Novel in 25 Words

‘It is with words as with sunbeams - the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn’. So said Bristol-born Romantic poet Robert Southey, but how easy is it really to tell an entire story in just a few words?

To celebrate 25 years teaching creative writing at Bath Spa University we are challenging people to live and breathe Southey’s philosophy and write an entire novel in just 25 words. You can tell any story you like, however you choose, as long as it hits the word count.

Entries will be judged by our panel of published authors and writing experts, and the overall winner will receive a £500 prize. Fancy hearing your words brought to life by one of the country’s finest actors? The winner and two runners up will have their 25 word story read out and recorded by Jeremy Irons, Oscar-winning actor and Bath Spa University’s Chancellor.

All prize-winning entries will be published on this website ‘A Place in Words’ and winners will be invited to attend Bath Spa University's Creative Writing Anthology launch in central London on Friday 15 September 2017, where Jeremy Irons will read out the winning entry, live. We’ll cover your travel costs and put you up in a hotel overnight so you can enjoy the event. 

Need some inspiration? Guidance? Read about what the judges are looking for here

If the novel you want to write is a little longer than 25 words, you can find out about our creative writing courses at Bath Spa University here. The prestigious courses and are taught by award-winning practitioners including Windham-Campbell Prize winners Tessa Hadley and Aminatta Forna, and Costa Book of The Year Award winner Nathan Filer. 

Terms and conditions apply.

novel in 25 words