The suggested (but not compulsory) theme this year is Freedom. Freedom is much in our minds at the moment, but you can interpret freedom, as you wish, in any of its aspects. Current or historic, serious or humorous, public or private, you choose. But your entry must also fulfil the criteria in the next paragraph.

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 which must be on (1) the links between Britain and the lands now comprising the Slovak and Czech Republics, at any time in their history, or (2) describing society in the Republics since 1989. Topics can include, for example, history, politics, sport, the sciences, economics, the arts or literature.

The writer of this year’s winning entry will (if he or she wishes) be presented with the prize at the BCSA’s Annual Dinner in London in November 2022 (if held). 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 31 July 2022. 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

Administrator’s tip:

If I could pass on one lesson from recent years, it is to read the instructions: in recent years several entries were disallowed (no matter how well written) because they did not deal with the prescribed subjects. Enjoy the writing!

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. Copies of these guidelines are also available free from the Prize Administrator.