Literary competition 2021

The Royal Albert Hall, a venue that has seen every style of music performed beneath its iconic done, will turn 150 years in 2021. To celebrate the occasion, the 16th Elmbridge Literary Competition has chosen ‘Music’ as its theme. 

Music plays a big part in our lives. “What music do you like?” is the question asked on every first date or “That’s not music, that’s just noise!” Every parent’s review of their children’s favourite band. Oscar Wilde said, “Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory.” Indeed, literature and music have always gone hand in hand. Poets and authors, from Shelley to Shakespeare and Keats to Austen have woven it as themes through their works. 

We are looking for poems and short stories. The Elmbridge Literary Competition is open to all ages. Entry for adults is £5 with under 18s free. There are prizes for each age category. As the competition has attracted national and international interest in the past year, it now includes the ‘Elmbridge prize for the best story or poem in the adult category submitted by an Elmbridge resident’. 

The Competition runs in partnership between the R C Sherriff Trust and Elmbridge Borough Council and with publishers Sampson Low, who will publish the winning entries as a Chapbook. (Small and affordable forms of literature, Chapbooks historically were sold on the streets, and covered a range of subjects from fairy tales and ghost stories to news of politics, crime or disaster.) 

Pete Allen, Director of the R C Sherriff Trust, said, “We are pleased to see the Elmbridge Literary Competition going from strength to strength and reaching a wider audience. Last year, we received entries from across the UK and overseas. We thought that this year’s theme was particularly fitting to mark the big anniversary of one of our most iconic landmarks. We hope the theme will ‘resonate’ with you and inspire you to write fabulous stories and poems”. 

Janet Turner, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said, “Who would have known that the Elmbridge Literary Competition would capture such a wide audience! We are looking forward to receiving many entries from all age groups. We hope this year’s theme is music to your ears and will cheer you up a little in these difficult times”. 

The closing date for entries in Friday 5 February 2021. Full details, terms and conditions are available at  or  or by contacting 01932 229996 or emailing or

Date published: 14 October 2020

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