Skip to content

Toggle service links

50 words for 50 years

As we commence a year of celebrating our 50th anniversary, we’re hooking into National Storytelling Week with a literary competition for all the wordsmiths out there. Every day for eight days (starting on Saturday 26 January) we’ll be sharing a different image prompt designed to inspire you to forge a 50-word, fictional footpath.

We invited award-winning photographer Emma Williams to spend a day looking through her lens at our Milton Keynes campus. She created a series of beautifully evocative images that lend themselves perfectly to story-telling. Photography-lovers might be interested to find out more about Emma’s free-lensing technique – she’s part of a collective who curate the best of their images here.

Kicking off on Saturday 26 January we’ll be sharing one of Emma’s images across all of our social media platforms and asking you to use it as a prompt to tell us a 50-word story.

You might relish the opportunity to flex your literary muscle just for the sake of it, but as an added incentive we’re offering prizes! Every day we’ll be awarding a free upgrade to the FutureLearn course – Start Writing Fiction – to our favourite story. Perfect for those of you who want to start writing regularly and are looking for some inspiration.

We’re also delighted to announce that we’ll be working with OU Academic Dr Sally O’Reilly and awarding three prizes of National Book Tokens to our overall winners. Find Sally’s creative writing Twitter account here.

How to Enter:

Here’s your four-step guide to getting involved…

  1. Check out our social feeds on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram for a daily writing prompt between 7.15 and 8.15am GMT
  2. Write a piece of flash fiction (max of 50 words)
  3. Publish your story as a comment on the post
  4. You’re done! Sit back, read the other posts, give them some love, and prepare for the next prompt

Terms and Conditions:

  • This competition is open all
  • Participants are free to enter multiple times
  • No purchase is necessary. The competition will be open from 26/01/19 to  2/02/19. Any entries outside of the Promotion Period will not be counted
  • A daily winner will be chosen by a panel (eight days in total) and first, second and third winners will be chosen by a judge (Dr. Sally O’Reilly)
  • The decision of the panel and the judge in relation to the competition is final. No correspondence will be entered into
  • The prize is not transferable, re-saleable or exchangeable. There is no cash alternative
  • The promoter reserves the right to substitute any of the prize products subject to availability
  • All prize winners will be contacted via social media
  • Winners must respond to notification of their prize within 48 hours otherwise the right to claim the prize will be lost and the promoter reserves the right to re-award the prize(s)
  • Winners will be announced by 11/02/19
  • No entries from agents, third parties, organised groups or applications automatically generated by computers will be accepted. No incomplete or corrupted entries will be accepted. Any entries not in accordance with the entry instructions will be rejected. Any entries containing offensive or inappropriate content will be removed.
  • By entering participants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by the rules. All entry instructions form part of these Terms and Conditions.
  • In the event of unforeseen circumstances the Promoters reserve the right to offer alternative prizes of equal or greater value.
  • The Promoter reserves the right to amend, alter or terminate this promotion at any time due to circumstances beyond its control.
  • The Promoter’s decision is final and binding in all matters relating to the promotion.
  • The Promoter can accept no responsibility for, and reserves the right to refuse, entries which are corrupt, incomplete or fail to arrive by the closing date.
  • These rules are governed by English law and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
  • Promoter and Data Controller: The Open University

About Author

Paula is a Social Media Manager in Marcomms at The Open University. She is an experienced copywriter and content producer with a background in PR, Marcomms and Strategic Digital Communications. Paula has a BSc in Psychology and Law and in her spare time can usually be found attempting to restore bits of her very old townhouse.

Comments are closed.