Lincoln Book Festival Flash Fiction Competition 2020

Lincoln Cathedral overhead view

Lincoln Imp Inspires Latest Lincoln Book Festival Flash Fiction Competition

Lincoln Book Festival’s Flash Fiction Competition is back for 2020 with aspiring writers invited to craft their own ultra-short stories inspired by the legendary Lincoln Imp.

Authors from primary school age and upwards can submit their own original short stories of exactly 50 words on the chosen topic for the chance to win £30 of book vouchers. Prizes are available across three age categories (primary, secondary and adult).

The iconic Lincoln Imp is celebrated this year in a new Lincoln Imp Trail which will see 30 sculptures line the city’s streets this summer. A historic symbol of Lincoln, the imp is a grotesque gargoyle tucked away in the stonework of Lincoln Cathedral. Local legend describes how the imp was sent by the devil to wreak havoc in the cathedral but was turned to stone by an angel.

Flash fiction stories might describe this confrontation between the imp and the angel or take a less literal interpretation instead – such as stories about mischievous deeds or other impish acts, or even tales of “The Imps” football team (as the nickname for Lincoln City FC).

Lincoln Book Festival chairman Phil Hamlyn Williams said:

“Our annual flash fiction competition is one of the highlights of the festival and we always enjoy celebrating local creative writing talent at the festival events. This year’s brief is to put your own spin on a legendary story from Lincolnshire folklore, the Lincoln Imp, as the new Lincoln Imp Trail gets underway across the city this summer. Writers can really let their imaginations run wild – the big challenge is keeping the story to precisely 50 words!”

The flash fiction competition is organised by the Lincoln Book Festival Trust in collaboration with the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste University. The deadline for entries is 4th April 2020 with entry forms and full Terms and Conditions available to download below.

Lincoln Book Festival takes place from 13th to 17th May this year – a switch from its former September date. Competition winners will be announced at the festival.

Placing “history at its heart”, Lincoln Book Festival brings high profile authors to the city for readings, talks and Q&As with an emphasis on history writing and historical fiction, complemented by a varied programme of activities for children, families and budding writers. Festival organisers say this year’s festival will champion a broader range of genres and formats than ever before.

The first guest author announcements will be made in the next few weeks. Recent visiting authors have included Melvin Burgess, Michael Morpurgo, David Starkey, Janina Ramirez, Diane Setterfield and Tracy Borman.

Check back regularly on the website or our social media channels for latest details on author events, competitions and all other festival activities.

Lincoln Book Festival 2020 Flash Fiction Competition Entry Form Downloads

Please use the links below to download your flash fiction competition entry form or the full Terms and Conditions. Remember, completed entries should be sent by email to by the deadline of 4th April 2020.
Entry Form – Lincoln Book Festival Flash Fiction Competition 2020
Terms and Conditions – Lincoln Book Festival Flash Fiction Competition 2020 FINAL