u3a - Creative Writing Competition 2021 Rules

Creative Writing Competition 2021 - The Rules


The Story

  • It must be in English.
  • It can be fictional or non-fictional.
  • It must not have been published before or submitted to another competition.
  • It must be a maximum of 1500 words or less (including the title). (All word processors have a facility for counting the number of words). Any script over 1500 words will not be read by the judges.
  • Your submission must be on the theme of: UNEXPECTED.
  • Give your story a title which will avoid confusion with the other entries.
  • Poems or other formats will not be considered.

Presenting your story

  • The story must be clearly typed in black with a ‘normal’ font, double spacing,
  • Entries must be submitted in MS Word format. This is so all the judges can open the files.
  • The title must appear at the top of every page, preferably in the header.
  • You must complete your details on the submission form. These details will not be seen by the judges and the forms will be deleted after the competition ends.
  • Your name, u3a, and any local identifiers MUST NOT appear in your story.

Eligibility and submission

  • The competition is open to current members of a u3a. For the avoidance of doubt, any entrant must be a member on 23rd April 2021 and remain a member until the competition winners are announced.
  • Entry is free but limited to one story per person.
  • Entries must be received by 12 noon on 28th May 2021.
  • You must submit your entry via the online form on the Third Age Trust website, which will open by 23rd April 2020 and will close at 12 noon on 28th May 2021. You can send an entry in as soon as it is ready, within this window only. Please ensure you submit your entry in good time and preferably not on the last day. Please note that the Third Age Trust can make no allowances for any technical issues which prevent or delay submission e.g. internet problems, and you are encouraged to submit your entry in good time.
  • We regret that postal entries cannot be accepted.

Judging and the prize

  • All of the entries will be judged in 12 groups. The best entry in each group will be decided by a panel of judges and the winners will be notified. All group winners will receive a copy of the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2021, edited by Alysoun Owen.
  • Each of the group winning entries will then be judged against each other to identify an overall winner.
  • The winner will be announced at the end of August 2021.
  • The overall winner will have their story published on the Third Age Trust website and in Third Age Matters magazine, which is distributed to over a quarter of a million households.
  • An illustration will be commissioned to accompany the story and the overall winner will receive a framed copy of their story, with the illustration, as it appears in Third Age Matters.

Data and copyright

  • Worldwide copyright for the story will remain with the author but all entrants must give permission as the author of the submitted story for the Third Age Trust and Third Age Trust Trading Ltd. to hold, process and display the work on their website, social media accounts and in other Trust media e.g Third Age Matters magazine, in relation to this competition. You will always be credited alongside your story, if chosen.
  • The Third Age Trust and Third Age Trust Trading Ltd. will have the right to edit & publish the submitted work on its website, social media accounts, in Third Age Matters and/or in an eBook.
  • The Third Age Trust may contact you only in relation to your story and your data will not be used for any other purpose.


The Judges’ decision is final in all matters. Judges and organisers will not enter into any correspondence/discussion with any entrant.

Any stories not conforming to the above rules and specifications will not be accepted.


Once you have read all of the above rules, please submit here