunny_Day.doc
  5. The tech team receive an email with your details and that file name.
  6. The tech team save the file in our judges area and email you to confirm that it has been safely received.

As the tech team are not part of the judging panel, only we know the link between that number and you as a person.

4) I don’t use PayPal

It is possible to pay through PayPal just using your credit card and without creating a PayPal account, and this seems to satisfy most people, however if you really don’t want to use PayPal you can send a cheque drawn on a UK bank even if you enter the competition through the forms on the website. We prefer this to purely postal entries as your entry is confirmed straight away and when your cheque arrives we can validate your entry.