The 2018 HASTINGS Litfest Short Story Competition

Competition Judge Amanda Saint of Retreat West has revealed her Shortlist for the Hastings LitFest Short Story Competition – and here it is!

The Shortlist in alphabetical order by story, with author names

Defence Mechanism - Abigail Maskill
Game – Stephanie Percival
No Batteries – Mykel Flynn
Sussex Top Attractions – Leoni Burge
The Conquest of Robert Tarrant – Virginia Matthews
The House Always Wins – Joe Bedford

Congratulations to each of you.

Amanda is busy producing written feedback to go to all twenty longlisted authors. The Winning, Runner-Up and Highly Commended stories will be announced at Hastings LitFest on Sunday 2nd September at the Royal Victoria Hotel.

We hope you will be able to join us and collect your prizes in person from our special guest, Amanda Burton (see novel competition page for details).

The Longlist in alphabetical order:

Britannia Scriptor Sacrificium
Clean Nature
Cookery Lesson
Defence Mechanism
Let Battle Commence
Living the Dream
Lucky number 48
No Batteries
Present Tense
Sussex Top Attractions
Take the Rap
The Conquest of Robert Tarrant
The House Always Wins
The Lights are Brighter at Night
The Long Game
The Revenge of Clark Pratchwitz
The Sheep are Eating the People
Veni, Vidi, Vici (author M.W.)



  • ○  First place: £200 voucher which can be used for any of Retreat West’s courses, critiques or retreats – your choice! - a Hastings LitFest short story trophy, and a Guest Pass to the whole of Hastings LitFest 2019.
  • ○  Runner up: a selection of books signed by authors appearing at this year’s LitFest, plus Hastings LitFest trophy and a free place on any workshop of your choice at Hastings LitFest 2019.
  • ○  Highly commended: Hastings LitFest trophy and a selection of books signed by authors appearing at this year’s LitFest.

Amanda Saint is a novelist and short story writer. Her debut novel, As If I Were A River, was a NetGalley Top 10 Book of the Month and a Book Magnet Blog Top 20 Book of 2016. 

Amanda's short stories have been long and shortlisted for, or won, various prizes and been widely published in anthologies and literary journals. She founded and runs Retreat West, which provides creative writing retreats, courses and competitions, and in 2017 expanded it to include Retreat West Books indie press.

All 20 longlisted entries will receive written feedback from the judge.

Rules of Entry

1.   The competition is open for entries from 1st February 2018 and closes at midnight on 30th June 2018. Entries received after this date will not be accepted.

2.  The competition is for short stories up to 1,500 words (not including titles or page numbers).

3.  Entries will only be accepted by email as a PDF document, which should be typed 1.5 line spaced, 12pt font, in English, and based on the theme of Conquest. Your name must not appear anywhere on the PDF document.

4.  The PDF must be accompanied by a separate sheet detailing the author’s name (and pseudonym if used), contact details, the title of the story, and quoting your Paypal reference number. See Payments below.

5.  Your email should be titled “Short Story Conquest” and sent to

6.  There is a £5 entry fee per story.

7.  Authors may enter more than one story.

8.  The longlist will appear on the Hastings LitFest site at the end of July 2018. Shortlisted authors will be notified individually early in August and the shortlist posted on the website.

9.  The results will be announced at a prize ceremony to take place at The Royal Victoria Hotel on Sunday 2nd September, 2018.