The Bridport Prize

Every year without fail since 2007, I’ve sent in an entry or two to the Bridport short story prize, essentially regarding the fee as a charitable donation. Given the number of entries involved, I’ve always thought of the odds of making any kind of impression as being absolutely minimal – a sort of literary, slightly less random equivalent of the National Lottery.

This year, for the hell of it, I sent in a couple of entries for the poetry prize for the first time. And today I heard that one of them, “Choking Hazard – Small Parts”, wasn’t in the prizes but had made the shortlist. I know from looking at previous years that it’s probably quite a long shortlist, but I am still pretty gobsmacked by this. And also, I have to say, really rather chuffed, because one of my writing goals for this year was to get on a Bridport shortlist. I just hadn’t expected it to be with a poem.

Today was one of those days when you can believe that almost anything can happen.

13 thoughts on “The Bridport Prize

  1. Vanessa G says:

    Ooodles of congrats John, yes the shortlist is loooong – but its a fraction of the normal 8000 poems that get sent in.


  2. admin says:

    Thanks, Vanessa – and congrats back on your TWO shortlisted poems!

    Did you really say 8000? I knew it was in the thousands, but wow.

  3. Vanessa G says:

    well it was last year, and the year before, I believe.

    The total number of entries last year was 14500 plus, according to the organisers, and poetry slightly outstrips short fiction in terms of numbers….

  4. admin says:

    Wow again! Thanks for that, Vanessa 🙂

  5. Sherri says:

    Well done again, Jonathan, and on the Murky Depths.

    Your versatility is astonishing.

  6. admin says:

    Thanks, Sherri 🙂 I just like trying different things!

  7. ems says:

    Does this mean if I haven’t had a letter, I probably haven’t been shortlisted? 🙁

    Although, I did enter under short shorty.

    – not hoping in vain

  8. ems says:


    I meant, ”short story.” I promise I can spell.


  9. admin says:

    Hi ems, and thanks for dropping in! As far as I can tell, everyone who’s on any of the shortlists has been notified by now.

    Do you enter other writing competitions? Have a look at my next-post-but-one if you don’t! Bridport isn’t the only one 🙂

  10. Rumjhum Biswas says:

    Congratulations Johnathan!:) And congratulations to Vanessa. 🙂
    I was once pretty chuffed too, but that some years ago – 2006 – when a poem of mine got into the loong shortlist. That was my one and only submission that year. It’s expensive for me because I have to count in ruppees!

  11. admin says:

    Thanks Rumjhum, and nice to see you here – I always enjoy your poems on EDP! Guess I’m about 4 years too late, but congrats for 2006 anyway 🙂

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