ABCtales Winter Write-Off!

I’m proud to be announcing ABCtales’ Winter Prose and Poetry Competition!

The theme is ‘Winter’ — but the thematic is loose and you can incorporate it as much or as little into your work as you’d like.

This is a fifty/fifty competition – half of the proceeds will be split between our winners, and half will go to funding ABCtales (which is still bearing the brunt of the cost of our latest redesign!)


The competition is open to all ABCtales members to enter, on payment of a £5 entry fee, or £9 for two entries or £12 for three in any genre. No more than three entries per writer.

The competition is being judged by the Editor of ABCtales. The opinion of the judge is final. No employee or relative of an employee of ABCtales is able to enter.

All entries must be posted on ABCtales. Entries must be marked ‘Add to Competition' in the box at the bottom of all story edit forms - just above and to the right of the save button. The two categories judged will be fiction and poetry: there will be a word limit of three hundred and fifty (350) words for poetry and twenty five hundred (2,500) words for fiction.

The prize will be split equally between winners of the poetry and prose categories. Honourable mentions will be announced but there will only be one winner in each category.

The completion is open as of now, and we’ll leave the competition open over Christmas so that you can all use the winter holidays to reflect and to write. All entries must be in by 12.00 GMT on January 6th, and we will announce the winner on January 20th at 12.00 GMT.

Entries will only be considered after the entry fee has been paid via Paypal. Payment of the fee must be made by 12.00 GMT Midnight on Monday January 6th 2014.

To register, use the box below.

Number of Entries
Enter your ABC username:

That’s all – have fun and don’t hesitate to get in touch (via the contact button below) if you have any comments or queries!


Hey Ben,

Thanks for that, I knew I was forgetting something! Yes, there will be a word limit of 350 maximum for poetry, and 2,500 for prose, but there is no lower word limit.

Flash fiction stands as much of a chance of winning as a longer story - really it's just down to quality. 

There's no 'competition entry' in the genre box. There used to be one, but it's disappeared. I was going to post a story but obviously can't now. Technical glitch?


No idea how that happened, celtic, but you're right! Reinstated.

yep, I'm always right, although sometimes I'm wrong.


Ok - we've got an updated Competition system now - there's a flag at the bottom of the story you have to tick to get in the competition. Right above the save buttons is a checkbox that says 'add to competition.' Once you click that - your story will be added to the competition list. Should be easier than using the genre column, and this way you can still pick a genre for your writing!

I've just updated your entry celt!

ok Luke, thanks for that. I'll look out for flags in the future.


I read a winter's tale from Linda. It's in the unread category. I'm not sure what to do here. Because to mark it read might mean you will miss it. The other thing is you'll need to advise editors not to cherry such pieces, (because normally I'd cherry Linda's) but it's impossible to tell from the unread pile which are in the competition (like mine) or normal unread. 


That's a good point. If you could 'edit' the piece and tick the 'add to competitions' box, it'll flow through to the competitions page. That way it's ok if the story is marked as read.

You're right though that we'll have to refrain from awarding cherries to competition stories! Perhaps the best way to notify this is with the 'competitions' genre. Thanks Celt...

I went to edit and ticked competition box (last time). But the competition option on the menu has went missing again. So I'm sure it just shows as normal unread.


yep, worked out what box to tick. but I think that'll be too fiddly for most folk.


All stories which have been added to the competition will now show 'in competition' in red when you go to them:

That should help let eds (and readers) know why a piece isn't cherried / marked as read.

Hope this solves the problem!

Hi Luke.  Having read the above I am feeling a bit lonely here as it only seems to be my two poetry entries showing on the competitions page, and neither of these are showing 'in competition' in red as mentioned above.  Have I ticked the wrong box?  I have paid my 3 entry fee ages ago, honest!


Hi Luke,

Hope you had the Christmas you would wish for.  And now to business...I paid my entry fee for the competition and posted my story The Garage Sale! and I clicked the add to competition button but my story seems to be just added to my account.  Does that mean that it won't be included in the competition as it is available to read and I didn't think competition entries would be?  Sorry to be a nuisance so soon after Christmas.



Hi Denzella via Luke - seems we have the opposite problems.  (see above). I am glad to know I am not in fact the only entrant, I paid for 3 entries but have only posted 2 so far - maybe my third attempt (if I ever get round to it) should be about Gremlins!  Happy New Year all!


Oh and Moya I should say my 2 entries are not only on the Competition page but also on my account so I am guessing all entries should be available to read as mine are in both places.  Good luck anyway xx


Hello LInda,

Funny, I was replying to a comment by you when I was notified that you had sent a message.

Good luck with your entries though I doubt you will need it.

Moya xx


Hi Linda,

What are the names of your competition entries? I'll have a look. Luke

Hi both,

Sorry for my delay in responding. The 'add to competition' box is at the bottom of the edit story page, just above the 'save' buttons. You have to click on the 'flags' box to open it up (sorry it's not simpler!). You can always edit a story that you want to enter, even if it's already published, and check this box so that your story appears on the competitions page — but I'll go in and do this manually for you both, now.

Don't worry — once you pay for an entry, we have a separate record for it, so if your story doesn't end up where it should due to some fault of the site I'll be in touch personally to find out where it went!


Hi Luke my entries are 'Winter Comes' and A Winter's Tale'   Thanks and HNY!


Firstly, Happy New Year Luke, hope you have a great day.

But wanted to say I have just posted the third of my paid-for entries, a story 'It wasn't meant to be like this'.   Ticket the 'add to competitions' box. Like my other 2 (poems), it is now on the Competitions page as well as my account, and now I am still the only entrant appearing on said page.  Getting lonelier by the minute!  It must be me doing something wrong?  Heeeelp!  Is it too early for a G&T?


Hey Linda,

Looks like the flag wasn't working properly for you. I've just checked the box again, and it's now in the competitions slot: I'll look into why that wasn't working. 

And it's never too early for a g&t!

Hello Luke,

when I tried your link above  I got page not found.

Happy New Year



Same here Luke - link says 'page not found'


Oops - it's because I hyperlinked the period by accident. This should work:

Right now this page is only showing pieces that you've personally flagged as part of the competition, so yours may not appear when you click there right away. I'm having our developer look into why this is happening—all the competition entries (there are quite a few!) will be accessible here shortly.

Hi Luke,

I posted my entry yesterday 'Winters Scene' and have just paid the entry fee.  I have clicked on the competition tag of the 3 at bottom of page.  Is this ok.   Thank you so much for Cherries, what a start to 2014.   Best wishes to you all.  Roy 


Hey Luke - that link still coming up page not found, where have all the entries gone?


Hi Luke,

I'm ocnfused. The first of my two stories I entered in the competiiton i see  has today been cherried.  I didn't think competion enries  shold be.  I paid separately for the two entries because i didn't intend to post a s econd entry.  


sorry about typing.