‘Write 10, Win 10’ 2021

A huge thank you to everyone who submitted to our inaugural micro competition. We received 116 entries and thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them. Entries were read anonymously by a panel of four judges.

We were treated to an inspiring mix of discoveries: everything from witches, treasure hunters, weddings, gods and new books to space, presents, mirrors, moons and murderers.

After many hours of deliberation, we are delighted to reveal that the winner is Rebecca Kinnarney. Rebecca’s story stood out for its humour, clever construction and inventive take on the theme.

The following writers made the shortlist: Laura Besley, Mandira Pattnaik, William Davis, Jessica Klimesh, Ruth Callaghan do Valle, Susy Churchill, Linda Sejung Park, Rita Lazaro and Gunnar De Winter. They all managed to tell a full story in ten words, hiding layers of meaning beneath the surface.

You can read our 10 selected stories below.

WINNER (£10)

10th January. One mince pie left. It must be love.

Rebecca Kinnarney


Letters unearthed. “Dad’s dead, you said.” “Sorry, love” Mum whispered.

Laura Besley

Childhood friend. Shared bed, dreams. Got married. Discovered a stranger.

Mandira Pattnaik

we sailed amongst the unnamed latitudes trading words for home

William Davis

Fumble for glasses, lamp. Open door to crickets singing summer.

Jessica Klimesh

Explorar: Explore / Exploit – An isthmus in ink – In Brazil landlessness

Ruth Callaghan do Valle

He emptied drawers, dispatched belongings. Every space revealed her face.

Susy Churchill

In bulging bags of homemade food, I found her heart.

Linda Sejung Park

Blue Light. Human gone. Empty bowl. Cat affronted. Now alone.

Rita Lazaro

“Look,” said grandfather, “endless worlds await.” He opened the book.

Gunnar De Winter

Judges’ notes:

  • The quality was exceptionally high. From our longlist of 30, we had a hard time getting down to a shortlist of 10.
  • The winner and shortlisted entries all told a story. It didn’t matter whether this was a grand tale of adventure or a tiny snapshot of a moment; each one narrated a full story in 10 words.
  • The best stories adhered closely to the theme, but perhaps approached ‘discovery’ from a less obvious angle.
  • It was important not to waste any words. Some promising stories that made the longlist were dropped on the basis of a single word that felt forced or out of place.
  • Clever use of punctuation made some stories stand out. Breaking up the 10 words allowed them to go further.

The Sound of Silence

He hadn’t spoken for four years, nine months and two days. A journalist arranged a meeting (via email) to find out the reason for his silence.

“Why aren’t you talking?” she probed.

He took a sip of water, then looked at the ground.

“I’ve got nothing to say” he croaked.

Submit to Briefly Zine

Briefly Zine is a literary webzine for bold, succinct writing.

We love profound ideas, stories with a twist and writing that moves us. Quality beats quantity: make every word count.

We take submissions all year round and publish quarterly. Upcoming issues will be released in March and June 2021.


  • Up to three STORIES between 6 and 600 words OR
  • Up to three POEMS each 16 lines or less

Paste your work into the body of an email and send it to brieflywritesubmissions@gmail.com.

All submissions must be original and previously unpublished. This means that your stories or poems must never have appeared in print or online (including on a personal website or on Twitter).

Please wait to hear back from us before submitting again. Our response time may be anywhere between two days and two months. If you haven’t heard back after six weeks, feel free to send us a gentle nudge to check we received your submission.

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know as soon as your work is accepted elsewhere.

If your story or poem has appeared in Briefly Zine, please wait an issue before submitting again (if you are in Issue 1, you won’t be considered again until Issue 3).

Please include a short third-person bio, but don’t feel under any pressure with this. You will be judged on the quality of your writing, not the number of journals in which you have previously been published.

There is no submission fee and, as much as we’d love to, we are not able to pay our contributors at this time. Hopefully this will change in the future.

By submitting to Briefly Zine, you are giving us first electronic rights only. Copyright reverts to the author upon publication.

For writing inspiration, have a look at our prompts and tips here.