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And the Winner Is…Nobody

PUBLISHED: February 8, 2008

The Willesden Herald’s third annual Short Story Prize didn’t go as planned. They required no entry fee, and consequently received 850 entries. None of them were very good. That left Willesden in a bit of a pickle, especially since they didn’t want to give out £5,000 in prize money for mediocre work. Their solution was to take perhaps the most difficult path: they named no winner and gave the money to a charity. Their decision hasn’t been universally well received. Generally, submitting authors feel slighted, while authors who didn’t submit think it’s a fine solution. Willesden writes that they regret some aspects of how they ran the competition, but that they “do not regret running a competition that looks for excellence.”

(Via Charlottesville Words)

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