Enter the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge!

Are you in the process of writing a novel? If so, the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge sponsored by Kobo and Curtis Brown Creative is the contest for you! One lucky winner will be awarded the grand prize of free enrolment in an upcoming Curtis Brown online novel writing course.

How to Submitja (2)

Authors should submit a 100-word short. The short can consist of any genre of fiction, as long as it stays within the 100-word limit.

Submit Here

Submission deadline: February 15, 2013.

What Happens Next

The Kobo Team will select 20 semi-finalists whose submissions will be collected in a free anthology available on the Kobo site! (Author names and photos will be included here as well, so get ready for your close-up!)

Contest judge and bestselling author Jeffrey Archer will evaluate the 20 semi-finalist submissions and choose three finalists. The finalists will be announced by Jeffrey Archer himself at the London Book Fair on April 15th, 2013.

The three finalists will be requested to submit a 3,000-word excerpt of their novel-in-progress to be judged by Curtis Brown Creative and will receive written feedback.

The lucky grand prize winner will be awarded free enrolment in an upcoming Curtis Brown online novel writing course! The winner will be announced on April 29th, 2013.

Tutors and guest speakers of past Curtis Brown creative writing courses include Jojo Moyes, Tracy Chevalier, Tony Parsons, Harriet Evans and Anna Davis. Find out more about Curtis Brown Creative here.

Full Terms and Conditions

The Contest is open only to legal residents of the forty eight (48) contiguous United States, District of Columbia, the United Kingdom and Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their respective jurisdiction at the time of entry (each entrant, an “Entrant”). Void in Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and where prohibited by law. The Prize consists of free enrolment in one (1) Curtis Brown writing course. The voucher is valid until December 31, 2013.
 

Comments

  1. Can you please explain to me why Alaska and Hawaii are excluded from this contest?

  2. Larry Czerwonka says:

    why can’t people living in Hawaii or Alaska enter their words?

    • same for Quebec. I know we are a “distinct society ” as they /we say “politically :))) but i am sooooo sad I can’t enter . Would have been a beautiful challenge writing in English, but the law is the law ; in French “Ah non ! je proteste ! Good luck to you all Bonne chance à vous tous !

  3. Molly, Larry. Thanks for a good question.

    As much as we would like to, we are not able to run contests in all jurisdictions because the local/provincial and state rules that regulate contests differ from place to place. We are only able to run contests in the areas where the rules are consistent among each other.

    Thus, we have to restrict the jurisdictions to the locations in which the contest complies with all of the rules.

    Fortunately, making your eBooks available for sale globally through Kobo Writing Life (particularly when you retain the eBook rights) isn’t quite so complicated…..

  4. Hi,
    what a great opportunity. I have a few questions.

    Firstly does the 100 word short have to relate to, or be from the 3000-word excerpt from your novel, or can it (or should it be) a stand alone piece of flash fiction?

    Secondly can the short have appeared in another place such as a blog? For example I take part in a weekly flash challenge called the prediction (there are winners but no prizes), and often I post 100-word flashes on my own blog, can I use something I have used here, or should this be a new piece for this competition?

    Finally I blog and write using a name other than my given name, would this be a problem or is that acceptable?

    • Good questions, William.

      First, the 100 word short just needs to be a single stand along short story in 100 words. (A tough thing to pull off, but an excellent way to demonstrate your skill as a wordsmith and storyteller)

      Second, it doesn’t matter if the short is previously published in print or digital format; just that you own all the rights for it (so that, if you make it into the top 20, you can allow it to be published in the special anthology of Top KWL Author Shorts – so go ahead and send your VERY best short – sounds like you already have tons of experience doing this. :)

      And finally, we understand writers use pseudonyms – it is part of the business. Your author name will be presented to the public should you be a runner-up/winner but your actual name (if it is different) will be between you and us (and Jeffrey, and the good folks at the Curtis Brown Creative).

  5. Hi, Does the title count in the word total? Generally not, but I wanted to check.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Ken. Great question. No, the words in the title don’t count towards the word count of the story.

      • mizathena says:

        Hi – Could I just check that please? In the Curtis Brown website blurb about the competition it says: “They [the mini-stories] should be no more than 100 words in length (including the title).” Thanks!

      • Kobo Writer says:

        Hi, mizathea! Our attitude is that so long as the title is reasonable (i.e. isn’t 50 words long itself and makes us think you’re trying to exploit that loophole) we won’t disqualify it if the story is a few words over 100 with the title.

  6. Hi, I just wondered if it was possible to enter more than once, or is it a single entry per person? Thanks :-)

  7. OK I’ve entered my short story entitled ‘Vodka’ and am now going to post it on facebook if anyone would like to read it. Good luck to all.

  8. Marie Graham says:

    I can’t get my entry to load on your entry site. It loads a complete section of my files. Why can’t I just copy my entry as I would in an E-mail, , rather than give you access to my files?
    Thanks

    • Kobo Writer says:

      Hi, Marie! Thanks so much for participating in our contest!

      The submission page can’t gain access to anyone’s files; it only accepts what files you send to us. When you click the “browse” button to submit your story, your computer pulls up a window from which you can select the file. All the files on your computer will show up, but that’s all internal to your machine — we certainly can’t access them! Find the file with your story (make sure it’s a .doc file) and click “open.” The location of that file will appear in the address bar beside the “browse” button. When you click “Submit,” your computer will send us that file and that file only.

      I hope that clears things up! Let us know if you have further technical trouble at writinglife@kobo.com. We want your submission!

  9. Sorry, just so I’m clear, if we had a short story published somewhere already (online only) awhile back, but all copyright remains with us, can we use it for the submission?

    • Hi Maizie – Yes, even if the story has already been published elsewhere (in print or online), so long as it’s your work and the copyright is entirely yours, you are eligible to enter it. :)

  10. CorinneDexter says:

    Not sure if my 100 word short can be classed as a story, but I have sent it, it does tell a story sort of. Damn this is hard!

  11. HI I have just submitted my story but realised after I had done it that i had not included my Title or corrected a spelling could I please submit it again?

    kind regards

  12. sorry i have one more question when you submit do you put your details on it i.e name email?

    kind regards

    • No need to apologize for asking questions. :) Since the form includes your name and email it’s not necessary – however, if you DO include them (ie, because you followed standard manuscript format in your uploaded submission), that’s fine. And the title, contact info, etc appearing in your submission document will not count against the 100 word limit. We only count the actual story.

  13. Why isn’t Australia included in the list :( ?

    • Hi Kal. We’re not able to run contests in all territories because the local/provincial and state rules that regulate contests differ from place to place. We can only run contests in the areas where the rules are consistent among each other. Thus, we have to restrict the jurisdictions to the locations in which the contest complies with all of the rules.

      We don’t like it either, but fortunately, when you own the digital rights, you can use Kobo Writing Life to publish your work to Kobo’s catalog without any territorial restrictions.

  14. sophustanus says:

    Will Jeffrey Archer be judging all the stories, or will they be shortlisted first? Thanks!

    • Jeffrey Archer will be choosing three finalists from a short-listed group of stories determined by a panel of readers.

      Quoting from the WHAT HAPPENS NEXT description of this contest: “The Kobo Team will select 20 semi-finalists whose submissions will be collected in a free anthology available on the Kobo site! (Author names and photos will be included here as well, so get ready for your close-up!)

      Contest judge and bestselling author Jeffrey Archer will evaluate the 20 semi-finalist submissions and choose three finalists.

  15. Is there any age limits? I know its going to be hard to contest against senior writers/authors, but can the contest be entered by teenagers ( a 13 year old who is passionate about writing) ?

    • Hi Sita. Technically, you have to be the age of majority in your geographic territory in order to be eligible.

      However, some of us on the KWL team were once 13 years old with a passion for writing and want to give you a way to enter – but you’ll need your parent/guardian’s help. So, provided you meet the other conditions of the contest, we’ll also need the following, emailed to writinglife@kobo.com to allow you to enter:

      A letter from your parent(s)/guardian(s) indicating:
      • They are the parent or legal guardian of stated minor
      • They agree to allow their child to enter the contest
      • They agree and understand that the child will have to abide by the contest rules, and that their child will be competing against adults
      • That they will sign the release form on behalf of their child in the event that their child wins the contest.

      • Sita Singh says:

        Am not sure if my question went through so asking again….
        The deadline I believe is February 15th but is there any particular time zone that is been followed? Can I submit it as per the EST time before midnight?
        Also, letter from the parents will have to be emailed separately from the entry, is that correct?

      • Kobo Writer says:

        The deadline is midnight Eastern Standard Time (New York, Toronto, etc.), that’s correct. And the letter from the parent/guardian of a minor should be emailed separately to writinglife@kobo.com.

        Thanks for entering! Best of luck!

  16. It seems like nit-picking but to be fair to everyone, on the Curtis Brown website it says that the title IS included in the 100 words.

    • Kobo Writer says:

      Hi Lisa! Our thinking is that so long as we don’t think you’re trying to cheat the system (by having a 50-word title or something ridiculous like that), we won’t disqualify a story for going a few words over 100 with the title. So long as the story itself remains 100 words or less, we can grant a bit of wiggle-room.

  17. The word enrollment is spelled incorrectly. :(

  18. Thank you for clarifying that! :) Mea culpa.

  19. What are your requirements for the actual formatting of the submission?

    • Hi Cat. Standard manuscript submission works best. In general, black text on a white background, 12 point Times New Roman, Courier or Ariel font, double-spaced, a 1 inch margin on all sides. Author name, address and contact info on the top left. Word count and copyright notice from author on top right. Title and author name centre above the body of the text.

      Here’s a handy link for more details about manuscript format, which, though a recognized standard, can change depending on the publisher/contest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuscript_format

      Also, Writers Digest (http://www.writersdigest.com/) often has free articles that cover this (as well as selling entire books on the topic)

      • Janice Secord says:

        What is the copyright notice?

      • Kobo Writer says:

        Hi Janice. The copyright notice just a simple statement of what rights you have on the work. If it is your original work and has been either unpublished (or published elsewhere but copyright has reverted to you), then you have worldwide rights to it. In a standard manuscript format, you would then just write “Worldwide” in the top right corner of the page along with the word count. We ask for this to make sure that you know you own the rights to the story you’re submitting.

      • Regarding the “copyright notice from the author on top right”, do we need to obtain a registered copyright or do we create a poor man’s copyright and mail a copy to ourselves? Is this even necessary?

      • Kobo Writer says:

        Not at all, Brian! The copyright notice is just a simple statement as to what rights you have on the work in question. You have worldwide rights to your own work if a) it has never been published before or b) it has been published but long enough ago that all rights have reverted back to you (check your contract). Just writing “worldwide” in the upper right of the page is fine, along with the word count.

  20. I’m kinda confused. Are you asking for snippet from the novels we’re working on or something else?

    • We are asking for a complete short story, told within 100 words. If you have never written micro fiction before I’m sure you will find it is quite a challenge. If you become one of the three top finalists, you’ll then get a chance to submit 3000 words from a novel for the Curtis Brown Creative judges to consider and provide written feedback on.

  21. Does the story have to be exactly100 words?

  22. Hein Gerber says:

    Once submitted, are we suppose to get a confirmation email?

    • writinglife says:

      You won’t receive a confirmation email.
      However, once you’ve completed the submission process, you should see the note below come up on your screen.
      When you see this, you’ll know your submission has gone through.

      Thank you for entering the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge.
      Only the 20 semi-finalists will be contacted directly by Kobo.
      Good luck!
      Sincerely,
      The Kobo Self-Publishing Team

  23. Can we still submit if we don’t have a novel-in-progress right now?

  24. Hi there,
    I am a UK citizen but currently live in Australia. Am I still eligible to enter?

  25. Marie Graham says:

    More confusion: My 100-word story must be one of twenty 100-word entries, from which three semi-finalists will be selected by Jeffrey Archer. These twenty entries will be available, free, as an ebook on the kobo site. I must sign away all my rights to my 100 word story, even if my story is not a semi-finalist.
    If I am one of the three semi-finalists:
    I must submit a 3,000 word excerpt of a novel in progress, which will determine if I am the winner of a Curtis Brown writing course.
    Question #1: What is the required length of the novel in progress?
    If I am the winner, I must sign a Declaration and Release form giving up all my rights and royalties to everything I have submitted for the contest, and anything pertaining to it, thereafter.
    Question #2: Does that include my novel in progress as well?
    And then:
    To receive my prize (Curtis Brown writing course) I have to answer a skill-testing question before I would be notified as the winner!!!
    Question #3: If any books or workbooks are required in the writing course, do I have to buy them, or are they part of the prize?
    Sincerely,
    Marie Graham

    • writinglife says:

      Hi Marie – Some answers to your questions.
      Question #1: There is no length specification for the novel in progress. However, the grand prize course is a novel writing course, so you should be far enough along in your novel to be able to take advantage of the course. If you’ve only just begun your novel, you may not have enough content to enjoy the course.
      Question #2: The declaration and release pertains to your 100-word entry only. Your novel in progress is your own, of course!
      Question #3: Any course books or workbooks will be covered by Kobo.

      • Marie GraHAM says:

        I have two more questions, please:
        1 – What is the purpose of the free,100 story ebook or the kobo site? Will it be good for the author, or will it be humiliating?
        2. If an entry has been judged to be the best, what is the purpose of the skill-testing question?
        Sincerely,
        Marie

      • writinglife says:

        1-I’m not sure how an eBook anthology of stories could be humiliating! This free eBook will only benefit the authors, as it will bring great exposure!
        2-A skill-testing question is common for contests with Canadian entrants, like this one. The question is included for legal reasons. This question will have nothing to do with your skill as a writer. It is normally an easy math equation.

  26. One suggestion. Please include under the short blurb that introduces the contest, the rule that only one submission can be made. I didn’t realize this and submitted 3 until I went to the Full Terms and Conditions link and read the entire thing, which I imagine not a lot of people will do. Is there a way to delete submissions because I would like to keep my first one ‘A Very Good Day’ and remove the other ones. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Grace. You should always be sure, whenever submitting your writing to any contest, to fully read all of the terms and conditions. (You never know when one of the Terms might disqualify you or, worse, put your writing into a situation that might not be all that good for you). We have made a note to delete your follow-up submissions, and will consider the one entitled ‘A Very Good Day’

  27. Anirban Bose says:

    Hello, I submitted my entry, but realize I have it formatted incorrectly! Can I retract my previous submission and resubmit the same entry with the proper formatting? Thanks

    Anirban

  28. When submotting and you are underage do you submit normally or do you submit your 100 words with the email including the information your parents must provide?

    • Kobo Writer says:

      Hi Kat! You would submit the story normally, and then your parent/guardian should email writinglife@kobo.com with all the information required (in an above comment).

      Happy writing, and good luck!

  29. Janice Secord says:

    I have entered my story. How and when are the 20 semifinalists notified?

    • writinglife says:

      The 20 semi-finalists will be notified by email.

      • Marie Graham says:

        Last Sunday, February 10, I found an error on my entry and sent an entry to replace it, but I have not heard back from you on this. Shouyld I submit the corrected entry again?

        Thanks

      • Kobo Writer says:

        Hi Marie! We’ve made a note to accept your most recent entry. Thanks for entering! Best of luck!

  30. What if you write with a partner? If you are one of the three finalists can you submit your novel excerpt as a writing team? I suppose that raises the question about the 100 word story as well.

    • Kobo Writer says:

      Unfortunately, there is only one grand prize. Feel free to write with a partner, but please be sure to get his/her permission to submit the work and accept the prize if you win. Only one of you will be able to enrol in the course.

      Thanks for entering, and best of luck!

  31. Hi, I am a British Citizen currently resident in Singapore. Am I permitted to enter?
    Thanks,

    • Kobo Writer says:

      Hi Alexis! Unfortunately, it’s not citizenship that matters when it comes to the legalities of contests — it’s residency. You have to live in the place where the contest is valid. Living in Singapore, you’re bound by the laws that govern Singapore, and can’t just choose to live by the laws of the UK instead. We wish that were the case! But alas, we are likewise bound by the rules. Sorry!

  32. Hello,
    I submitted my story and neglected to put my name on the page with the story. Is the email it is attached to enough or should I resubmit?
    Yours truly,
    Annette

  33. Hi There, I’ve just read the T&Cs; with regard to the ownership of entry, will I still have the copyright of my 100-word and 3000-word (if I’m lucky!) entries? Will I be able to reuse the content or will it belong to Kobo if I submit it?

    • Kobo Writer says:

      The 3000-word excerpt is wholly and fully your own, and Kobo makes no claims on publishing rights to it.

      We do ask for publishing rights on the 100-word story because we intend to compile the top 20 entries in a free eBook for promotional purposes — including photo, short bio, and links to each author’s work!

      Even so, these publishing rights are not exclusive. You’ll still be able to submit and sell the rights to your 100-word story elsewhere, so long as those to whom you sell it understand that Kobo has the rights to publish it, too.

  34. Emily Simpson says:

    Hi, I’ve sent a doc.x file instead of just “doc.” I hope this isn’t a problem, but I’ll send it again anyway.

    Thanks,

    • Kobo Writer says:

      We can handle .docx files, but thanks for thinking of it! And thanks for submitting! Best of luck!

  35. Just submitted my story hope I didn’t mis-type my mail id , because I haven’t received any acknowledgement that it went through.
    In any case this is a good competition, really challenging, thanks!

    • Kobo Writer says:

      You won’t receive a confirmation email.
      However, once you’ve completed the submission process, you should see the note below come up on your screen.

      Thank you for entering the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge.
      Only the 20 semi-finalists will be contacted directly by Kobo.
      Good luck!
      Sincerely,
      The Kobo Self-Publishing Team

      When you see this, you’ll know your submission has gone through.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] into the short story, but a new competition by Curtis Brown and Kobo has given it a new twist. The Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge,  judged by Jeffrey Archer is for writers in the UK, US and Canada in any genre, submissions: [...]

  2. [...] is the 100-word story “Freecycle” that I’ve just submitted for the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge (NB I’ve checked the rules, and it’s fine for me to publish it here). Many thanks to [...]

  3. [...] The Jeffrey Archer Short Story Contest [...]

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  5. [...] (A short piece of silliness I submitted to Kobo’s 100 word story competition) [...]

  6. [...] project Kobo and Curtis Brown Creative have developed together. The companies also created the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Contest which resulted in a thousand, 100-word submissions to be judged by the author. The finalists will [...]

  7. […] project Kobo and Curtis Brown Creative have developed together. The companies also created the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Contest which resulted in a thousand, 100-word submissions to be judged by the author. The finalists will […]

  8. […] following is my entry into the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge on the Kobo Writing Life blog. Each entry can be written in any genre but must be no more than 100 […]

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