Close Shave BookCover.png


using the power of storytelling

to fight the scourge of knife crime




We are offering young UK resident writers, the opportunity to have their manuscripts considered for publication in our debut anthology of short stories exploring the complex and utterly important issue of knife crimes in the BAME community.


Close Shave (Volume One) will be published under our Blackshave Imprint in December 2020. Learn more about our Blackshave imprint by following the link here



We invite aspiring entrants to treat this theme through the prism of whatever genre of fiction (including creative nonfiction) appeals to them, but with a strong message and hopefully unique creative devices to help prod new areas of conversations on the causes, consequences and solutions to the problem of gangs and knife crime within the affected communities in the UK.


The 12 best manuscripts of between 2500 words and no more than 5000 words will be selected, professionally edited by our team and compiled into an expertly designed E-book that will be highly promoted on social and other digital media channels. The E-book will be distributed through all relevant digital retail channels, while the Print copy will be distributed by our distribution partners to all stockists across the UK and Europe, as well as further afield.




  1. To be eligible, you have to be a resident of the United Kingdom, and over 18 years of age.

  2. While open to all, we are particularly keen to have BAME writers take advantage of this initiative.

  3. Entry is also limited to debut or emerging writers with no more than one published novel, or collection of short stories.





  1. Your submitted manuscript must be previously unpublished in print or online, including on personal blogs.

  2. It must not have been granted an ISBN number

  3.  We will not welcome simultaneous submissions to other anthologies between the 2nd of April and 15th of October, 2020.




  1. Selection will be made by our editors, and their decision will be final.

  2. We shall endeavour to offer personalised feedback to everyone who submitted a story for consideration.

  3. Ultimately, only 12 stories will be selected.

  4. All of those whose works are selected will not be paid for their work, but they will retain all rights to their story, and each receive a paperback copy of the anthology which will be shipped free of charge to a UK address. 

  5. The Editors will identify the three best submissions however, each of which will be awarded a £500 cash prize.




  1. We shall request a non-refundable £10 entry fee for all submissions. (We will send you an invoice after we might have received your submission.)

  2. While multiple submissions are welcome, they must each be accompanied by payment of the entry fee  





  1. All entries must be received on or before midnight on 30 July 2020.

  2. The stories selected as well prize winners will be announced to the contributors by email on 15 October 2020.





  1. You retain all rights to be identified as the author of your story and grant us consent to have your name and image promoted as such.

  2. Upon submission of your manuscript, you grant Apex Publishing and our imprints, rights to publish your story across our digital, audio and print platforms.

  3. By submitting your work for consideration, you are confirming that you are the author of the work. You are also absolving Apex Publishing of any liability whatsoever arising from any false claims made or any disputes that might arise from your claim to the authorship of the story.

  4.  You also grant us permission to store your contact details and work within our database and are in agreement with our data protection protocols which comply with EU GDPR.





To have your work considered,  please send an email to us at  along with the following attachment all as a single Microsoft Word document:


  1. A one-page query letter addressed to the Editor, Apex Publishing, marked as follows: 'Submission/Your Name/Title of your manuscript/Date sent.' This should introduce you and the work you are submitting. Please ensure that your email heading and body follow the same pattern,

  2. A half-page (200 words) synopsis, giving a brief summary of the story. (This should include a brief introduction of the central character(s), the story's genre, it's central conflict and how the story ends),

  3. A short author bio, on no more than half a page.(Please ensure you have your contact details included.)