Have you always wanted to write a novel but struggled to find the motivation?

Surrey has provided inspiration to an amazing number of literary greats. Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle are just a handful of names that make up the glittering roster of novelists who have spent time writing here.

From art to theatre, food and design, each month the pages of Surrey Life magazine celebrate the creativity that flourishes in Surrey and now it is time to celebrate those who, like the aforementioned authors, are inspired to write.

In partnership with Guildford Book Festival, Surrey Life is launching its first readers’ short story competition to find the county’s next big bite-size literary star.

The winning story will be published in Surrey Life magazine and broadcast live on BBC Surrey. In addition, the winner will receive a selection of books signed by authors taking part in this year’s Guildford Book Festival (October 7 – 14).

The competition is open to Surrey residents aged 18 and over who have not previously been published and distributed online or in bookshops. The short story should not exceed 1,000 words and must be submitted by July 31, 2018.

Shortlisted authors will be invited to attend the launch of Guildford Book Festival in October 2018, when the overall winner will be announced.

The judging panel includes Surrey Life editor Rebecca Younger, multi-million bestselling author and Surrey Life columnist Adele Parks, BBC Surrey and Sussex editor Sara David and Guildford Book Festival co-director Alex Andrews.

Now in its 29th year, Guildford Book Festival is passionate about championing new writers. Our creative writing courses are always hugely popular. We are delighted to be working with Surrey Life to provide a launchpad for a new, local author.

Entry Details & Terms and conditions:

The competition is open to previously unpublished individuals aged 18 and over. To enter, send an original, unpublished short story, written in English and of no more than 1,000 words to competitions@surreylife.co.uk.

The competition closes at midnight on July 31 2018. Stories received after the closing date will not be considered. The winner will be selected by a panel of judges and will be judged on literary merit, originality and readability. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these terms and to have agreed to be bound by them. For more details click here