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Magic Oxygen Literary Prize Rules

You must ensure you have read and comply with all the rules before you enter. By entering the competition and uploading or sending us your work, you agree that you are in full acceptance of them. Any failure to comply with them may result in your entry being disqualified.

In Brief

  • Short Stories, up to 4,000 words (not including the title)
  • Poetry up to 50 lines (not including title or lines between stanzas)
  • The theme is open
  • Electronic uploads are preferred but written entries are also accepted
  • The competition is open to writers all over the world
  • Entrants must be 16 or over at the time of submission
  • Entries must be written in English and must be your own previously unpublished work
  • You can enter as many pieces of writing as you wish
  • £5 per entry
  • Closing date midnight 31st December 2018.
  • Entrants may withdraw entries from the competition via email, the Magic Oxygen contact form or in writing; the entry fees will not be refunded

Entry Fee

Electronic uploads are preferred with credit card or Paypal payments of £5 per entry. If you send your entry by post, cheques for £5 per entry made payable to ‘Magic Oxygen’ are acceptable from UK residents. Overseas postal entries must be accompanied by credit card or Paypal payments for £5 with clear reference to your name and postal address. Contact us for further details.


The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize invites entries from writers aged 16 or over (at the time of submission) of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. Entries must be written in English but can contain a few words from other languages if the story or poem requires it.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and in the act of making your submission, you are confirming the work is your own and that you have read the rules and comply by them. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

Entries must never have been published or broadcast in any way.

Simultaneous submissions are not allowed, ie, entries cannot be contenders in other competitions at the same time. However, previously rejected entries from other competitions are allowed.

Entry Details

All entries must adhere to the word count (4,000) and line count rules. It is your responsibility to ensure that your entry complies with these rules

Entries must be submitted by the closing date and time. Payment must be made within two days of the closing date.

Postal Entries

Entries should be typed single sided in Times New Roman, Arial or similar, they should be in 12 or 14pt in black ink. Handwritten entries are not acceptable.

Poems should have the title in bold only on the top line with the line count written beside it.

Short stories should have the title in bold only on the top line with the word count written beside it.

Postal and emailed entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title. Only covering letters for postal entries should contain the necessary identifying information.

Postal entries should be sent to:- Magic Oxygen, Flat 1, Malvern House, 14 Broad Street, Lyme Regis, Dorset DT7 3QE. If you post your entry, we encourage you to retain proof of postage and it must be postmarked before the closing date of 31st December 2018.

Postal entries must be typed; single sided, with pages numbered and securely fastened with a staple. Each entry should be on a fresh sheet of paper. Your name, address and telephone number must appear on a single, separate sheet along with full payment for the entry or entries or your payment reference. Envelopes must be clearly marked MOLP.

If you send a postal entry, send a covering letter with your contact details and the name of the piece you are submitting. The document with your actual submission must not contain your name, email address or any identifying notes. Failure to do this will result in disqualification.

Please ensure that you use the correct postage. If insufficient postage is used, the entry will not be delivered.

Receipt of Entry

Online entries will be confirmed by the email receipt of your payment to PayPal. You will also receive an email from the Magic Oxygen Online Entry System confirming your submission.

Receipt of postal entries can be confirmed if you enclose a stamped, self addressed postcard or sealed envelope along with your submission, marked ‘Magic Oxygen Literary Prize’.

It will not be possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email and no further correspondence will be entered into regarding your submission. Postal entries will not be returned; be sure to keep a copy of your submission.


The names of the shortlisted authors will be announced no later than 28th February 2019. The winners will be announced and the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize Anthology will be available shortly thereafter on a date to be confirmed. The full details will be announced on MagicOxygen.co.uk at that time.


The judging panel will be revealed in due course – click here to view last year’s panel. The judges’ decisions are final. The judges are unable to comment on individual entries, no individual correspondence will be entered into and no critiques are available.


  • Every single entry to the competition will have a tree planted for it by the Word Forest Organisation. Certificates of entry including clickable GPS co-ordinates for their tree/s will be available to entrants in this system.
  • Short story: 1st prize £1,000, 2nd prize £300, 3rd prize £100, Highly Commended 2 x £50
  • Poetry: 1st prize £1,000, 2nd prize £300, 3rd prize £100, Highly Commended 2 x £50
  • Payments will be made by electronic bank transfer.
  • The shortlist will comprise 10 entries in each category, which will include the top 5 ultimate winners. Their entries will be included in full in the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize Anthology.
  • The first prize winners in both categories will have an additional showcase page for their photograph, biography, comments and links to their work.

Worldwide copyright of the entries remains entirely with the authors. The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize administrators have the unrestricted right to publish the winning poems and stories in their annual anthology and any relevant promotional material.

The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize administrators reserve the right to amend these rules if necessary; they will be posted here and on our main website - MagicOxygen.co.uk.

You are strongly advised to get your entry in early!

Magic Oxygen will not be held liable for any problems that may result from technical hitches if you try to enter the competition at a late stage.

Good luck!

The Team