Please note this competition is now closed.

Are you 15-25, and an aspiring writer?


Last week was the final week of our Man Up! exhibition. To mark its end, we are inviting young writers to take part in a creative writing competition inspired by the exhibition.

Man Up! highlights stories of women in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who stepped into male roles. By picking up a pen, pistol or sword, they broke with convention to survive and thrive.  Out of necessity or choice, to seek glory or escape the fetters of a restrictive life – they kept control over their inheritance, unashamedly sought fame, adopted fake names, took to the high seas, or even joined the army. To meet some of these pioneering women, you can view the exhibition online.

We are now looking for short stories and poems inspired by the women and stories in Man Up! Entries can be entirely fictional or based on fact.


The winners in each category will receive:

  • A Man Up! Bundle of merchandise
  • Publication in the Summer issue of Chawton House’s magazine, The Female Spectator
  • House & Gardens Annual ticket for the winner + 1 adult




15-17 years old

Poetry (not more than 50 lines)

Short story (500-1000 words)

18-25 years old

Poetry (not more than 50 lines)

Short Story (not more than 1500 words)


To take part, please email your submission to with the subject heading ‘Man Up Creative Writing Competition’. Please include your name, address, and age.

Deadline: 15 August, 2021