Book a Break in Provence

The 2018 Book a Break Short Story Competition.


First prizeA long weekend for two (4 night stay) in Provence (see below for details).

2 runners-up will receive a signed copy of One Green Bottle or the sequel, Perfume Island.

A selection of the best stories will be published in the 2018 Book a Break Short Story Anthology, proceeds of which will go to the Against Malaria Foundation..


Maximum 2000 words on the theme of nourishment.

(I chose this theme because there happens to be a lot of food in my current work in progress, but of course, there are other sorts of nourishment too – all ways of dealing with the theme are welcome).


Deadline: 6 pm GMT, Sunday, January 28th 2018.

Early bird deadline: 6 pm GMT, Sunday, January 7th 2018. Two extra nights will be offered to the author of a prize-winning entry received before the early bird deadline.

There is no entry fee.

Entries to be sent to mdoussy(at) as a Word file attachment (not PDF) with Book a Break Short Story in the subject line. Do not add your name to the story itself.

The winner will be announced: March 11th 2018.

The entries will be judged by Sherry Morris, winner of the 2018 competition, and by myself. Submissions will be forwarded to us with the names of the authors removed.

Entries must be in English, and previously unpublished (except on the writer's personal website).

Writers may submit more than one entry if they wish.

First Prize Details

The prize includes:

4 nights bed and breakfast for two (dates to be negotiated, but please note that July and September 2018 are unavailable), in en suite accommodation 3 kms from the centre of Aix en Provence, equipped with king-size bed, adjoining bathroom, micro-wave, coffee machine and wi-fi connection.

Free access to swimming pool and garden.

Transport (arrival and departure) between the accommodation provided and either Aix-Marseille airport or the Aix-TGV train station (NB: the prize does not include travel to or from Provence).

Dinner (if desired) for two of the four nights.

Talking shop with Curtis, author of the Magali Rousseau Mystery Series, who will happily converse for hours, but will also shut up and go away when you tell him to.

If you have any queries, don't hesitate to get in touch: curtis.bausse(at)

For further information, see a brief explanation of the reasoning behind the competition.

Sherry Morris writes about her visit to Provence here; I wrote an account of Ingrid Jendrzejewski's visit in 2016.

Cat Tales, the 2016 Book a Break anthology, and With Our Eyes Open, from 2017, will give you an idea of the variety of entries received. Both are available on Amazon in print and ebook forms, or directly from this site as a PDF.


My thanks to Almond Press for listing this competition


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