Notebooks and novels on a workdesk

{UnPrompted at Clean Prose}

Here at Clean Prose we love a good prompt to help remind our brain cells that it’s time to get to work, but we know they’re not for everyone. If you have a short story that doesn’t follow one of the prompts from our “prompted” short story competition, you can submit it to the Clean Prose UnPrompted Short Fiction Competition, which will be running parallel to Prompts at Clean Prose.

Entrants into the competition will get their work under the noses of some of the publishing industry’s top authors, who will judge the competition and give feedback.

The winners will be announced at our annual Christmas party in December. All of the winners, and some highly commended writers, will be published in The Clean Prose Short Fiction Anthology 2020, have their work featured on the Clean Prose website, and win membership to Clean Prose.

Clean Prose is a co-working space for professional and aspiring writers who want to get their work out there. We offer a quiet recluse in the heart of the busy city where writers can work, enjoy discounted tickets to our events, and network with industry professionals and other writers.

{Prefer a writing prompt?}

If you would rather submit a short story with a clear prompt, then read more about or choose one of our open prompts as part of our Prompts at Clean Prose short story competition:

{The Prizes}

First Place: A year’s Unlimited membership to Clean Prose

Second Place: A year’s Light membership to Clean Prose

Third Place: Six month’s Light membership to Clean Prose

Three runners-up will receive: A 5 day pass to Clean Prose

More prizes to be announced soon

{The Details}

Wordcount: 750-1500 words

Deadline: The deadline for UnPrompted stories is Sunday 25th October at 3pm.

Formatting: All text to be 12 point, Times New Roman, 1.5 line spacing 

How to enter: Email your submission as a word document or pdf to with UnPrompted submission as your subject line. 

In the body of the email, please include your name and the title of your story. 

Do not paste your submission in the body of the email.

The stories will be judged blind, so do not include your name anywhere in your submission document.

This competition follows all the same rules and guidelines as Prompts, but the competition runs all year. The winners of Prompts at Clean Prose are eligible for consideration for this prize.


Can I enter more than once?

Yes. You may enter the competition multiple times, but we will only accept one submission per person for each individual prompt. You may enter the UnPrompted competition as many times as you wish.

Can I enter a story that has already been published elsewhere?

No. We only accept unpublished fiction. This includes self-published work and work that has been published online.

Do I have to have attended the event to enter?

No. Prompts is open to anyone! You don’t have to have been to the event, as long as you respond to the prompt. But you might find it useful to check our website, blog and social media to find out more about what you might have missed.

Can I submit work in another language?

No, please only submit stories written in English.

Can I enter under a pen name?

Sure. You can enter under a nom de plume but please ensure that your legal name is included in your email so that we are able to contact you.

Can I submit work that I have also submitted to another competition?

You may submit a story that is already under consideration for another prize, but please let us know if you have been successful elsewhere, and your story will be withdrawn.

When will the winners be announced?

The shortlisted writers will be announced at the end of November, and they will be invited to join us at our annual Christmas party in December, where the winners will be announced.

Can I enter my story into both competitions?

No. If your story follows one of the Prompts, please only enter it into the Prompts competition. The winning Prompts stories will automatically be considered for the UnPrompted Prize.

Can I enter both competitions with different stories?

Yes, we’d love to read as many stories as you’d like to enter!