Short Story Writer Of The Year 2023 entries close 15th September 2023

There is a top prize of £500 up for grabs, and the winning story (and runner up) will appear in glorious print in the Winter 2023 issue of IH Magazine!

The Competition:

We love to celebrate the creative talents of our IH Members, and this year we are looking to discover the IH Short Story Writer of the Year 2023.  Do you have a compelling equine tale or experience you wish to write about?  A wonderful imagination or a unique point of view?  Perhaps a gem of a story has been lurking in your mind for a while?  Now is the time!

With a first prize of £500, plus your story printed in the IH Magazine, this is a fantastic chance to have your talents recognised and celebrated!  Your story can be fiction or non-fiction, as long as the story centres on horses in some way.  The only limit is your imagination.

It may be autobiographical, drawing on your own experiences, or perhaps you wish to explore a certain genre, time in history, or way of life.  The power of a well-told story is immense.  Just think how Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, published nearly 150 years ago, changed the Victorian mindset and treatment of horses, and still continues to educate and inspire today.

So, sharpen those pencils and unleash your creativity!

Entry is open to all IH members of any age.  Entries must in the form of a short story, between 1,800 and 2,100 words maximum and must be your own work.  You can choose between the two categories of ‘Fiction’ or ‘Non-Fiction’.  Your short story can be accompanied by up to 3 photos or illustrations if you wish (all images must be owned by yourself, or used with the permission of the copyright owner).

The judges will choose one overall winner and one runner up.  Both selected short stories will be printed in the Winter 2023 issue of IH Magazine.  The winner will receive the prize of £500, and the runner-up a £50 IH gift voucher.

The overall theme or messages should be relevant in some way to Intelligent Horsemanship and its ethos.  Areas you may wish to consider could include:

  • horse training and welfare
  • trials and joys of horse ownership
  • personal experiences, horses in history or the future
  • Benefits of equine therapy
  • uses of horses in cultures around the world
  • personal dreams and goals

Really anything your imagination can come up with, factual or fiction, as long as it involves a horse or two!  You have 6 months until the closing date (15th September).  Think about the sort of story that YOU would like to read, then write it!

How to Enter:

Email your story as a Microsoft Word document attachment to by 15th September 2023.  Remember to check the story is within the word count requirement of 1,800 – 2,100 words.  Your covering email should confirm your name, that you are an IH member, the Title of your story and whether it is Fiction or Non-Fiction and that it is your own work.  If under 18, please also state your age.  You may attach up to 3 (optional) accompanying photos or illustrations, confirming you have copyright permission.

Tips for Creating a Short Story:

Whether an anecdote, fable, history, comedy, crime, romance or adventure, there are several key steps to creating a great short story.

  • Pick a theme and identify the focus of your short story
  • Write an intriguing beginning – a short story needs a great hook to draw your reader in
  • Create a compelling ending – inspire, surprise or even challenge
  • Edit, edit, edit
  • Read your story out loud – does it flow?
  • Ask for feedback from trusted friends or family – it’s hard but be brave!
  • Choose a punchy title – a great title must grab the reader’s attention and curiosity so make it shine!

Terms & Conditions:

1. The Promoter: The Promoter is Intelligent Horsemanship Ltd, Lethornes, Upper Lambourn, Berks RG17 8QP.
2. Eligibility: Entrants to The IH Short Story Writer of the Year 2023 must be current Members of Intelligent Horsemanship at the time of entry.   Employees or agents of Intelligent Horsemanship Ltd, their families or other persons connected with this promotion are not eligible to enter.
3. Entries must be submitted to the email address with the subject title ‘IH Short Story Writer of the Year’, attaching the short story in the Microsoft Word format specified, stating if they are entering the Fiction or Non-Fiction category.  Entrants under 18 should state their age.  The closing date is midnight 15th September 2023.  Entrants must confirm they are an IH Member.  Only one entry per member.  Entries must comply with the 1,800 to 2,100 word count specification.   No entries will be accepted by post.  Short stories that have previously won a national or international award, or are entered into a competition where the results are pending, are not eligible for entry.  Up to 3 accompanying illustrative images may be submitted by each entrant.  The entrant is responsible for ensuring they have permission of the image copyright holder(s) to do so and for potential publication by Intelligent Horsemanship Ltd.
4. Prize: The winner will be notified by email.  The title of ‘IH Short Story Writer 2023’ will be publicly announced on 1st December 2023 in the IH Magazine and via social media.  The winning short story will be printed in that issue of the magazine, along with a short interview with the winner.  A cash prize of £500 will also be awarded, along with a certificate.  Alternative timing at the promoter’s discretion.
5. Runners Up: One runner up short story (at the judges’ discretion) will also appear in the magazine article.  A prize of a £50 IH voucher will also be awarded to the runner up (no cash alternative).
6. Competition Judging: The judges’ decision is final and binding in all matters, and no correspondence will be entered into.
7. Copyright and Permissions: You warrant that the entry is entirely your own work and not copied or adapted from any other source.  You retain all rights you have in the copyright.  All content submitted to IH Short Story Writer of the Year may be published by Intelligent Horsemanship Ltd in print and/or digital media (including social media pages) on a worldwide, perpetual basis.  Please do not enter any content if you do not agree to these terms.
8. Liability: The promoter is excluded from liability for any loss, damage or injury which might occur to the winner arising from his or her acceptance of the conditions or the prize.  The entrant will indemnify the Promoter for all liabilities, including legal costs, in relation to any action or complaint taken by any third party against the Promoter in relation to the entrant’s short story.
9. General: The promoter reserves the right to amend these Terms & Conditions.  These Terms & Conditions shall be governed by English Law.  When a short story is submitted and the entry date has passed, the entry cannot be changed or withdrawn.  Entry to the competition shall be deemed full and unconditional acceptance of the terms and conditions.

Company reg. no.: 04532067 - VAT reg. no.: 642 375832 - Registered in England and Wales IH Courses LTD. Company reg. no.: 9100054

© 2023 Intelligent Horsemanship

Designed and Hosted by