Portsmouth’s Artistic Cultural Triathlon

Launching spring 2021. Come back soon for updates on this page 


A short story competition with a difference

Tricorn Books is launching an exciting short story competition. You could WIN an opportunity to become a published author while at the same time, joining the ranks of our new writers. As a result, you will be able to sell your book online, register with the world’s largest online retail outlets and fulfil that dream.

The theme is Portsmouth

We are asking you to be unique, imaginative and creative. This is not an academic challenge, rather, a chance to show your personal vision of the city, your interpretation of it and what it means to you. Also, it is a platform where you can express your personality, originality and inventiveness.

Be unique. Be original. Be creative.

The overall winner gets their work published and printed as a book. In addition, the winner of each age category will have their book published as an e-book.

The Competition

Features three elements

  1. Short story or Poem/Prose. Your short story should feature Portsmouth as a location or device. It’s up to you how much the setting features in your story. Above all, consider Portsmouth as a point of inspiration. Local research can provide a creative spark and give you plenty of ideas. Alternatively, poetry or prose should be a minimum of four stanzas. The format could be Haiku, rap, free verse, ballad, acrostic. Similarly, up to you.
  2. Illustration for front cover. This might be a painting, drawing, photograph, digital design or collage.
  3. Front cover. Finally, we are asking you to produce a design for the front cover that includes the title and your name. For example, how would you put your illustration and text together for maximum impact? What font, colours and scale would you use? Up to you. After all, you’re the creative in this challenge!

Length of writing

Up to 2,900 words and can be in the form of text, diary, dialogue, txt message – up to you.

Age categories

Younglings 6+
Adults 16+


Closing date for entries is ………

Winning entries will be announced on ……..… and published on the Tricorn Books website.

Submission Guidelines

The competition is open to any unpublished author from around the world. Also, there is no entry fee for this competition.

All submissions should be in electronic format as follows, below. Typed or printed material will not be accepted.

  1. Short story text up to 2,900 words. Poem at least 4 stanzas. Microsoft Word doc only.
  2. Front cover design as 300 dpi jpg. Text should be supplied separately in Microsoft Word doc only.

Files can be submitted using Large Files, WeTransfer, Dropbox, Google drive to

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