Crusoe300 Flash Fiction Competition

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the publication of Daniel Defoe’s much-loved classic Robinson Crusoe published on the 25 April 1719, and to complement our Crusoe300 Flash Fiction Walkshop, we ran a Crusoe300 flash fiction competition.

ISBN 978-1-912960-22-4

We are delighted to announce the publication of Shipwrecked, a limited edition chapbook, published by Sampson Low Publishers.

Shipwrecked includes the winning stories from the competition judged by N G Bristow (screen writer, director and visual artist running the MA in Directing Fiction at Goldsmiths University of London), Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone (author, editor and tutor on the Novel Studio at City, University of London) and Andrew Stuck (Founding Director of the Museum of Walking).

Defoe himself published hundreds of chapbooks, and these stories are all inspired by his most famous work, Robinson Crusoe in different ways; challenging colonial perceptions, questioning the veracity of narrative, playing with the idea of abandonment and escape. To read on and enjoy… by your copy here:

Buy a single copy: £2.99 (plus £1.20 p&p within the UK), Buy 3 copies each at £2.60 (plus £1.20 p&p within the UK). Additional postage charges will apply for shipment beyond the UK: for single copies to Europe an additional £1, for 3 copies to Europe an additional £2; for single copies to the rest of the world an additional £2, for 3 copies to the rest of the world and additional £3. For larger quantities, please Get in Touch.

Shipwrecked – Crusoe300 Flash Fiction Anthology


We asked the winning authors to tell us what it was in Robinson Crusoe that inspired them to write their stories:

Moira Tighe – author of “Friday” 

“The moment in Robinson Crusoe that inspired me was Robinson’s discovery of the footprint, marking the end of his isolation. I was thinking about loneliness and how we choose to navigate it, the way that we shape our lives to avoid, encircle or try to live and breath inside it. I considered how we can live in close proximity to others, know all their ways and habits, yet never truly know them and how we are seemingly always drawn to connect even if we cannot clearly discern whether the other is friend or foe. I wrote a story in which one lonely person, living in unusual isolation, chooses to communicate with another, who is equally, though more conventionally, isolated.”

Fiona Ritchie Walker – author of “New World”

Robinson Crusoe’s challenge of surviving far from home inspired me to think about what a modern day setting might be, and I chose to set my flash fiction in a foodbank as I volunteer at a local distribution centre.”

Laurence Sullivan – author of “Establishing Connection”

“There are obviously a multitude of themes to choose from in Robinson Crusoe, but the one that interested me most here was the idea of man overcoming the initial threat the natural world can present. In the 21st century this doesn’t seem like the same issue that it was in the 18th – for a start, there are so few places on Earth which are still genuinely uninhabited now. Our greater issue seems not to be achieving mastery over the natural world, but actually re-connecting with it and achieving a new equilibrium. By the end of Robinson Crusoe, the island has become a home for the eponymous protagonist – almost a luxurious one, and now people will pay small fortunes to seek out similar small islands in the hope of disconnecting from the modern world and finding temporary refuge in the natural one. I think that’s why the story still fascinates us so much now, for many a modern reader the idea of being shipwrecked on a desert island is an escapist fantasy, rather than something to be feared. This is what my story is really about: that no matter the apparent draws of the hectic, modern world, there will always be a part of us that pines for a simpler, more natural way of living.”

Sarah McPherson – author of “True Stories”

“I am fascinated by how stories can define us and become part of who we are and our family histories, and also the power of place (in this case the island) to make something you have only known as a story suddenly feel more real, as when you visit a site of historical significance. For this flash piece, I imagined how someone going through an experience like Robinson Crusoe’s – being shipwrecked – might become a story told to younger generations of their family, to be exaggerated, believed or not believed, and the impact that visiting the island and being confronted with that reality might then have.”

Mavis Pilbeam – author of “Survival”

“I read Robinson Crusoe from cover to cover in preparation for the Walkshop and was totally engrossed by Defoe’s extraordinary imagination and quirkiness. This, combined with the Walkshop, suggested ways of writing which I might not have considered before, so I produced something which was not at all typical of me.”

Jonathan Fox – author of “Court Report”

“What a brief! A book I’ve loved since I was a child. If there’s any fictional character I can identify with it’s Mr. Crusoe. A person who feels all alone on an Island? It’s something we’ve all felt at one time or another. Well, I have at least. Long live R.C.!”

Nora Nadjarian – author of “The Return”

“I imagine the story of Robinson Crusoe to be a kind of metaphor for human loneliness. Desperate for companionship, he conjured up a romance which everyone believed, of a faraway island that he made his home. His true salvation was Friday, the one he loved and the one his thoughts turn to, even now. It is up to the reader to decide whether Friday really existed or not.”

Elizabeth Forsyth – author of “Reaping”

“I was inspired by the contrast of capability and power. Often those who are in power aren’t capable of what people without power have the ability to do, and resentment can grow between them.”

Details of the flash fiction competition are reproduced below.

The Theme

To celebrate 300 years since the publication of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, your flash fiction entry must clearly respond and be inspired by the themes and subjects of Robinson Crusoe. Judge’s decisions on this matter are final.


Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone – Author, editor and creative writing tutor for the Novel Studio, City, University of London.


Nigel Bristow – NG Bristow is a screen writer, director and visual artist. He is currently marooned at Goldsmiths University of London, where he runs the MA in Directing Fiction.



Andrew Stuck – Founder of the Museum of Walking, Producer Talking Walking podcasts, he worked in rights and sales for Hodder for 10 years.



  1. Entrants must be 16 years or over.
  2. Entry is open to everyone; locally, nationally and internationally.
  3. An entry can only be made by the work’s individual author.
  4. Entries must not have been previously published in print or online, been broadcast or won a prize. 
  5. Entries must not include any defamatory language.
  6. Entries must clearly respond to the Robinson Crusoe theme, be original and written in English. They must also be for adult or young adult readers. Non-fiction and fiction written for children under 13 years is not eligible.
  7. Simultaneous submission is permitted. Should your fiction win a prize or be published elsewhere, please let us know so that we may remove your entry from the current competition. 
  8. Authors retain full worldwide copyright throughout.


  1. Maximum length is 300 words excluding title (that mustn’t exceed 8 words).
  2. Entries should be typed in a plain legible font. A sans 12pt font is suggested.
  3. Entries will be read and judged anonymously so do not put your name, address, email, telephone number or any personally identifying information on any page.
  4. If the piece has no title, then its first five words must be used as the title.
  5. Acceptable file types are odt, doc, docx, txt and pdf.
  6. The file name must be the title of your piece, punctuation removed. If your piece does not have a title, then the file name must be its first five words, punctuation removed.


Entry is online via email and only through the a PayPal gateway on this webpage. We do not accept postal entries. Following payment using the PayPal buttons on the submission page, PayPal will email you your receipt. To enter, simply ‘Forward’ that email – ensuring to ‘Attach’ your work – to this email address: [email protected] . If you participated in a Crusoe300 Flash Fiction Walkshop, your entry is free, forward your ticket and attach your work as above.

  1. Entries will not be returned so please keep a copy.
  2. No corrections or alterations can be made after entries have been received.
  3. Entrants are limited to 2 entries each.
  4. Entries are acknowledged by your receiving of a PayPal receipt.


  1. The standard fee is £3.00 GBP for one submission and £5.00 for two. 
  2. Submissions must be paid for via the PayPal buttons on this site. Payment can be made using your PayPal account or via Credit/Debit card option on the PayPal page.


  1. Full no quibble refunds are available up to the closing date of each round, contact us should the need arise.
  2. Once the closing date has passed, no refunds can be made.


  1. The prize is publication in the limited edition Shipwrecked chapbook anthology – each of 7winners receive 6 copies of the limited edition chapbook.
  2. The results of the competition will be announced on the Museum of Walking website.
  3. Entrants retain copyright.

Entry constitutes acceptance of all Museum of Walking Rules. Entries that fail to comply with the rules will be disqualified. No correspondence can be entered into, Judges’ decisions are final.

Sampson Low Publishers, as an imprint, has existed for over two hundred years. Today it’s still managed by the Low family, and based just outside London. They have published diverse works from Noddy to Jules Verne to sporting heroes like Dennis Compton. One newish interest is in publishing small-scale chapbooks, often combining the work of writers and artists. The format is perfect for pithy written works that can be enjoyed in one sitting.

Museum of Walking: It was at the Banff Centre in the Canadian Rockies on a Walking and Art Residency in 2007 that an idea of a Museum dedicated solely to walking and art was developed by Andrew Stuck. The museum would be a showpiece for events around walking. It would promote walking and it would promote art and creativity and bring the two together. We chose to broaden it by inviting Co-creators to work together to create a variety of different walking opportunities. Our intention has always been to encourage people to dip their toes into trying new things, out and about on foot, giving them the chance of being more creative – “the art is in taking part”.