News Details

Top Award of £1000 in Creative Writing Prize

Monday 30th November 2015


Stratford upon Avon Literary Festival is launching its 2016 Creative Writing Competition with a top prize of £1000, thanks to the support of the Literary Executors of the best-selling poet and businessman, Felix Dennis.

The competition, which has a different theme every year and has run since the Festival launched in 2008, will now be called The Felix Dennis Prize after one of the Festival’s greatest supporters. Entries will be split into three age categories, and the winner in the youngest category will also have a tree dedicated to them in the Heart of England Forest, a charity created by Felix Dennis and committed to planting a huge native forest in Warwickshire area, not far from Stratford-upon-Avon.

The theme for the 2016 competition is: For all Time (to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death) though the organisers stress that the stories and poems submitted do not have to mention or relate to the Bard at all.

Prizes in each category will be as follows:

17+ age group

First Prize: £1000

Runner-up: £300


12-16 age group

First Prize: £250

Runner-up: £50


7-11 years

First Prize: £100 including a tagged tree with the winner’s name in the Heart of England Forest

Runner-up: £50


The Festival will also be welcoming submissions from art, photography and graphic design students who could win £250 if their design is chosen as the cover for the special Festival book. The book, which will be published in April 2016, will contain the winning and highly-commended poems and short stories and be on sale at Waterstones Stratford and via Amazon.

‘The Literary Executors to the Felix Dennis Estate are delighted to support The Felix Dennis Prize for poetry and short story writing, being run by the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival,’ says literary executor Caroline Rush, ‘Felix had a close association with the Festival and performed his poetry on stage at the Festival during its early years. Always keen to encourage others to put pen to paper, we believe Felix would have whole-heartedly endorsed this new initiative.’

The Heart of England Forest is a charity dedicated to planting and preserving a huge native forest right in the middle of England. The forest already contains well over a million trees, creating a safe haven for our native wildlife and a place of tranquility where children and families can learn about the natural world away from the bustle of everyday life. ‘The forest is growing to become a beautiful legacy for future generations, helping make the world a happier, healthier place.’ says Alison Hunter, Trustee of the charity, ‘and we are delighted to be working with the Festival.’

Deadline for entries will be 20th February, and will be judged by a panel of experts. Full details can be found


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