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BBC 'Novels That Shaped Our World' competition

To celebrate the BBC's novels that shaped our world programme, Derbyshire libraries is running a short story competition aimed at adults around the theme of isolation.

The competition runs from Monday 1 February 2021 and closes on Wednesday 31 March 2021 and is open to all residents aged 16 and over who live within the administrative boundaries of Derbyshire County Council.

Entrants must write up to 500 words, this could be fiction, memoir or poetry, but all entries should centre on the theme of isolation. Entries should be sent to with the name of the participant and a contact number or email.

Prizes of book tokens will be awarded to the top three entries chosen by our independent judges, celebrated authors Emma Pass and Anna Stuart.

  • First Prize is £250 in book tokens,
  • Second Prize is £150 in book tokens
  • Third Prize is £100 in book tokens

All entries will be published in a compendium ebook on Derbyshire Libraries' BorrowBox platform available for all customers to read and enjoy.

This competition is part of a series of library activities and events to celebrate the novel and the joy of reading in participation of the BBC 'Novels That Shaped Our World' programme, funded by Arts Council England.  

Derbyshire Libraries are also offering 2 writing workshops from our judges. Anna Stuart is hosting ‘Getting Started – a guide to the nuts and bolts of writing’ for adults, and Emma Pass is hosting a Young Adult writing workshop. Tickets are free but places are limited.

Competition rules

  1. Eligibility: This prize promotion (the “Promotion”) is open to participants who live within the administrative boundaries of Derbyshire County Council and are aged 16 or over (the "Participants"), and will start at 00:01 on 1 February 2021 (the “Opening Date”), and finish at 23.59 on [31 March 2021], inclusive (the “Closing Date”).
  2. The Promotion is promoted by Derbyshire County Council, County Hall, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3AG (the "Promoter").
  3. The Promotion is not open to:
    (i) employees of the Promoter;
    (ii) any person directly or indirectly involved in the Promotion; or
    (iii) members of their immediate families or households.
  4. Participants must independently write a 500 word submission on the theme of isolation, either fiction, poetry or memoir between the Opening Date and the Closing Date to be entered into the Promotion. All Promotion entries received after the Closing Date are automatically disqualified. Entries must include a valid email address.
  5. No purchase is necessary and there is no charge to register for use of the website.
  6. All eligible entries submitted by the Closing Date will be judged by a panel of librarians and the shortlisted titles will be independently judged by published authors Emma Pass and Anna Stuart. The criteria are how well the work embodies and addresses the theme of isolation. The decision of the panel of judges (acting reasonably) will be final.
  7. There will be 3 prize winners in total, with each prize winner receiving a prize consisting of book tokens and publication of the entries (the “Prizes”). First Prize is £250 in book tokens, Second Prize £150 in book tokens and Third Prize £100 in book tokens. All eligible entries submitted will be published in ebook format by Derbyshire County Council on the ebook platform BorrowBox.
  8. Prize winners will be notified by email using the details provided with the Promotion entry within 5 working days of being selected, with the Prize draw and judging taking place on or around 30 April 2021.
  9. There is a limit of one entry to the competition per person. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint submissions are not allowed.
  10. If the Prize winner cannot be traced after reasonable efforts have been made by the Promoter, the winner will forego the right to claim the Prize and the Promoter will arrange for a replacement winner to be selected.
  11. Prize winners agree that the Promoter may use their name and/or image and town or county of residence to announce the Prize winner(s) of this Promotion and for any other reasonable and related promotional purposes. If you object to any or all of your surname, image, town/county of residence and winning entry being published or made available, please contact the Promoter by emailing In such circumstances, the Promoter must still provide the information and winning entry to the Advertising Standards Authority on request.
  12. The Prize winner further agrees to participate in any reasonable publicity required by the Promoter.
  13. The Promoter will only process your personal information as set out in the Privacy policy. See also condition 11 with regard to the announcement of winners.
  14. The Prize winners should allow 28 days for delivery of their Prize.
  15. The Prizes are non-transferable, non-refundable, non-changeable and subject to availability.
  16. Incomplete, illegible or fraudulent entries will be considered void.
  17. The Promoter will not accept Promotion entries that are:
    (i) automatically generated by computer; or
    (ii) completed by third parties or in bulk.
  18. The Promoter will not accept:
    (i) Responsibility for competition entries that are lost, mislaid, damaged or delayed in transit, regardless of cause, including, for example, as a result of any postal failure, equipment failure, technical malfunction, systems, satellite, network, server, computer hardware or software failure of any kind; or
    (ii) Proof of posting or transmission as proof of receipt of entry to the Promotion.
  19. The Promoter's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  20. The Promoter reserves the right to provide an alternative prize of similar value should the specified Prize become unavailable for any reason.
  21. Insofar as is permitted by law, the Promoter, its agents or distributors will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the winner or accept any liability for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of taking up the Prize except where it is caused by the negligence of the Promoter, its agents or distributors or that of their employees. Your statutory rights are not affected.
  22. All entries and any accompanying material submitted to the Promoter will become the property of the Promoter on receipt and will not be returned.
  23. By submitting your competition entry and any accompanying material you agree to:
    (i) Assign to the Promoter all your intellectual property rights with full title guarantee; and
    (ii) Waive all moral rights
    in and to your competition entry and otherwise arising in connection with your entry to which you may now or at any time in the future be entitled under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as amended from time to time and under all similar legislation from time to time in force anywhere in the world.
  24. You agree that the Promoter may, but is not required to, make your entry available on its website and any other media, whether now known or invented in the future, and in connection with any publicity of the competition. You agree to grant the Promotor a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable licence, for the full period of any intellectual property rights in the competition entry and any accompanying materials, to use, display, publish, transmit, copy, edit, alter, store, re-format and sub-licence the competition entry and any accompanying materials for such purposes.
  25. Entry to the Promotion confirms you have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  26. If there is any reason to believe that there has been a breach of these terms and conditions, the Promoter may, at its sole discretion, reserve the right to exclude you from participating in the competition.
  27. The Promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the terms of this Promotion and without notice, due to circumstances beyond its reasonable control
  28. The Promotion is governed by English Law and the English Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute arising in connection with it.