To celebrate the creativity in our national community in a positive project to come out of challenging times which are otherwise filled with anxiety and uncertainty. The aim is to produce a collection of original writing inspired by these uniquely new circumstances.



Inspired by life in isolation. Treat the theme as a starting point rather than a restricting topic. Readers should think “oh, I see why this is included” but other than that, the more creatively you interpret the theme, the better. Whether you wish to write conspiracy theory short story, a politically critical poem, or a sci-fi alien invasion and post apocalyptic comedy... 

I want to leave the genre and style of submission open, but please do not submit any content which would be inappropriate for younger readers. Let's all aim for this collection to be something that can be enjoyed by anyone. If we think in terms of "film classification" - try to aim for a 12A.


  All submissions are taken on a “for consideration” basis. Please read full T&C for notes on copyright and other issues regarding publication. Entries should be in the format of:

· SHORT STORY: Maximum of 1,000 words; or

· POETRY: Maximum 100 lines from between 1 or 2 Poems (inc. spaces).


ONE submission per person. If you plan to submit Flash, Poetry or Combinations, please wait to submit all of your pieces in ONE email so that I can keep track of them.


Please send your submissions by email to:

  • info@inasmanywords.com
  • Include the Title of your piece(s) even if they are also written in an attached file.
  • Include your name as you would like it appear in print (you can use a pseudonym/pen name)
  • All submissions must be entirely original work that has not previously been published in a printed or online collection. Personally or privately shared work is welcome (e.g. in your own blog, website, Facebook page.) All rights to the work must belong to the entrant.
  • Your age, or the age(s) of entrants under 18 whose work you are representing. (Age is only requested as a declaration that you are over 18, and will not form any part of decisions to include a submission.)
  • Please put "LOCKDOWN" in your email subject like
  • DEADLINE: All submissions must be submitted as complete by 12 noon, Sunday 7th June 2020
  • "Bridport Isolation": if you are submitting to the other local project please do not submit the same pieces.  


· Submissions are open to authors and poets from any country but must be written in English

· You can be an experienced, published writer, or a complete novice. 

· Open to all ages, but submissions from anyone under 18 years must be sent via a parent, carer, guardian or adult representative (e.g. a teacher or tutor.) Please see the Terms & Conditions below.

(Only email submissions will be accepted. Files MS Word .docx file are preferred, but, PDF, .txt, or including the text in the email is fine. Hand-written entries can be photographed. Please include your full name as you would wish for it to be spelt in a book.)


  1. All entries must be entirely original work written by the entrant. Intellectual property rights must reside entirely with the entrant. Any signs of plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification, and in serious cases might be reported to the actual owner of the work. 
  2. Entrants must be 18+ years of age OR submit their work via a parent, carer, or other responsible adult. Any questions or problems with this, please contact us.
  3. Submissions are taken on a "considered for inclusion" basis and the editor reserves the right to refuse submission of any entry
  4. The project is open to writers and poets from anywhere across the UK or worldwide, but please remember the work must be written in English, and a good standard of English. (i.e. this is not a national, or even regional project – it’s a local one. Let’s make it special – ours.)
  5. The project aims to share original work inspired by the theme. 
  6. However, if entrants have previously written work they feel meets the submission requirements, these can be used too (if the entrant has full copyright to do so).
  7. Copyright for each submission will remain with the individual writer. Copyright for the physical compilation will remain with Colin Ward/In As Many Words. In simple terms this means that Colin Ward/In As Many Words will not seek to prevent entrants from sharing their own work freely, or use it in other competitions or submissions at their discretion. However, most competitions would consider this project as a "publication" and so it would not be advised to use the content again and claim it is "exclusive." If you need any more advice on copyright please contact us.
  8. This project is not a competition but there will be a level of editorial oversight and quality control. Appropriate accommodation for entry from younger entries will be given, so please include the age of any entrants under 18 years when submitting the work.
  9. Any content that is potentially defamatory, offensive, or inappropriate for younger readers (e.g. of a sexual explicit nature) will not be included.


I'll be adding to these as questions are asked. Please pop back and check.

  • Can I submit a Work in Progress? Yes. You can send something in that you are working on if you would like some feeding or editorial help. However, please do this as early as possible so we can ensure your writing is completed by the deadline of 31st May;
  • Do I have to pay to submit? No. There is no charge to submit. However, this will mean that copies will not be offered free to successful entrants .
  • Why do under 18s have to submit via an adult? It is very important that the safety and best interests of young people are protected at all times. It is our responsibility to ensure they are not exploited or put into any situation that could pose a risk or otherwise require the help or support of an adult. This includes being involved with a project that could potentially be affected by copyright law. By making sure submissions are entered by an adult, we can all work together to prevent problems from developing without having to exclude younger entrants from being involved.


People are in Lockdown…but our minds are not…

The purpose of this project is to provide an opportunity for us to share our wildest ideas inspired by our current situation. However, it would be too easy to simply write “about” the situation. Why not try to explore wider, go crazy, dig deeper? Here are a range of ideas for short story ideas just to demonstrate how loose the theme really is:

  • Murder mystery – locked down in a get-away hotel, several strangers must solve a murder;
  • Fantasy land – discovering a secret trapdoor, cupboard, corridor…get C.S. Lewis on the case;
  • Black comedy – a dark and violent end to a marriage;
  • Horror – running out of food? Well, there is another source of meat…
  • All the vegetables in the town are dying out. Why?
  • Where have all the humans gone? What do the animals get up to?
  • The man we've never met...finally roams the streets when all others are gone...
  • Discovery of art - are new talents unveiled that are shared from windows?
  • Mother Nature reclaims the planet
  • The Children take over - it is discovered children develop an immunity...and take over the city...
  • ...and so many more possible ideas...be creative...