The 2018 BCSA writing competition is now open.

Anniversary – this year is of course the centenary of the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, but there are many other anniversaries to choose from in the history of the Slovak and Czech peoples: 1618, 1848, 1938, 1948 and 1968. (1989 was a year out!) You may know of others. So ‘Anniversary’ is the suggested theme in the 2018 BCSA writing competition. That could win you our increased first prize of £400 (and a free meal at our glittering Annual Dinner!).

The BCSA’s 2018 writing competition is now under way, so do have a go yourself or encourage someone else to enter. Fiction or fact – either is welcome. The first prize of £400 and the second prize of £150 will be awarded to the best 1,500 to 2,000-word pieces of original writing in English which must be on (1) the links between Britain and the lands now comprising the Slovak and Czech Republics, or (2) describing society in transition in the Republics since 1989. Topics can include, for example, history, politics, the sciences, economics, the arts or literature. ‘Anniversary’ is this year’s suggested theme, but is not compulsory.

The writer of this year’s winning entry will be presented with the prize at the BCSA’s Annual Dinner in London in November 2018. The two prizewinning entries will be published in British Czech and Slovak Review.

Submissions are invited from individuals of any age, nationality or educational background. Entrants do not need to be members of the BCSA.

Entry is free. Entries must be received by 30 June 2018. An author may submit any number of entries. The competition will be judged by a panel of experts.

Entries should be submitted by post to the BCSA Prize Administrator, 24 Ferndale, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 3NS, England, or by e-mail to prize@bcsa.co.uk.

Administrator’s tip:

If I could pass on one lesson from recent years, it is to read the instructions: in 2016 and 2017 several entries were disallowed (no matter how well written) because they did not deal with the prescribed subjects. Enjoy the writing!

Submission guidelines

All entries must be in English, prose, typed with double-spacing and no more than 2,000 words in length . If submitted by e-mail, entries should be in Microsoft Word or a compatible program.

To ensure objective and anonymous judging the writer’s name must not appear anywhere on the piece itself.

The title must appear on the first page of the entry.

All entries must be accompanied by a cover sheet, which should include the following information:

* the writer’s name, address, home telephone/fax number, e-mail address, date of birth (optional), and brief biography (not more than four lines in length);

* the title of the piece and the word count;

* a signed statement verifying that the submission is an original piece of writing by the writer and has not been previously published, and that any citations are complete, correct and acknowledged in due form;

* a note of how the entrant learned about the competition.

The BCSA’s decision on the winning entries will be final. Entries are subject to the rules of the competition, which are available free on request from the BCSA Prize Administrator at the addresses given above, or by phone on +44 (0) 1892 543206. Copies of these guidelines are also available free from the Prize Administrator.