The Val Wood Prize 2021: Now and Then

The Val Wood Prize for Creative Writing 2021: Now & Then


Entries are now being accepted for The Val Wood Prize for Creative Writing 2021:Now & Then


The overall theme of this year’s competition has been chosen to mark the end of lockdown and reflect times of positive change. We are looking to receive entries packed with originality and creativity that celebrate societal changes that have made the world a better place for communities or individuals. The competition, is open to anyone over 16 years of age. 


Entrants are free to write about whatever they wish as long as the theme is adhered to. Poetry will NOT be considered for the prize. 


Annually, the competition receives a staggering amount of entries from all over the world and we want to keep that up. However, this year we want to celebrate the best of local talent too, which is why we have split the competition so you can enter the category that best suits you, or both (depending on your postal address). 



‘Now & Then is open to anyone in the world. Your entry must be written in the form of an uplifting, feel-good short story with an overall word-count of 2000. 


The winner of the OPEN PRIZE will receive £100 and their entry will be published on the website and shared via various social media outlets.


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The Yorkshire Prize  is open to residents of Yorkshire only, enabling us to celebrate and reward local talented creativity. The theme of the competition is The Good Old Days, and should mark a significant moment in Yorkshire history and it is to be written in the form of a short story. 


The winner of the YORKSHIRE PRIZE will receive £100.

Overall there will be two further commendations of £25. Cash prizes are kindly donated by Val Wood and The James Reckitt Library Trust.


Maximum of 2 entries per person to the maximum word count of 2000 per entry. 

The winning entries will also be made available on Hull Central library’s BorrowBox service. 


Conditions of Entry


All entries must be typed in the form of a story (poetry will not be accepted) with a maximum word-count of 2000.

Entries must be typed on blank sheets in black font and no background images or patterns. It must be typed in Arial or Times New Roman with 1.5 line spacing. This year, the competition is contact free and eco-friendly and entries must be submitted by email


Entries should be submitted on or before 5pm on 28 August 2021. 

Your name, address, telephone number and email address must be included with your entry on a separate page. If submitting a PDF document, please ensure that your name is not on the document as entries are judged blindly.

Please submit as Word or Pages. If submitting in PDF Format please ensure that the entrants name is not on the document as entries are judged anonymously.


Email entries can be sent to with the subject: Val Wood Prize: Open for International entries and Val Wood Prize: Yorkshire for anyone who lives and has a postal address in the Yorkshire area and wishes to be submitted for the inaugural Yorkshire prize. 


This competition is kindly supported by Hull Central Library, Albion Street, Hull, HU1 3TF


Entries from already commercially published writers will not be accepted.


Previous entrants/winners may enter the competition again using alternative entries.

Entries that have been submitted before will be disqualified from the competition.


Entries must be the original work of the competitor, in English, and must not have

been published, broadcast or have won a competition prize. No alterations can be

made to a story once it has been submitted.


Entrants can win only one prize. The decision of the judge is final

and no correspondence will be entered into.


The winner of the competition and runners up will be announced October/November 2021 (exact date TBC). The winners may be announced online as opposed to the regular winners’ ceremony depending on ongoing social distancing rules. 


The winner may be photographed and interviewed for publicity



Copyright remains with the author, but the organisers reserve the right to

publish the winning entries online or in print for one year after winning. 

The organisers reserve right to alter details of the competition if necessary.


Entrants who do not abide by the above rules will not be considered.

The Val Wood Prize 2020: The Next Chapter

The Val Wood Prize 2020: The Next Chapter is now closed.

It has been a long time coming but I am thrilled to tell you that the winners of The Val Wood Prize 2020 are now announced below. 


We had hundreds of brilliant entries last year but unfortunately the competition results were severely delayed due to the Covid restrictions and lockdowns that interfered with both the coming together of the judging panel and complications regarding a winner's ceremony.


Unfortunately, due to restrictions still being in place, no ceremony will take place for the 2020 prize but rest assured the winning entrants will be contacted by Hull Library and receive their well deserved prizes.


Again, thank you so much to all who entered during such a strange year and I hope you won't be disheartened if you didn't make the shortlist. The 2021 prize will be announced shortly and I do hope you will all enter again. As always, I look forward to reading your entries.

Val Wood. 

Val Wood announces the winners in the recorded message (Left. Click sound on in the bar at the bottom of the video screen). 


Congratulations to all of the winners of The Val Wood Prize 2020. Click on the entries below to read the stories in full. 



The Winners - Yorkshire Prize

FIRST PRIZE - 199 Steps by Glenn Malkin from Hornsea
RUNNER UP Shifting Sands by Belinda Crowther from Cottingham
RUNNER UP Coastal Surprise by Leonie Jordan from Driffield

The Winners - Open Prize

FIRST PRIZE The Boom by Millie Mockford from Bamford, Derbyshire
RUNNER UP Boleyn by Rosalind Adler from London
RUNNER UP The Face in the Blue and White Bowl by Joanne Shone from Flintshire, Wales

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