1989 – 2019 is of course the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. So ‘1989’ is the suggested optional theme in the 2019 BCSA writing competition. That could win you our first prize of £400 (and a free meal at our glittering Annual Dinner!).

You can interpret ‘1989’ as you wish: before and/after, causes and/or effects, then and now, or just what happened in the year itself. Think laterally, use your imagination …

The BCSA’s 2019 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 on either (a) the links between Britain and the lands now comprising the Slovak and Czech Republics, at any time in their history, or (b) society in transition in the Republics since 1989. Topics can include, for example, history, politics, the sciences, economics, the arts or literature. ‘1989’ 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 2019. 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 2019. 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.

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.